Friday, May 16, 2008

AAC weekly message from Bishop David Anderson

Via email [boldface mine]:

Dearly Beloved in Christ,

This week let me begin with a personal praise report. My grandson Palmer has this week passed his five year cancer-free date, and the doctors have pronounced him cured. It was a long battle and at several time we worried that we might lose him, but the prayers of thousands around the world and the Grace of God preserved and healed him. He has no cognitive damage, nor any physical impairment that we can ascertain. He is very intelligent, very loving, and a good soccer player. To God be the glory.

We note the letter of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to Archbishop and Primate Henry Orombi telling him to stay out of "her domain." She of course sent a copy to Bishop Henry Louttit, who is under pressure to continue litigation against Christ Church, Savannah, the Mother Church of all Georgia and the Rev. John Wesley's American parish. She also sent a copy to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The interesting thing is she waited to notify Orombi until he was already within a stone's throw of Georgia, leaving him to discover her letter posted on the Internet. It is clear that this was ninety percent theatrics on the part of Schori.

What is quite remarkable is the response from His Grace, Henry Orombi, to Jefferts Schori, pointing out that he is not visiting one of her churches, but rather one of his own! The problem is that TEC doesn't recognize anyone's ability to leave TEC. Like a pitcher plant, once you have alighted on the great blossom, you are stuck fast, never to be free again... except, in the real world of churches, anyone and everyone is able to vote with their voice, with their wallet, and finally, with their feet.

Continuing this theme of the "Hotel California" where "you can check out but you can never leave," Bishop Rob O'Neill has pulled a new dirty trick out of TEC's bag of scurrilous actions. According to journalist David Virtue, who is covering the story, seven years ago then-Bishop Winterrowd legally transferred clergy out of Colorado and into the Province of South East Asia by Letters Dimissory. This international transferability of Holy Orders has been a keystone of the Anglican Communion. Now seven years later, the current bishop, Rob O'Neill, has decided to void those legal transfers and canonically depose those clergy for "abandonment of communion of this Church." Do you remember the book "Alice in Wonderland"? That is what it is like living either in the Episcopal Church, or even next door to it. The meanness and fear which these punitive actions show is evidence of how afraid TEC is of the growing orthodox Anglican presence around the nation. The Anglican Church of Canada, similarly fearful, is commencing like-minded retribution against those who have left or are trying to leave.

On the international scene, we remember that it was only a few weeks ago that the Rt. Rev. Tom Wright, was telling everyone that a "get tough" letter was coming from Lambeth Palace to the TEC bishops who didn't support the Covenant and were part of the group who consecrated Gene Robinson. Many of us wondered whether Tom Wright was going to be "wrong again" or whether, given his close contact with Lambeth, maybe he was onto something - or then again, maybe he was being used. The long-awaited Lambeth Letter has come out, and it is a "cream puff" of a letter. What went wrong? Why did Wright get it wrong?

Bishop Tom may have gotten it right to start with, but when a large number of liberal revisionist English bishops told Rowan Williams that if he excluded those Americans, they wouldn't come either, it appears that the Primate of Primates caved in and changed the letter. Tom Wright was left with the ground cut out from under him. Wright could have gotten it right if the left hadn't muscled in. Apparently, the revisionist English bishops are less afraid of pushing back than their orthodox colleagues; why is that?

Lastly, we have received word that the gay and lesbian advocacy groups are planning a major assault on the Lambeth Conference, and are raising money to finance it. Information can be found here. The stage is being set for a media and public relations battle at Canterbury as well as an attempt to sway the bishops present. Things do not look very pretty for Lambeth.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, we worship our God, three in one. Have a blessed Trinity Sunday and weekend.

The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President and CEO, American Anglican Council

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