Saturday, February 17, 2007

My verdict on the Anglican conservative cause:

Yeah, it's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I don't see any way out. People keep calling for calm, and saying "Wait until Monday," and "It's not over 'til the fat lady sings," but these sound to me like the counsels of the Dole campaign in the last hours of November 5, 1996. Still, I'll go ahead and say it's all over right now, and maybe I'll be proved wrong; it would be nice for conservatives to finally have a chance of saying "I told you so," instead of having it said to them all the time.

Network Leadership calls for patience and continued prayer - of course they do, they've got nothing else. "Patience" will be the watchword now, and once the present daze wears off, there will be calls to patiently wait for Lambeth, as I predicted, in one of my bitterest posts. Then it will be General Convention coming soon, etc. etc.

To the left is a picture of the Basilica of Notre Dame here in Ottawa. We actually have 2 Catholic cathedrals here in Ottawa; this one, which is the "French" cathedral, and St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is the "English" one (though you can tell by the name that the "English" Catholics in Ottawa were mostly Irish). I haven't been to Notre Dame for years, mostly because it's right downtown and I don't go down there much anymore (parking is terrible), but I remember walking into it for the first time when I was new in Ottawa, almost 25 years ago. You can tell by the picture that it's very pretty, and very much in the traditional European style. Back then, it was just beginning a much-needed renovation, but the inside hadn't been touched yet. Still, I was very impressed. I'd seen the great cathedrals of northern Europe, and this was just the sort of style I loved.

You see the long line of pillars holding up the roof? I happened to stop next to one of them, and took my eyes away from the long view of the nave to glance beside me. To my surprise, I noticed a white chip on one of the pillars. Then I saw a few more. I touched the pillar; it was warm and a little rough. Then I realized that it wasn't marble at all, or even stone - it was WOOD, covered with plaster, and painted to look like blue-veined marble. I felt a little shock, then I thought to myself, "Well, of course! Where would you get marble in eastern Ontario?" It would have to be imported, and only a rich church could do that. Ottawa wasn't rich, especially not a hundred years ago. It was a lumbering town, with dirt roads and saloons and smelly sawmills on the river. The people who built this cathedral wanted the beauty and glory of European Catholic culture, but they couldn't afford it, so they did the best they could. No shame in that; but I'd been fooled for a minute. I'd seen the reality of marble pillars many times, and so my mind automatically put it into place where I expected to see it.

I think the same thing is true of conservative Anglicans. In the same way I was fooled by the appearance of the fake pillars, they've been fooled by the appearance of a fake church. They keep making the argument for standing and fighting for their stone bridges and not giving up. But they're not standing on a stone bridge. They're standing on a cardboard bridge, cleverly painted to look like a stone bridge. It looks solid and old and permanent, but because of its material, it can't be defended. It was never a question of the will or grit or perseverence of the defenders, though they reproach departing deserters with letting them down. They're standing on a little ornamental bridge, like those tiny wooden structures in Japanese gardens. It was never meant for holding armies and battalions; it can't take the load. And even if it doesn't collapse under the weight of people trying to use it as a fortified defence, the enemy is coming, and all he needs is a lighted match to make it all disappear.


Blogger Ellie M said...

It IS burning, Dr Mabuse. The entire edifice is burning down as we speak. We just can't hear the sound of the flames because of the loud fiddle-playing from both sides.

10:37 am  
Blogger momtat92 said...

"Network Leadership calls for patience and continued prayer - of course they do, they've got nothing else."

You mock this?? When Scripture counsels us time and time again, Dr. I ask you, What else are we to do???? When the Apostle Paul tells us time and time again in his Epistles to "Pray" in time of need, again, I ask you, What else are we to do???????

My God hears the prayers of His faithful people and works through them. How about yours!

12:32 pm  
Blogger little gidding said...

I do not mean to be uncharitable. And I do not mean to say anything about the perseverance or holiness of individual Anglicans, many of whom are quite obviously committed to the Lord, but the edifice of Anglicanism, from the very beginning with Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer, was incapable of lasting through the ages. How could it be otherwise? "In our end is our beginning."

1:28 pm  

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