Friday, January 15, 2016

The Anglican follies: A time-out for the Episcopalians?

So a Protestant denomination gave its more liberal American branch a time-out. Sort of. ("Did not!" "Did too!") It doesn't mean anything. It won't change the Episcopalians' minds.
The Church of England itself seems to be headed down the same path. I'm pretty sure the pressure for this came from the African Anglicans.
That and, unlike the Episcopalians, the C of E has Evangelicals (capital E in Anglicanism), but we're talking about a very irreligious country. Right, the Africans: the ex-empire strikes back. What's sort of funny is seeing the Episcopalians blow them off while trying not to look racist. Do they think their black presiding bishop gives them an excuse? Nice man; doesn't seem as abrasive as Schori. A good Protestant. By the way, most black American Protestants don't agree with the Episcopalians on the matter at hand.
Yeah, I imagine dissing the African Anglicans presents a real liberal train wreck for them.

Anglican "logic": So the Pope and the Schoolmen (St. Thomas Aquinas) crossed a line somehow, trying to change the faith, but women clergy and same-sex weddings don't? (Us: we can't change the matter of a sacrament.) By the way, the body doing the disciplining in this story has women clergy. These aren't Catholics, even though some of us as Anglicans thought we were. Never were. To be fair, their founding fathers had the same view of "reason" (as in the Anglican "three-legged stool" of scripture, tradition, and reason) as Aristotle and the Schoolmen: conforming yourself to objective reality, not "this is how I rationalize getting what I want." Women clergy and same-sex marriage weren't in their plan. But Anglicanism started as a mix of sincere but wrong people buying into Protestantism (Christ's saving work is all in the past, and I'm saved if I feel I'm saved, so no priests, no Mass — they hate the Mass — and no penances) and the King and his buddies stealing church property ("I want a male heir, so..." ...rationalizing away). Once you chuck the church, anything goes, as conservative Anglicans have learned the hard way. And most of the left figures you might as well stay home on Sundays.

As an erstwhile born Anglican I was trying to defend Catholicism at the congregational level ("we are part of the larger church"; Anglo-Catholicism is really semi-congregational as well as episcopal), not really Anglicanism ("We're the true church because we're both Catholic and Reformed! Obey the King or die; your choice"). I didn't want to be a Protestant.

Ecumenism (you-come-in-ism): getting the Continuum (classic American Anglo-Catholics who said no to the Sixties) and ACNA (Episcopalianism minus gay weddings) to realize that what happened to the Episcopal Church was inevitable, so re-creating it isn't the answer.

Later this month is the Chair of Unity Octave, started by would-be Catholic Episcopalians, Fr. Paul James Francis Wattson and Mother Lurana White, who wanted to bring the world into the Catholic Church and of course, in 1909 a year after the Episcopalians voted to allow other Protestant ministers to preach in their churches, became Catholic themselves.


  1. What seems especially rich to me in this vile climate of inclusion, diversity and multiculturalism is the endemic racism. To put it simply: the Church of England sent missionaries (some of them, like Frank Weston, very good ones) into Africa with the Gospel. Who could complain? The natives converted to traditional Anglicanism. Generations later, the Church of England, under influence of the Zeitgeist, changes and the Africans remain the same. Then comes the hypocrisy and condescension of the English against the former colonies and their "backward" natives for adhering to clear-cut precepts of the Gospel that they had themselves received from the English in the time past. I am sure that Justin Welby, and the other cosmopolitan bishops (and bishopettes) in the C of E, are embarrassed by the Africans because they do not share the same outlook. Who, I would ask, would in his right mind put any faith in the Church of England?

  2. On all this, see:

    One great absurdity in all this is that some of those Anglican churches hottest for disciplining The Episcopal "Church" embraced women's purported ordination with alacrity when that cancer first manifested itself in the Anglican Communion. Take the Anglican Church of Uganda, for instance, which has been the Anglican church province most zealous for imposing sanctions on TE"C;" I believe it was the fourth Anglican church (after Canada and New Zealand in 1975 and the USA in 1976 [not to mention Hong Kong in 1971]) to embrace WO (in 1977), which it did with passion (and whose leaders have produced bemusing justifications of WO as being in accord with African custom). Kenya followed, initially with diocesan "local option," as did Rwanda and Burundi. All these churches have been overwhelmingly "Evangelical" in their make-up (the only mostly Evangelical African Anglican church which had resisted and refused WO, even to the diaconate, has been Nigeria); WO came much later to those African Anglican churches which, like Tanzania, have both evangelical and Anglo-Catholic dioceses (in the 1990s, I believe) and I think it has never yet been accepted by the totally Anglo-Catholic "Church Province of Central Africa" (Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe). It all goes to show how incoherent and "without bottom" Anglicanism is - or, in other words, "Kinsman was right."


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