Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So you sit on some charges against a fellow Christian for a year ...

... and do nothing, absolutely nothing about reconciliation.

What kind of Christian grace and freedom is it that refuses to dialogue and to converse over a grievance and instead waits, and waits, and waits until the full force of the law can be brought against a fellow Christian with whom one is out of sorts?

Is there a need to call out the emperor's lack of gospel clothing here? To all intents and purposes, this seems to be folly by TEC. Is this approach, weighted in terms of recourse to the law and not to the gospel, fully compatible with the nature of our fellowship in Christ, a fellowship which is the heart of being an Anglican Communion?

In case you are wondering what this is all about, then read the Living Church here, and for detailed comment, read Anglican Curmudgeon here.

Bishop John Harrower of Tasmania has come out in support of +Mark Lawrence in a published letter here.


carl jacobs said...

This has nothing to do with law, and less than nothing to do with reconciliation. This has to do with power - specifically the desire of the national church to compel its dioceses to submit to the direction of the national church. There is less uncertainty about the outcome of this 'trial' than there is about the conclusion of a Scooby Doo mystery. Bp Lawrence is already convicted and deposed. The rest is just formality. If he is wise, he will not even legitimize these procedures by participating.


Andrew Reid said...

The key allegation against Bishop Lawrence is the removal of Diocese of SC's accession to the canons of TEC. All the rest is window dressing. It would seem to me a long bow to draw to charge a bishop for an action taken by the whole synod of the diocese, don't you think? And how many hundreds of times has he stated he is committed to staying within TEC? All so pathetic.
I want to ask a genuine question about this, not just for rhetoric's sake. What do you really think is driving the Presiding Bishop and those bringing this action? Is it a conviction that Bishop Lawrence will take the diocese and its property to ACNA despite his denials? Is it personal aggravation at his criticisms? Does she want to get rid of orthodox bishops remaining in TEC, or at least threaten them into quiet submission? I just can't see any upside for anybody in this.
Just to bring a "Down Under" angle, my former priest and now bishop of Tasmania, John Harrower, has just published a letter of support for Bishop Lawrence here.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrew
Thanks for the link (which I will add to the post).

I think it pointless to speculate about base motives on the part of TEC leadership. It is quite reasonable of the TEC hierarchy to:

(1) Be doubtful of +Mark's assurance that he will not attempt to lead SC out of TEC (on the basis that other dioceses, including his former diocese, San Joaquin).
(2) Cover all "exits" re likely property problems if +Mark did so lead.
(3) Attempt to push SC into line re parishes leaving from within SC, since, so far, SC seems indifferent to those parishes taking their property.
(4) Get tough with one for an example to the others (there are three or four other dioceses with orthodox bishops and synods, are there not?).

I do not believe that the TEC hierarchy is concerned about any personal aggravations in this situation.

Of course, I think (1) is the problem, and wonder why the hierarchy is not trusting of a fellow bishop's word, when (as far as I can tell) there is no reason not to trust +Mark's word.

Brother David said...

The Anglican Curmudgeon fully lives up to his name, he fumes and fusses to the avail of nothing. I have not seen one of his legal analysis pan out. No US courts have ruled as he says/predicts that they will. And in the end some of the state rulings may well be decided by the federal supreme court. It would be difficult to see that court ruling against TEC when the property canon adopted by TEC's General Convention was at the suggestion of the US Supreme Court's decision on a matter in another church, and just about every state court that has ruled in TEC's favor in the property suits has pointed to that fact. This man has little credibility in his pondering, I do not fathom why you always point to his blathering on.

As far as +SC, there is still much about what has and has not occurred in the process that is unknown to we the public, as it should be because there is as yet no formal process to depose +SC, just the exploratory process, which is supposed to be confidential to protect the innocent.

