Friday, May 28, 2010

More unedifying spectacle

Mark Harris at Preludium, taking on Anglican Curmudgeon (who has just published an amazing photograph ...), includes in his riposte a list which constitutes 'more unedifying spectacle' on the conservative side of Communion life (with a caveat from me below). For links to the news items backing up these items, head to Mark's post.

"Progressives, who regularly get beat-up by Global South Anglican folk, could also remark on the hypocritical situation regarding purity and stability of life of a remarkably large number of bishops in the Global South who are under investigation, indictment, or in court for various immoral behaviors. George Conger writes about a number of these:

There is open warfare in Zimbabwe between the forces of deposed Bishop Kunonga and the forces of the current Bishop of Harare, Dr. Chad Gandiya. It is a royal mess.
Then we are informed that "Drink-driving bishop resigns" Melanesia Bishop Koete was forced into resignation for drinking on the job.

Not to be outdone, there is then this report from the Church of South India "Bishop Dorai arrested." Bishop Dorai was accused of menacing a priest. But that is only the surface to what promises to be a long and difficult legal matter.

Then there is a related CSI matter: Corruption charges brought against the Moderator of the CSI." The charges are taking big money out of Church hands.

The bishop of Jerusalem and the former bishop of same are suing the pants off each other.This in a Province that decries the legal wrangling in the US.

The Archbishop of Uganda suspended and then deposed a bishop whose "notable crime" was advocating for gay and lesbian persons in Uganda. The rules of deposition look remarkably like those of The Episcopal Church which is accused of being unfeeling and unChristian in its deposition policies.

Its quite a roster bishop leaders exercising less than fully virtuous lives."

My one caveat about this list is that the offences (as summarily described) would not be a subject of disagreement within conservative Anglicans: drink driving is an offence; corruption is wrong; the situation re the Jerusalem bishops is disgraceful; etc. But the point that "our house" should be in order before we call other "houses" to order is well made. Will it be well taken?


Bryden Black said...

What might be better taken Peter is the root cause of the "warfare" in Harare. NK stole the original election from the three other candidates at the original electoral synod - quite literally, stole! He was after all Mugabe's stooge! Thereafter, such was his behaviour that eventually the Chancellor, the late Bob Stumbles, brought before a Judge 34 counts of fraud against NK. Such was the strength of the evidence, the Judge next morning dismissed the case, fearing a ruling against NK, which meant in effect against Mugabe. Then of course NK declared a UDI of his own against the Province of Central Africa, making himself Abp of Harare and 'ordaining' 4 bps. Enter a temporary, retired Bp, Sebastian Bakare, on behalf of the Province until they could elect a due replacement. Enter finally Chad, whom I know well. And all the while, the courts are ruling in favour of +Chad and the true Diocese, while the police and thugs barricade the local churches, including my own previous one, preventing services from occurring! A mess it is - but whose it really is is also clear!

MargaretG said...

You make a very valid point, but I take it what you are really saying is that since no house will ever be totally in order, we can never call one another to account.


Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Bryden!

Margaret, That is a good question. Jesus tells us not to judge. Paul encourages accountability to one another. "In order" could perhaps be "in good working order" rather than "perfect". The question for Anglican conservatives would then be, "Is our lot in good working order?" Right now it looks like we need to (a) clarify the bits of our life which are not out of order through our own doing (e.g. Zimbabwe where things are bizarre), (b) work better at the things which are of our own doing (e.g. division in North America).

MargaretG said...

Peter - I don't think the issue is about "working order" or "good enough" or however you would like to phrase it.

It is more an issue of "is this behaviour within our standards?" or "is this behaviour sanctioned by our faith?"

You see the big difference between the examples you give on the conservative side is they are yet to develop a liturgy to bless the menacing of a priest, or claimed drinking on the job was a movement of the spirit, or that they are blessed by different factions taking up arms ... whereas the liberal side claim that the behaviour that they indulge in is blessed by God, the movement of the Spirit, and they have developed liturgies to bless it - including using the recent Glasspool consecration.

It seems to me that evil done in defiance of the faith is of a different quality to evil claimed to be an outpouring of that faith.

Peter Carrell said...

I am not disagreeing with you Margaret!

Howard Pilgrim said...

Well i am disagreeing with you, Margaret! What's this all about? "...whereas the liberal side claim that the behaviour that they indulge in is blessed by God."
I am on the liberal side in the current debate about the status of gays in our church, Which part of my behaviour do you find objectionable?