Monday, August 07, 2006

And the beat goes on. . .

Here in the diocese of San Diego, we now have Bishop Mathes's wife, Teresa, opining on the state of the Episcopal church:

Because what I have to say is that the AAC and the ACN do not represent true conservatives. Like many Episcopalians, I had scarcely heard of these organizations; then, just over a year ago, my husband was consecrated Bishop of San Diego. Over time, I learned that AAC stood for American Anglican Council, a group of parishes that objected, among other things, to the consecration of Gene Robinson. The Anglican Communion Network (ACN) appeared to be an association of bishops with similar views. These names were used interchangeably with “the conservatives,” so when the groups began to distinguish themselves by their actions, I was astonished to see those actions labeled “conservative.”

All I can say is, that if she just heard about the AAC (which has been around since 1996) and the ACN in the past year, she hasn't been keeping up very well with what's been going on in ECUSA.

She then continues later on:
The conservatives I know are honest, civil people who would scorn secret memos and “innovations” meant to skirt the canons. Let’s face it, that kind of behavior also represents a profound challenge to the traditional understanding of moral fitness for ministry.

What can I say? For the orthodox, traditional Anglicans in San Diego, doing anything out in the open would incur the wrath of the bishop's office not just on them, but their rector as well. "Moral fitness for ministry" should include a pastoral nature that seeks to keep together Christ's Body the Church, not an antagonistic, legalistic, bureaucratic nature that seems to revere canons that apply to property but disregard those pertaining to doctrine and worship.
To see comments on Mrs. Mathes's piece, check out Stand Firm. To see an excellent refutation of her talk, see Jackie Bruchi's response:
Your statements indicate you relied solely on the website information to make your assumptions. Is that how we should judge St. Paul’s Cathedral? When I visited the site I found a lot of information but could not find one link on pre-marriage, marriage or even family counseling. Does that mean that St. Paul’s does not work toward building Christian families? No, I am sure that is not what it means. It means I did an inadequate job of researching the "who and what" of the congregation called St. Paul’s. Could it be that your research on the AAC and ACN would have been greatly bolstered by placing a telephone call to them or better yet visiting a church that is actually affiliated with them?

And later in Jackie's piece:
"The Internet now bristles with memos"
...is correct. Have you read the Via Media plan for the day after convention? If not, you can read it at Drell's Descants. If we are going to throw stones, could we be sure and hit all the houses on the block?
"The conservatives I know would be ashamed of such behavior. I know I am."
We can agree on that statement but it would be for different reasons and different behaviors than you mention. You see, the conservatives I know are indeed honest, civil people who do not choose to meet behind closed doors. They are a faithful people who feel called to defend the faith once delivered. They are a faithful people who do not seek to deny you your right to practice your faith however you choose. They simply are not willing to allow those who would deny them those very same rights to steal their church.
I would ask you, did you happen to notice what four bishops are attempting to do to a fellow bishop when the duly elected people of his diocese voted openly and did not meet behind closed doors?

It does seem as though Mrs. Mathes could have put more research and thought into her talk. There is no need to name-call, and it ill befits a bishop's wife to take such as hard public stance on issues that are tearing this diocese apart, particularly since her husband has lent his name to the shameful charges against Bishop Schofield.