This is the bane of instant communication. Yes, information speeding around the globe at the speed of light is often a good thing, but it can also spread lies, innuendo, confusion, conjecture, gossip and mischief just as rapidly. From the text of +Tasmania's letter, he is as much in the dark as anyone and is now just aiding the process of mischief by spouting off and making his accusations about the situation in a province half a world away, of which he likely knows nothing more than the latest gossip.

Please stop feeding the rumor mill Father Peter. If you wish to have a true discussion on the topic, then lets do so (if you can manage to keep this one on topic.)

Brother David said...

The Supreme Court in the State of Pennsylvania has now ruled; (also contrary to the blathering of one curmudgeon)


Milton said...

Peter, re your #3 above, The State of South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the so-called Dennis Canon, which states that all property of congregations is held in trust for the national church by the diocese, is unconstitutional and that neutral property laws decide property issues. In short, TEC cannot annex property for which it paid not one penny to purchase, insure or maintain simply by fiat. What matters in SC is whose name is on the deed. Additionally, the Diocese of South Carolina predates the Episcopal Church itself. For much excellent history and analysis, see http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/

Brother David said...

Milton is misrepresenting what was ruled in the Pawley's Island case. Hopefully because he is misinformed and not because he is dishonest. The SC Supreme Court did not rule the Denis canon unconstitutional, if it did please provide us with that language in the ruling that was handed down. What was ruled was that the Pawley's Island case was an entirely different matter to which the Denis canon did not apply and is highly unlikely to have set a precedent for any future SC cases.

Father Ron Smith said...

Yet another occasion when one's blogging on this site get's whisked away peremptorily in the process!!!

Ah well, let's try one more time:

Your analysis, Peter, of TEC's treatment of Bishop Mark Lawrence is as slanted as that of the articles you have cited here. Everyone knows the thrust of 'Living Church', Curmudgeon and Bp.John Harrower - all of whom are almost as derisive of TEC's stance on this (and many other issues) as that awful vitriolic blogger David Virtue at 'virtueonline'.

One is now well aware of your own opposition to TEC, Peter, as I've never yet seen you post anything remotely affirming of TEC on your site. Even when the Presiding Bishop. Katherine Schori made her visit to N.Z., you comments were distinctly derogatory. How can you pretend to be objective?

And as for Curmudgeon and 'Living Church' they are well-known to be the advocates of ACNA in North America; and therefore opposers of TEC and the P.B. (Remember, ACNA has no official contact with the Anglican Church in New Zealand - apart from a former priest from the Diocese of Nelson who is now one of their bishops).

When are you going to post something from the other side?

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, and readers of this blog: you might just be interested in the Chambers dictionary description of the word 'Curmudgeon'. It simply means:

- 'an avaricious, ill-natured churlish fellow; a miser'.

Now, from his writings - against the P.B. and TEC - I can understand that. But to call himself 'Anglican' too, might be going just a little bit too far.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David
I am interested in the SC situation, having personally met +Mark and also T19's Kendall Harmon a few years ago.

You are entitled to your view of how I am treating it.

We will probably disagree about the value of Anglican Curmudgeon's analyses.

But I would hope you might take cognisance of the fact that I am drawing attention to published documents on all sides of the controversy.

It is published remarks of +Henderson, for instance, which most intrigue me. Not rumours etc, for which, as you well know, one can indulge in at Stand Firm's comments etc.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
I challenge you to come up with one single instance of The Living Church being derisive of TEC, or of being in opposition to TEC or the PB. This magazine/journal sets out to serve that church and in my estimation serves it well with fair and responsible reporting.

Why would +Henderson be making media releases to The Living Church if it were derisive of TEC?

I further challenge you to come up with one instance of The Living Church being an 'advocate' for ACNA.

Of course if you define "reporting about ACNA" as "advocacy" or "responsible critique" of TEC or of the PB in a journal dedicated to serving TEC and the Communion as "derisory opposition" then you are making words mean what you want them to mean.

