Thursday, June 3, 2010

Is the PB's letter persuasive?

It is easy to take pot shots at the Presiding Bishop of TEC's pastoral letter in response to the ABC's Pentecost letter. It does have the odd error or three (as is being widely pointed out on the internet, for restrained examinations, try here and here). The least of these is calling the church which ordained Bishop Seabury 'the Church of Scotland.' [ADDED: now corrected to "Scottish Episcopal Church"] But the important question to ask of the letter is not whether it is inerrant but what its purpose is and whether it achieves it.

Its purpose can scarcely be to tell members of TEC to remain steady on the tack they are sailing. Nor is it a private letter remonstrating directly to the ABC, or even the other primates. My sense is that it is a letter intended to tell the wider Anglican world that there is good reason for TEC being where it is at, and thus unfairness and misrepresentation in the Pentecost letter. A letter, then, from the PB intended to persuade fair-minded observers that TEC is worthy of full involvement in every part of the Communion's life.

If this is its purpose, does it achieve it? Does it provide a strong case for denying the validity of the ABC's conclusion to his Pentecost letter?

What do you think?

In another post I shall offer answers to these questions.

1 comment:

Kurt said...

The error about Scotland is corrected here:

I’m sure it’s no surprise to our friends Down Under, and elsewhere, that I think that the Presiding Bishop has hit the nail on the head. Make no mistake about it, this is a public rebuke to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is a “line in the sand” as they say. It articulates what many Anglicans and others--(Old Catholics, Lutherans, etc.) and not just American Episcopalians--have been feeling for some time.

Kurt Hill
In summer-like (84F/28.8C) Brooklyn, NY