Sunday, July 01, 2007
Bishop Swing: Power Play Will Fail
As my former Senior Warden, a staunch Republican, theologically conservative, socially progressive gentleman (whom I adore) said about this letter in Episcopal Life from the retired bishop of California, William E. Swing, "This absolutely and clearly captures the moment."
Power Play Will Fail
Bishop William E. Swing, retired
Episcopal Diocese of California
Episcopal Life, July 2007
There was the picture in the newspaper (Sunday, May 6): Archbishop Peter Akinola and Bishop Martyn Minns. Neither was born, schooled, ordained to the priesthood in the United States nor consecrated bishop according to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. But here they were, determined to overthrow the Episcopal Church, USA, and to replace it with themselves and a small number of American colleagues.
Their aim is not to reform the Episcopal Church or to set up a permanent parallel authority. They intend to become the sole authorized Anglican presence in American. The other side of that coin is that they intend for the Episcopal Church to be cut off from the Anglican Communion and set aside.
It’s quite a bold American strategy for an Englishman and a Nigerian. In a brief time, they want to undo what it has taken many generations of Americans to build.
This is way beyond theology or scriptural interpretations. This is a naked power play that is reminiscent of colonial aspiration in other centuries. Instead of England colonizing Nigeria, we are looking at a picture of a Nigerian and an Englishman trying to colonize the United States, with their unique brand of Anglicanism from an evangelical point of view.
These two people who have not been part of a longstanding American experience smile triumphantly as they embark on a plot to take away our birthright, our heritage, our Anglican connection, our ministries to the poor, our official prayer book tradition, our schools, churches, agencies and our resources.
These two bishops and their colleagues are enjoying the first spoils that arise from our family struggle over human sexuality. But what they don’t realize is that they have touched and trampled on the taproot of our faithfulness to the mission of Jesus Christ in the United States that goes 400 years into the earth of this country. The Episcopal Church will withstand this assault from across the ocean. And our mission will endure, God being our helper.