As for myself and what I am doing here: ADU does not exist to praise everything happening everywhere in Anglicanland (there is lots to praise, and that included in TEC, ACCan ... and ACNA, Uganda, and Chile!!); it exists to reflect critically on being Anglican, on life in the Anglican Communion, with a very close and special interest in the possibility that the Communion might break up and dissolve.

Thus I have a particular interest in what is happening in North America which is the seat of much Anglican controversy; and, as pointed out in another comment above, a personal interest in the Diocese of SC.

So far I have found nothing admirable in TEC's treatment of +Mark or of the Diocese. If and when I do I shall say so. But in what I am saying, I am trying to focus on the published, incontrovertible statements, letters, etc, of the chief characters in this episode, which includes what +Henderson is writing and saying. If that is not from the 'other side' I do not know what is! Further my sidebar sends you to Preludium where you can read a normally sympathetic view of what TEC's hierarchy and official committees are up to.

Anyway, how about you tell us what is Christian and obedient to the gospel about sitting on charges against a bishop for a year or so and not making one effort to undertake dialogue towards reconciliation. Over to you.

Brother David said...

Anyway, how about you tell us what is Christian and obedient to the gospel about sitting on charges against a bishop for a year or so and not making one effort to undertake dialogue towards reconciliation.

Do you know for a fact Peter that that is actually what happened? Or are you zeroing in on the curmudgeon's surmises that that is what happened, because he is hedging his bets by saying "if" what I surmised is what happened. No one knows what is the fact of the case, you just have the usual suspects raising a ruckus with blather about what might be the case and only making the waters more and more muddy with the constant spin.

Now that their spin has confused enough people, they are trying to get the internet buzzing with calls to abandon the entire process. And all I see you doing is participating in the spin and even being quoted at Preludium, as if you were actually someone who is in any sort of position to know.

I think it best to stop the spinning.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
There is no spinning going on, just reasonable deductions from publicized statements by +Henderson. So, from the Living Church site, we read:

"J.B. held the equivalent position with the Review Committee under the previous version of Title IV. As “Lay Assessor” to the Review Committee, he did the same work that the “Church Attorney” now does for the Disciplinary Board. While in that position, he did preliminary work on the Bishop Lawrence information, so he is already more than familiar with that information and the task which is now ours."

That preliminary work was a while ago, was it not?

(As for being quoted by another commenter at Preludium: I fail to see what the commenter is trying to achieve by doing that. I am not and cannot be responsible for what others say about what I write elsewhere. Here I am trying to support +Mark and the Diocese of SC as they are seeking to be true Anglicans in communion with other Anglicans. For that support I do not apologise.)

Brother David said...

That preliminary work was a while ago, was it not?

I do not know Peter, that is my point, I am not privy to the inner workings of Title 4 in its prior iteration and neither are you, and neither are the folks that are spinning it, they are trying to make guesses and connect dots with little real information.

As for being quoted by another commenter at Preludium: I fail to see what the commenter is trying to achieve by doing that. I am not and cannot be responsible for what others say about what I write elsewhere.

Except that you are now part of the spin.

"Pete Carroll also notes how odd the entire matter is.

These charges were in the purview of the OLD Title IV committee for many many months now. They did nothing. Why not? Was he not guilty? Or were they simply waiting to get a committee and a new Title IV process in place which would get the result they wanted?"

As if you are some expert with some inside track, when all you are doing is repeating the spin and asking the spin doctors questions. It is all very circular and doing nothing but muddying the water.

Do you really feel good about being a part of that?

Paul Powers said...

Neither Milton nor Brother David have gotten it completely right with respect to the South Carolina Supreme Courts decision in All Saints Waccamaw. The court did not rule on the constitutionality of the Dennis Canon. The court did hold that the Dennis Canon had no legal effect on title to the All Saints property. The opinion states: "It is an axiomatic principle of law that a person or entity must hold title to property in order to declare that it is held in trust for the benefit of another or transfer legal title to one person for the benefit of another. The Diocese did not, at the time it recorded the 2000 Notice, have any interest in the congregation’s property. Therefore, the recordation of the 2000 Notice could not have created a trust over the property." The 2000 notice to which the court refers was a notice that the diocese filed in the county deed records that pursuant to the Dennis Canon, the property was held in trust for the benefit fo the diocese.

