Saturday, October 13, 2007

Diocese of Ottawa synod

The Ottawa Diocese of ACC is having its annual synod in Cornwall today. The Citizen has a front page story on the SSB question they'll be debating. The bishop is warning that HE will be the one to make the final decision, but 'he welcomes the motion because it will give him a reading of where congregants stand on the issue. "What they're doing here is getting a sense of the heart and mind of the diocese."' Of course, what he's getting is a sense of what the Synod delegates think of the motion, whoever they are.

I've no doubt that this synod will pass some weaselly form of words with a lot of "wiggle room" as the writer describes it. Anglicans are past masters at this sort of dishonesty. What struck me about the article were the quotes from the bishop on how he expects his church to find its way through these problems.
However, Bishop Chapman said in his opening speech, or charge, to the diocese, that he is adamant that this issue should not be allowed to absorb endless amounts of time and energy.

He also made it clear that he will brook no divisive activity over the matter: "Leadership that does not take its lead from the bishops and councils of the church, national and local, cannot be tolerated. Our missional strength can only be fully realized when we stay together ..." "I expect, regardless of this motion, that the clergy and people will continue their work and ministry embracing our differences rather than fretting over them ... I expect that we will behave in a manner that is classically Anglican -- a manner that not only embraces but lives the wonder of the via media (middle way). It is our gift to Christianity. We must not overlook the fact that it is also our gift to ourselves."
In other words, WE OWN YOU, just like we own the Anglican Church, and if we decide to introduce public birching during the Peace, you'll take it and LIKE it. Notice the iron fist being waved in the face of dissenters - you WILL NOT object, you WILL NOT try to get away, you WILL NOT engage in any kind of strike action whatsoever. And this hunk of dry hardtack is topped off with a nice big slab of stale lard, in the form of a hymn to that now-exploded "classically Anglican" wonder, the via media.

Well, I don't know - what's the median age of your average Anglican? Sixty-eight? How many of them even know what "right click" means? They probably don't have computers and haven't heard about what's happened in ECUSA, so this sort of outdated humbug may very well work for a while. Canada has always been a few years behind the U.S. But it's just strange to read these words, knowing how empty they are, and having already seen the path the Americans have gone down, which ACC is following. From a man who's just a few months into the job of bishop, I find it a little chilling to read such backward ideas, and think that THIS is who the Diocese of Ottawa is going to be stuck with when the hurricane hits.

UPDATE: Resolution approving of gay marriage passes, by a vote of 177 to 97.


Anonymous ellie m said...

"Of course, what he's getting is a sense of what the Synod delegates think of the motion, whoever they are."

Precisely. I have been griping about this for years now. A leftist priest takes a few hand-picked, like-minded, leftist parishioners with him/her to Synod, and the result is called "democratic."

No it isn't. Let EVERY ONE of us vote on these issues by anonymous ballot in a national plebiscite, and we'll give these ideological bullies a taste of democracy at work. But they'll never let it happen -- they might not get their own way.

12:43 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I'm not even sure how many delegates each parish is allowed to send. I couldn't find the info for the Diocese of Ottawa, but I did find it for the Diocese of Moosonee, and the formula is based on average Sunday attendance. It goes something like:

up to 40: 1 delegate
40 to 60: 2 delegates
over 60: 3 delegates

So if you're a big thriving parish with an ASA of 300, you're outvoted by 4 nearly-extinct parishes with an ASA of 15 each. And this is supposed to be democratic!

1:55 pm  
Blogger Toral said...

"Leadership that does not take its lead from the bishops and councils of the church, national and local, cannot be tolerated."

Well the national synod just recently defeated a motion to authorize/recognize the authority of bishops/dioceses to authorize SSBs. So if he was serious about taking his lead from the bishops and councils of the church he wouldn't have allowed the motion to be considered at all.

So we don't have to tolerate his leadership! That's good to know.

Now that bishops' statements from around North America are circulated around the Internet, one notices that Anglican bishops tend to lie a lot. Well, perhaps that's uncharitable. Let's just say that it's completely unsafe to assume that any statement in an episcopal utterance corresponds with reality. That's a more Anglican way to put it.


11:56 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

Dr Mabuse, I seem to recall an earlier story you posted about the Ottawa Diocese having to close up some parishes due to declining attendance.

Methinks they'll soon be closing up a lot more...

12:43 pm  
Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

Oh please. The blogosphere is *full* of conservative Anglicans. There were tears in my parish this morning, but there is also firm resolve to stay in communion with the wider Anglican church which is still Christian.

12:56 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

Heh. Kathy Shaidle gets it:

11:41 am  

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