The Remain Episcopal group of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin held a meeting (Moving Forward, Welcoming All: the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin) this past week to try to plot out the future events necessary to reconstitute that diocese after its former bishop and Convention voted to affiliate with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone (the southern portion of South America). Remain Episcopal is made up of members of that diocese who have been determined to resist their former bishop’s and diocesan leadersâ€™ moves to leave The Episcopal Church because of differences over theological positions and social issues. They have withstood lots of criticism, accusations, and rejection by their own diocese, just like conservatives have in liberal dioceses (and I personally witnessed the literal spiting of venomous condemnations by a liberal diocesan official concerning conservatives in my own diocese of canonical residence – I was shocked and very discouraged).
So, right before that +Katherine, our Presiding Bishop, sent letters to all eight members of the Diocese of San Joaquin Standing Committee giving notice that she no longer recognizes them as the Standing Committee. Well, no canon gives her the authority to do such a thing, as other bloggers have commented on (see below).
Episcopal News Service report of +Katherine’s decision and letter
This doesn’t seem to be going over very well, even among the traditionally liberal bloggers that have been unsympathetic to the recent events in San Joaquin and its bishop, let alone the whole “reasserter” efforts over the last six years.
Fr. Jake’s comments on +Katherine’s actions
Mark Harris (Executive Council member, commenting on Province VIII’s dismissal of one of its representatives – form San Joaquin – to the Executive Council)
Finally, Dan Martins’ blogs about all this and the tremendous opportunity +Katherine has squandered to build momentum for reconciliation. A quote from his post:
This is a monumental gaffe on her part. Unless, that is, she isn’t really interested in inclusion or reconciliation, but only ideological victory for her side, in which case a scorched earth “take no prisoners” policy is the way to go.
The rapid disintegration of due process in “this Church” should be worrisome to those of every ideological and theological stripe. More on that later.
To be honest, I am worried! Accusations fly against â€œconservativesâ€ who seem to flaunt Canon Law, and it seems that â€œliberalsâ€ may be attempting to do the same thing. God help us â€“ if we stop being a people under the Rule of Law, we simply devolve into chaos and anarchism.
Considering my last post and what I have witnessed among too many pseudo-liberals/pseudo-conservatives I have encountered in academe and in “this Church,” I hope and pray that those who really do want nothing more than ideological victory (conservatives and liberals alike) do not win the day. This has got to stop!
I don’t care about the “winning” of my theological or ideological position. I care about being what Christ calls us to be, and that is found in The Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), the two Great Commandments of Jesus (Mt 22:35-40) and the â€œGolden Ruleâ€ (Mt 7:12), and finally Paul’s definition of LOVE found in I Corinthians 13:4-7. This is what I want to win so that a world desperate for hope, peace, and reconciliation will actually see something worthwhile in us to consider. They certainly don’t now – the way we’ve been acting – everyone one of us. Do we really think the world looks upon us and thinks we are good or honroable? Really?
Yes, theological and ideological “positions” do have consequences, but Anglicanism has always allowed for diversity and a wide spectrum of opinion to exist. I have witnessed too many people working against traditional Anglican comprehensiveness in the past – pseudo-liberals who want nothing more than to rid “this Church” of “those ignorant fundamentalists” – and in the present – pseudo-conservatives who declare a person a heretic simply because they call for a reconsideration of the way the Church deals with homosexuals. A pox on all their houses! Whitewashed hypocrites, all of them! Do you get the idea that I’m a little exorcised about all this? Of course, how easy is it for me to say, “I’m right and all you people better get your act together according to what I think should be!” Hypocrite, me.
Why do we so like to declare that the other side has compromised with the â€œprevailing cultureâ€ and not see that we have done the very same thing? When has â€œwinningâ€ become of utmost importance? When has the end come to justify the means?