Does this mean that in future disputes involving TEC or the diocese that the local congregation will win? Not at all. It does mean that they will have to come up with some basis other than the Dennis Canon to do it. They might succeed if, for example, the deed itself says that title is held by "The Vestry of St. Swithin's Parish in trust for the benefit of the Diocese of South Carolina." The diocese might also have a stronger argument in the case of a new parish that had recently been receiving financial support from the diocese (as opposed to All Saints, which existed before there was a Diocese of South Carolina, or even a TEC).

As for the U.S. Supreme Court overruling the SC Supreme Court, it won't happen in the All Saints case. Representatives of the TEC-loyal group at All Saints did ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, but they withdrew their request after reaching a settlement with the AMiA group. The U.S. Supreme's won't even have an opportunity to consider the matter until a new lawsuit works its way through the trial and appellate courts in South Carolina first. The odds are against the court hearing it even then. Of the 7,000 or so petitions submitted each year, the court agrees to hear about 100 or so. Property issues in the U.S. are primarily a matter of state, not federal law. The fact that SC goes one way and NY another is no great shakes. Of course, if the Supreme Court were to take one of these cases, it's also possible that the court would disavow Justice Blackmon's dicta that denominations can establish a trust simply by amending their constitutions. There was no legal basis for that suggestion because it's up to the state courts and legislatures, not the federal courts, to determine what's required to establish the existence of a trust.

Peter Carrell said...

The matter seems odd, David, without speculating as that commenter did. The oddness is in why any Christian would sit on charges against another Christian for a long time and not pursue a gospel path towards reconciliation.

Do you feel good about that path not being pursued?

Brother David said...

The matter seems odd, David, without speculating as that commenter did. The oddness is in why any Christian would sit on charges against another Christian for a long time and not pursue a gospel path towards reconciliation.

Do you feel good about that path not being pursued?

That is my point Peter, I know that I am not privy to that information that that is indeed what happened. And I do not believe that you are either. So how can I sit in judgement about what did or did not happen without the facts? How about you, do you have the facts with which to make such a judgement? Do you understand the previous Title 4, how it worked, what its processes were, what form and what evidence accusations had to conform with? Do you know that everything was in place for a process to even be initiated? If the answer to any of this is no, then I do not understand how a person can sit in judgement or even ask honest questions at this point. To do so would be premature, hence spin.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David
We are talking about a bishop who has not murdered anyone, taken the offertory, or run off with another woman.

We are talking about allegations of statements made, that have been published and consist of material obtainable from published statements, reports etc.

None of these are particularly difficult to read, nor are they especially difficult to process against the canons of the church.

Is there anything factually incorrect here?

What is it about a church which cannot work out how to uphold the episcopal ministry of a man who has not been alleged to break one of the 10 commandments, nor to teach heresy?

Again, there may well be things unknown to me, you, Curmudgeon which are going on behind the scenes, but in good faith we have reason to believe that none of it involves unknown allegations against +Mark as the allegations have been published.

So I ask, what is specifically Christian about this manner of treating a bishop of the church whose moral behaviour and doctrinal teaching is not at issue?

A. S. Haley said...

"Brother David" is typical of anonymous Internet trawlers who will not sign their own name to their opinions, and hence who circumvent their being held accountable for them. Such persons never engage directly with those whom they calumniate, but content themselves with casting anonymous aspersions remotely, and from behind the shelter of a suitably bland pseudonym.

When, for instance, this "Brother David" does venture to express a view, he demonstrates to any informed person that he has made up his mind, and does not wish to be confused with the facts. He asserts: "The Anglican Curmudgeon fully lives up to his name, he fumes and fusses to the avail of nothing. I have not seen one of his legal analysis [sic] pan out. No US courts have ruled as he says/predicts that they will."

