Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A tragedy in the making

Well, it’s almost a month since the delegates to the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) General Convention 2006 (GC06) finished their work, and the fallout continues. (Excuse me, they now request that we call them TEC—The Episcopal Church—since I suppose they are trying to sound all global and everything—although why we are following their lead, I have no idea, so I shall continue to call them ECUSA.)

Several dioceses have requested alternative primatial oversight (APO) from the Archbishop of Canterbury in response to actions taken at GC06 since they see themselves unable to remain under the leadership of the new presiding bishop. I have never understood why so many call someone so brilliant when her theology appears from her sermons and interviews to be non-existent and superficial, but then again, she was elected presiding bishop and I wasn’t. My bishop (James Mathes) and diocese here in San Diego have jumped on board, but my parish has not (thank the Lord, and I really mean that).

We (my family and I) are trying to figure out our next move. We love our parish and our priest, who is a classical Anglican and absolutely believes in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, but the writing is on the wall as far as the diocese goes and we don’t want to be any part of it. It truly feels unchristian, actually more than that—it feels dark and dire. Three parishes have removed themselves from the Diocese of San Diego—one (Christ the King) has joined a continuing church and the other two (St. Anne's Oceanside and St. John's Fallbrook) are under other Anglican bishops (more info here and here at Titus One Nine). I’m sure the fights over property and priest inhibition are coming.

We are becoming increasingly paranoid about even talking about events because of Bishop Mathes's April letter and our concern that our words (not actions, but listen carefully, our words!) will be used against our clergy. His letter puts the onus on parishioners and vestry members to watch their language or our clergy will bear the punishment. And who would want to be responsible for getting their clergy in trouble? And maybe causing them to lose their current livelihood, especially when they have families or are close to retirement? And then you start looking suspiciously at other church members, wondering who might be a mole from the bishop's office, just waiting for a slip to report back. Is this a national church that any Christian would want to be a part of?

It is a very weird time here. . .

And Father's Day is long gone

Just a reminder to myself not to post a day-specific item when I'm about to go on vacation. Oh well. . .