The Paranoid Episcopal Church: Afraid to Covenant

The only thing remarkable about the reports from the latest meeting of ECUSA's Executive Council in Salt Lake City is that they managed to put out a narrative which discloses what they failed to accomplish: they do not represent the whole Episcopal Church (USA), but they act as if they do.

Thus, the Executive Council had called for submissions from each of the Church's supposed 110 Dioceses (actually, only 106 -- but then, who's counting?) regarding their positions on the proposed Anglican Covenant. The report which they published shows that they received responses from a grand total of just twenty-nine of its claimed 110 dioceses.

And even of that pitiful total, they have to reject all the Dioceses which voted in favor of the Covenant. The reason? "None of the dioceses who were reported in the press to have approved the covenant communicated this action to Executive Council." Oh, really? Perhaps these Dioceses recognized that the Executive Council would have taken their positive responses amiss, and so communicated them directly to the Anglican Communion Secretariat? At any rate, the Council -- predictably -- could not even be troubled to list these approving Dioceses, according to the "press reports" which they acknowledge reading.

And based on that resounding "response" from a little over 25% of its Dioceses, the Executive Council recommends to General Convention a Resolution that "The Episcopal Church [sic] is unable to adopt the AnglicanCovenant in its present form."

"The Episcopal Church"? Give me a break. The body which made this announcement is neither "Episcopal" ("bishop-led"), nor a Church. Instead, as can be seen from the conclusions of its "Executive Council" based on submissions by just over a quarter of the dioceses claiming to "belong" to this "Church", what we have is rule by the privileged few, or what Aristotle termed an oligarchy. It should be renamed "The Exclusive Church."

The defining characteristic of an oligarchy is that it rejects the views of the many as having any significance whatsoever. Indeed, it believes that the many, or what Aristotle calls the hoi polloi, are the equivalent of those who currently are "occupying" some parks in various cities across the land: they are unwashed, illiterate, wholly ignorant, and unworthy of serious attention.

Now the Executive Council of "the Exclusive Church" thinks that it, of course, is "Inclusive", and thus actually embraces the hoi polloi whom it in reality despises. The proof of this is that it can rely on the conclusion of a "Task Force" -- acting on the responses from just 29 dioceses -- to make its recommendation to the General Convention in 2012 that they vote to reject the Anglican Covenant.

Of course, this is no surprise; it is a typical "dog bites man" story. Rarely, however, is one given such clear documentation of the proof that those who govern "The Episcopal Church" could care less for what those believe who occupy its pews every Sunday.

A more honest Resolution would have stated:
Despite our best efforts, we have received responses from only 29 of 110 Dioceses. The Executive Council, therefore, recommends that General Convention redouble the efforts in this Church to give the proposed Covenant a full and fair consideration in each and every one of its Dioceses.
But welcome to "The Episcopal Church" -- which "welcomes" you, by the way -- but only if you are interested in placidly allowing them to continue as they always have, and do not rock their boat. This is a group so paranoid about their current disagreements with the rest of the Anglican Communion that they conclude that even the Introduction to the Covenant might obligate them to do things which they simply could not agree to do, under any circumstances:
Paragraph 1 of the Introduction speaks of the biblical treatment of the “communion in Jesus Christ.” It includes the “Communion of the life of the Church,” as the basis for the existence and “ordering of the Church.” A fair interpretation of this text is that our “Communion in Jesus Christ” coexists with our Communion as constituent members of the Anglican Communion. The implication may be that the continuation of our communion in Jesus Christ requires accession to the particular ordering of the church described in the draft Covenant . . .
No, we cannot let any crazy notion of a "communion in Jesus Christ" govern what it is to which we are committing ourselves if we were to sign this Covenant. Far better to retain our "autonomy", while mouthing platitudes about how we "respect" the Communion, and wish to remain "in dialogue" with it.

This is what your tithes are paying for: "The Episcopal Church" at work. Much like the famous old sign:

No comments:

Post a Comment