After saying this, he then tries to play down the decision by the Supreme Court of South Carolina, which echoed precisely what I have been arguing for so long on my blog: the Dennis Canon can have no legal effect under individual State law, because it violates the Statute of Frauds recognized in every American jurisdiction. But according to "Brother David", the issue in South Carolina was whether the Dennis Canon was "constitutional" -- a point not even raised or discussed in either the South Carolina Supreme Court's opinion (as Paul Powers also points out), or in any of my posts about the decision. Likewise, Fr. Ron Smith (who at least does not hide his identity) chooses to smear by innuendo, retreating to a dictionary, and fails to address any details of the facts which I present. He also makes me out to be an ACNA supporter, simply because I criticize from within -- as one of its lifelong members -- what the Episcopal Church (USA) is doing to destroy itself.

I fully expect to be held accountable for the views expressed in my posts, because I put them out there for all to read, and to criticize, and to engage with by commenting back and forth. But when persons who have not bothered to immerse themselves in the facts post anonymous or derogatory aspersions on other peoples' blogs -- and criticize those people just for linking to mine -- then I think the Internet in such instances is reflecting only our fallen state as fallible creatures, rather than serving as an instrument to engage actively in debate, and to let those who would supplant the truth with their own rationalizations suffer the consequences for ignoring it.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi A.S. Haley (is it Alan?),

I leave it to David to defend his views about you and what he writes if he chooses; but I would like to affirm his presence here in one respect: As far as I am concerned David is not anonymous. I think I know his surname (his full name having been used in the past) and he has explained in a past comment that his life in the country he lives in is not completely safe. Whether the latter part of the previous sentence explains the lack of use of a surname, I do not know, but if it were the reason, then it is understandable.

In respect of your posts, I admire what you write, and the pertinacity with which you follow up each and every case relevant to the situation in which TEC finds itself.

Peter Carrell said...

Brother David comments:

You are mistaken Mr Haley. I am not an anonymous trawler, and most people who regularly participate in the blogs where I participate know exactly who I am.

I am David Allen Secor, an Anglican solitary, a member of la Paroquia de la Sagrada Familia, el Diocesis del Norte, la Inglesia Anglicana de Mexico. I was born and reared in an agricultural village in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, where my extended family run an organic cooperative farm community. English is my second written language.

I am a Mexico and US educated, licensed psychologist and a partner in a private human resources firm in Monterrey, Mexico with my older sister, a Mexico and US educated lawyer and my cousin, a Mexico and US educated public accountant. Because my combined extended family has extensive resources, we live very carefully because we are in a constant level of danger of kidnap for ransom in my country. Which is why where possible I sign my name Brother David, because that is indeed who I am. I sign my first and last name at blogs where that is the rule to participate.

BTW, if you actually read the comments in this thread instead of making accusations which are not true, I did not bring up the issue of the Constitutionality of the Denis canon, I responded to someone else's false claim about the case in SC.

[Dear David, I am not prepared to publish the last part of the comment you submitted. It is too 'ad hominem' for my liking.]

Father Ron Smith said...

I am a little mystified about Curmudgeon's suggestion that Brother David's comments are in any way 'anonymous' on this thread. We all know who he is. David is a priest in good standing the Mexican Anglican Church. He is loyal to TEC - which it seems Mr.Haley, 'Curmudgeon', cannot claim to be. From his blogs, we all have guessed he is a lawyer, keen to bring down The Episcopal Church and it's erstwhile Presiding bishop.

One wonders why he actually chose to use the name 'Curmudgeon', when one investigates it's meaning in the Chambers Dictionary. It is also noted that he does not always use his own name when publishing under that particular title. At least, David uses his own baptismal name.

