Wednesday, June 14, 2006

L’Eglise — c’est nous!
David Virtue reports from Columbus, Ohio:
Bob Williams, of the Episcopal News Service indicated that a name change was in the works and that ECUSA will now be known as The Episcopal Church. Since there are 16 countries that make up the Episcopal Church, he said, it would be better to refer to The Episcopal Church, or TEC, rather than ECUSA which is in just one country. In the House of Deputies, outgoing president George Werner repeated the same news. "There are 16 other nations. The Episcopal Church is global." This seems to be a part of their strategy to emphasize their global involvement and concern with the wider Anglican world. It also sends a subtle message that, should the Anglican Communion decide to expel ECUSA, it would not just be throwing out the U.S. Church, but poorer places like Haiti and Ecuador.
Global, eh? I thought the Catholic Church was global and Anglican meant simply the part that happened to be in England. The Anglican Communion itself is a kind of perversion of that, a rival catholicity based on ‘empah’.

Now it seems the Episcopalians are bracing for being chucked out of the Communion* and are posing as a kind of spite communion of their own. More pseudo-catholicity.

Talk about delusions of grandeur! (Well, these are white upper-middle-class people... the main reason why this tiny, shrinking denomination gets inordinate media coverage.**) The US and a few protectorates in the Western Hemisphere = ‘global’. Rather like a city’s airport that has a couple of flights to Canada and Mexico calling itself ‘international’.

Jonathan Munn notes: ECUSA can’t really call itself the Episcopal Church at all. In the first place, it is only an episcopal church, the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox being [among the] others. [End.]

And given that ECUSA is in communion with the ELCA Lutherans who are in communion with the Presbyterian Church USA, Reformed Church, Moravian Church and United Church of Christ, how ‘episcopal?’ is it really? I still say that eventually all these white upper-middle-class liberal denominations will merge into one bowl of mush and continue to shrink.

*More on that here and here.

**That and the similar terminology make it a fun working model for liberals who want to spite Rome.

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