Friday, January 11, 2008

Uhh, did I hear a decision coming out?

Newsflash: The new Anglican bishop of Ottawa, John Chapman is going to make a decision on same-sex marriages "soon" - i.e., within seven months. That's when the Lambeth Conference is taking place, coincidentally, and seems to be the point at which time runs out for any more stalling. Either because all the bills will come due then when Anglican Communion collapses, or because after that, the truth will be SO plain, all the lying and coy pretending will pay no further dividends.
"I'm really hoping that, when we have an opportunity to look each other in the eye that, somehow we will find a way through so that more traditional-minded dioceses can live together with a more liberal-minded diocese under the same roof," he said.
Typical Canadian - always at least one investment cycle behind the U.S. Unfortunately for Chapman, we've already heard this "Gaze deep into my eyes" schtick before, and better, with practised brazenness from Mrs. Schori and Gene Robinson. So it's pretty stale by now, and everyone has had several years to see the wonderful results of all these bottled scorpion fights.

I feel the same way about Chapman's chin-rubbing act as I do about voters who say they "haven't made up their mind" who to vote for when they're interviewed standing in line at the polling station on Election Day. Basically, I don't believe him. He's trying to con people into thinking that he's weighing the issues, when what he's doing is sniffing around the marketplace, hunting for a deal that will get him what he wants at the best possible price. Lambeth isn't a place for finding the truth - it's a clerical Stock Exchange, where horsetrading and hard deals are driven.

The second half of the article deals with what Chris Johnson so aptly terms The Worst Thing Ever To Happen In The History Of Christianity - the migration of conservative Anglicans to less hostile climes. Archbishop Hiltz really can't get over his outrage that Archbishop Venables is wandering over ground Fred has already peed on. The article throws in a little strange, but ominous-sounding data on the Southern Cone:
Archbishop Gregory Venables is head of the Southern Cone area of the Anglican church, which has just 27,000 Anglicans amidst 70 million people in an area with six countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay) spread across five million square kilometres. Archbishop Venables has been turning his eyes to North America, and in November, he appointed two bishops in Canada to oversee a conservative breakaway Anglican faction.
I don't know just what the point of this is - a suggestion that Venables is trying to scrounge warm bodies to get his province up to a respectable size? Is it in danger of being closed, like an Ontario parish, if it doesn't get its weekly numbers up? "The argument from bigness" as Chesterton put it, is not one that the Anglican or Episcopal churches in North America are likely to win, even if it weren't simply being crude.

You can sense the baffled fury that the Archbishop of Canterbury isn't riding to the rescue on this one.
Nevertheless, Archdeacon Feheley's ire over the South American intrusion was apparent.

"It's a sacred trust that goes back centuries, respecting territories."
Yeah, we know the drill: Blah, blah, ancient customs, blah blah blah Council of Nicea, blah blah're a regular Church of the House of Usher, aren't you, mate?

And then the interview gets positively Screwtapian:
It's confusing to people. For one to say, 'I am 100-per-cent right and you are 100-per-cent wrong, and we'll come in and take over so your people will get it right,' that's just. ..."
At which point, the Archdeacon took the form of a large centipede, and had to dictate the rest of the interview to Assistant Under-Secretary Toadpipe.
Bishop Chapman said he had heard rumours of some Ottawa parishes leaving to join parallel church structures, but so far nobody has actually done it.

"I have yet to receive any hard data. I wonder, now that things are happening, if it's more fun talking about it than acting on it."
Well, we know what your type thinks is fun, Bishop - can't wait to see the postcards this July.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. M--
I saw this sweet little Roman Catholic story in our paper and thought of you.



11:10 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Aww, that's so nice! And those people don't even attend that particular church. Great story!

7:25 am  
Anonymous Ellie M. said...

"Archbishop Venables has been turning his eyes to North America"

Because it's a mission field ripe for evangelism...

10:37 pm  

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