On any case, the blog's Host does occasionally allow people to comment under the sole identifying title of 'anonymous'. I guess that's his privilege - as and when he chooses to publish their words. Perhaps the actual content of their comment is the criterion.

Father Ron Smith said...

You ask Peter: "What is Christian about sitting on charges......etc?"

On asnwer to that question might be:

"In order to see if the alleged offender, given a reasonable period of time, in any way seeks to redress the damage he is doing in his obvious distaste for the way in which TEC presents the liberating influence of the Gospel of OLJC".

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
Given the obvious way in which you have avoided responding to a whole host of questions I put to you, I am not hopeful of receiving an answer from you to this question, but I will give it a go: what damage is +Mark doing as he leads his diocese?

Brother David said...

Dr Carrell, thank you for standing up for me at least. That you have always been prepared to do.

I am not so sure that my comment was any more ad hominem than Dr Haley's, just more blunt. ;)

It saddens me that you do not seem to grasp my point about this entire situation. I seriously doubt that any of us have the information to draw the conclusions that you and others are drawing. And I think that you just make the situation worse with your suppositions.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
I do get the point you are making, that I am drawing unwarranted conclusions from the information publicly available.

In responding I am trying to keep focused on what is publicly available.

But I accept that time may tell that I am wrong and that your cautionary approach is proven doubly correct (that is, it is correct now to be cautionary, and later that correctness may be underlined).

Nevertheless I stand by my probing speculative questions and look forward to further information coming to light.

Brother David said...

Dear Father Ron, thank you for your vote of confidence, to say the least, that I could be a good priest. Whereas I do hold a 4 year Master of Theology, I did not seek the priesthood. My degree has an emphasis in both clinical pastoral education and liturgy & worship. (There are times that I feel a book in me tying the two as I feel them tied, but it is not yet ready to be birthed.)

I became a religious solitary after the death of my partner, as turning to religious life is something widow(er)s are want to do in my country. I did not intend to remain solitary, but alas the Anglican community that I envisioned has not materialized. Some have sought, but few have chosen. And so I alone am the only religious who lives at Casa Temenos

Milton said...

Paul Powers, thank you for filling in the (large) gaps in my memory/knowledge of the SC State Supreme Court's ruling. I brought it up in response to one of the supposed offenses for which TEC disciplinary court seeks to remove +ML, that he failed to stop one or more churches from leaving the diocese with their (and I say "their" in the sense of ownership backed up by deed to the property) property. Heinous crime, indeed, failing to take a Christian brother to court. Why the apostle Paul himself would have, would have,... oh, never mind! :)

Father Ron Smith said...

Firstly, to Brother David. I'm sorry, David, to have given you an accreditation that actually misrepresents your status. However, at least your contentions on this site are quite consonant with those of a 'priest in good standing' - except you are not ordained! But you are a special member of the 'priesthood of ALL believers - which I'm sure people here will understand has some special value.

Peter, regarding your question: "What harm has Bp. Mark Lawrence done to TEC while acting as Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina?"
I would have thought it obvious that his 'abandonment' of the official polity of TEC is enough for starters. His disregard for the constitution of TEC has led him to encourage his Standing Committee to remove from it's official proceedings any reference to TEC.
Does that not sound a little disloyal to you? It would be like the diocese of Nelson saying it no longer wanted to recognise the polity of ACANZP, actively encouraging its membership to shun association with the mother Church.

A. S. Haley said...

Fr. Carrell, your concerns (and mine) about the disciplinary bodies at ECUSA "sitting" on the charges against Bishop Lawrence in order to let them accumulate have been vindicated, in part, by this recent post at the Anglican Communion Institute.

I have no wish to engage in personal sallies against any of those who comment at your blog; my previous comment went beyond my norm, and I apologize if I hurt anyone unintentionally, or provoked them to reply in kind. All I ask is that, if you disagree about what I post on my blog (and such posts are always under my own name), the same procedure exists there as it does here to post a respectful disagreement. Keeping up a blog, as Fr. Carrell knows, does not allow one the luxury of monitoring comments on all the other blogs. That is why I generally prefer to respond to criticisms made at my own site, rather than at others'. I departed from my practice in this instance, and I am the wiser for it -- thank you for allowing me in your midst.

