Saturday, June 26, 2010

Over at Thinking Anglicans we find this little slice of heaven:

That document includes the following (paragraph 6):
On the Anglican Communion Covenant, the House agreed
(a) to commend it for adoption by the Church of England;
(b) to invite the Business Committee to schedule the beginning of the adoption process for the inaugural Synod in November 2010, with a view to final approval in February 2012;
(c) not to propose special majorities for its adoption; and
(d) to authorise the House’s Standing Committee to oversee the production of necessary material for the Synod.

Of course, this is from the Church of England's House of Bishops,who else?!

Since this "disagreement" began at least 10 years ago and probably more like 20 or thirty years ago, it has been (predominantly) about clergy, and more specifically in and between bishops. While we argue about sex: full inclusion of LGBT and full inclusion of women and prayer books, and who has the greatest God and who has the right Scriptures and who has the lovingest God the real issue has been prestige and power and control. Yep, we have so many priests that want to be bishop and so many bishops that want to be archbishops and so many archbishops that want to be pope that it just ain't funny no more! Way back when William White (see my picture) was writing and organizing for the Protestant Episcopal Church In America there was a strong feeling that we did not need bishops. Then, when Connecticut some how talked the folks into adding bishops they were originally just part of the overall single cameral house. Somehow, some silly person decided to have a bicameral arrangement that then set up the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. Boy, sure would like to have that one back! John Guernsey and Martyn Minns and Robert Duncan and all the rest just wanted to get to whatever mitre level they could wear. Conversely, they do not want LGBT to be priests and women to be priest or bishops because - - - he**, I am not sure but it must be because they would have equal say in matters and that irks them.

The best I can understand, we the laity, only count for counting purposes. See, ACNA is a real province because it has laity in the thousands. Ya'll don't get any say in anything (check out your Constitution and Canons), ya just get be raw numbers. TEC counters with you don't have as many laity as we got so there! Then, of course Archbishop Akinola has said that they have over 35 million Anglicans in the GAFCON so they are right and we (and everyone else is wrong) because of the numbers. Laity is good for one thing, being counted, understand we don't count for anything except being counted. Don't we all like to be "patted on the head" and told we are "good boys and girls" now go outside and play while the grown-ups (clergy) figure this out.

So why shouldn't the House of Bishops vote in favor of the "Covenant", it gives them more power and prestige.

Maybe we need a shift in paradigm. Maybe we need to eliminate the House of Bishops and make bishops pastoral only. Maybe the "Presiding Bishop" for The Episcopal Church needs to be a presiding layperson. A bishop could be chaplain to the Episcopal Church. Maybe we need to strip bishops and archbishops and wannbe popes to a mere pastoral level and let all the decisions on prayerbooks and rituals and Constitutions and Canons be done by the laity. Maybe we could convince the world wide Anglican Communion to do the same. Certainly worth thinking about.

Hat Tip To Simon Sarmiento