Schori to conservatives: PWNED
At times likes this, I turn to Chesterton, who saw so clearly where all this was going to end, almost eighty years ago:
One of the events which would have made me a Catholic, if I had not already been a Catholic, was the curious affair of the New Prayer-Book. It revealed to me a reality I had not hitherto realized. There really was a Church of England; or rather there really was an England which largely imagined that it possessed and controlled a Church. But this Church was not the Church I thought I had belonged to; the keen, cultivated and sincere group of men who claimed to be Catholic. It was a much vaster and vaguer background of men; who did not believe in anything in particular, but who claimed to be Protestant. But the vital point was that, whether they claimed to be protestants or clamorously bragged of being atheists, they all seemed to have this fixed idea; that they owned the Church of England; and could turn it into a Mormon temple if they liked. I could not, in any case, have gone on being owned in that way.
It's curious that Chesterton saw the beginning of the end with the coming of the 1928 Prayer Book, which so many faithful Anglicans today look upon almost as a lifeline. (Maybe there's room to insert here Dean's joke that the Eastern Orthodox also have this problem; "They're still arguing over the '28 prayer book ...1028, that is.") But it wasn't so much in the merits of this or that prayer - it was in the way a gang of jobbers could wangle control of something central to every Anglican's life and just play games with it, and no one could stop them. The "reformers" then were still reasonably modest, and the Church stronger, so the book that resulted wasn't that bad, but the heathen wreckers in the North American churches today are the legitimate offspring of these earlier faddists.
By the way, I've finished 'That Hideous Strength', and thought it a brilliant portrait of the "Progressive Party" that has today brought TEC to ruin. The weaselly plotting, the underlying brutalism, the cynicism and crassness, even the sexual perversion - perfect. And the trails of fleeing refugees wherever these people are permitted to flourish.
Labels: Episcopal church