Sunday, November 20, 2011

Property rights: at least in some places the Episcopalians really were/are sort of congregationalist
South Carolina. Parish ownership of property (the historical lay-trusteeship controversy in the American Catholic Church and the means Polish and Greek Catholic Slavic immigrants here in Pa. used to protect their parishes from the hostile local Irish; one way of doing that was to incorporate as a private club) is a legitimate Catholic option, nothing to do with apostolic order and sacerdotalism (we’re not clericalists; that’s a cartoon of Catholicism even some Catholics believe: the few old Western church liberals are the biggest clericalists).

Because of that history, parish councils have a lot of clout in American Orthodoxy – ‘every parish a diocese and every council its own patriarch’ – and some parishes are still incorporated that way: as an ‘independent’ Russian Orthodox church even though ecclesiastically of course it’s in the OCA diocese. The Greeks do it: Protestant influence? My guess is in the old country it’s run just like the Roman Catholic Church; the diocese owns everything.

Regular readers know my line: I defend all religions’ rights to govern themselves and to their property, as long as they respect other religions’ rights to do the same. (The ex-Episcopalians don’t have the right to steal property.) So the Episcopal Church’s internal business is none of my business: knock yourselves out. I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for their few relative conservatives any more; by staying with them they should have known what they were getting into (denomination founded by schism exactly to cater to the ruling class’s whims).

Its nature is to change the ground rules, once by royal whim and now by synod/convention vote (probably coming soon: ‘Resolved: belief in the creeds is now optional’; apostasy but they won’t be upfront on that) – its right. But not everybody in it realizes that. (The Tractarians didn’t.)

A dying liberal denomination making a change to grab property it never really owned reminds me of the last weeks in the bunker in its desperation.

(Gotta love it when they play high-church and call the leavers ‘schismatic’. Hard to throw that around when you’re in communion with all the other mainliners, and ‘the nuncio just e-mailed wanting the English cathedrals back’. The last real Archbishop of Canterbury was Cardinal Pole.)

The Bishop from 60 Years Ago: ‘Of course we were Protestants and snobs, and jolly proud of it, but never jackholes, let alone thieves. That would have been ungentlemanly.’

ACNA is Episcopalianism 1.0.

From Dr Tighe.

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