Pageantmaster said...

Fr Ron - does every NZ parish put the full name of the province on everything? I have read the full name, and although it is quite rightly fully descriptive, it is a bit of a mouthful.

On my parish notice board, we don't say even CofE on it, although we are proud of who we are, we say "JESUS CHRIST WELCOMES YOU"

Brother David said...

I cannot speak for New Zealand, but here in the Americas, where we do not have state churches, it is very customary to designate what denomination of church it is. Perhaps it is not customary in England because it is the state church.

In the US it is very customary to designate the parish as an Episcopal church and in the rest of the Americas, Canada, Mexico and the other nations, it is very customary to designate the parish an Anglican church. In Brazil they are Anglican Episcopal parishes. I am sure that the practice is similar in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

In has been customary only of recent date to remove the name from Episcopal parishes to distance the parish from the Episcopal church or to designate schismatic congregations as "Anglican." There is no official Anglican province in the jurisdiction covered by dioceses of TEC designated Anglican.

Father Ron Smith said...

I suppose that, on this whole question of the propriety of charges of 'abandonment' against Bishop Mark Lawrence, we all need to await the outcome. I'm sure Mr Hayley (lawyer) - as well as other sympathisers with those who blame TEC for all that has happened with regard to the S.C. Diocese - will know by now that the ACNA 'Anglican' Diocese of Virginia', after due process, has lost it's appeal against TEC's ownership of properties in the TEC Diocese.

One hopes for 'due process' to take care of the situation in South Carolina in a way that confirms the true reality of the affair - where Bishop Lawrence has been accused of abandonment of the polity of TEC. No-one can ask for more than that.

Pageantmaster said...

Thanks Brother David - you make an interesting point. In England there are historical and cultural reasons why we do not put the name of our country on our stamps, merely the Queen's head, perhaps because we originated the use of postage stamps and at the time it was thought unnecessary; similarly if you go to Norway, outside almost every house you will find a flag pole flying the Norwegian flag, but not here; and indeed from a time when our church was the only church, no one ever thought it necessary to put a denomination name outside, perhaps because they were all Church of England churches and when others came along, they differentiated themselves, those which wanted to.

It is not that we are not proud of our country, not patriotic, nor keen to hide our churches, it is just that we are comfortable and secure with who we are, and while we will come out en masse for a Royal Wedding, we do not feel the need to broadcast our identity every day.

I would have thought that as the original church in the United States [barring some possible early Viking wanderers] that TEC would have the same confidence and self assurance, instead of constantly looking over its shoulders to see who puts "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" outside their front door instead of the sign outside mine which reads: "Jesus Christ Welcomes You". What could be better or more appropriate as a statement of who TEC is and serves?

Brother David said...

the ACNA 'Anglican' Diocese of Virginia', after due process, has lost it's appeal against TEC's ownership of properties in the TEC Diocese

Father Ron, do you have a link to this? After a considerable search of all the usual sites, I find no news of this occurring. Are you confusing some things together?

Father Ron Smith said...

Brother David, here is a link:


Brother David said...

I think that this is the second time, Ron, that you have made this mistake, once on your blog and now here. That link is to the Diocese of Pittsburg case, not the case regarding the Diocese of Virginia.

Father Ron Smith said...

Brother David, thank you for the opportunity to, once again, eat humble pie - And I deserve it. My geographical knowledge of the U.S. is singularly lacking, but whatever possessed me to quote the diocese of Virginia, instead of Pittsburgh. I may never discover. forgive me.

Paul Powers said...

Father Ron, a depressing number of Americans wouldn't be able to find Pennsylvania or Virginia (let alone New Zealand) on a map either. Your piece of humble pie should be narrow indeed.