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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

And the winner of The Ecclesiastical Joke of 2007

No, not this brilliant cartoon by Dave Walker - one of his many.

While others are doing their own 'retrospectives' of 2007, I find that I'm stuck here in Gigglesville with the one term that has been bandied about all this year on both sides of the aisle. 

And that term is:

"Windsor compliant."

The term comes, of course, from "the Windsor Report" which was commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury after the election and consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire. It contained several recommendations as to a way forward that wouldn't split the World Wide Anglican Communion whilst on 3+Rowan's watch.

Recommendations. They are RECOMMENDATIONS.

Suddenly, there were "Windsor Bishops" who claim to be 'compliant' with the RECOMMENDATIONS of the Windsor Report. 

Not to worry. No one pays any of the Windsor Report much attention these days, anyway. I'm convinced it was just a little something sent over from Lambeth Palace which really wanted to hijack the agenda of General Convention 2006.

We don't hear much from the "Windsor Bishops" these days. That's because the fabric of the Anglican Communion officially began to unravel when the majority of delegates of the last convention of The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, acting on the strong recommendation of their bishop, John-David Schofield, voted to leave the Episcopal Church and become part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.  

We call that 'schism', boys and girls, and that ain't no laughing matter.

Bishop Schofield officially declared himself an Anglican Bishop of the Province of the Southern Cone.  It's been 'radio silence' from 815, but the word is that the first step is an investigation by the Title IV Committee to see if there is evidence of 'abandonment of communion'.  

They certainly won't need a magnifying glass to search for clues to answer that question.

Added to all this is the fact that The Episcopal Dioceses of Ft. Worth and Pittsburgh are moving in the same direction as San Joaquin. Then, there's the actions of some of the Global South Primates who have been consecrating Episcopal priests as Anglican bishops faster than most churches baptize babies and sending them to be 'missionary bishops' to tend to the pastoral needs of disaffected orthodox in The Episcopal Churches (why they aren't made 'chaplains' is beyond me -  an obvious discussion for another time and place).

Add to all this the bizarre actions of John-David Schofield - the who has declared himself no longer an Episcopal Bishop - who went to a mission church, The Episcopal Church of St. Nicholas, Atwater, CA and seized the property there which no longer belongs to him or his diocese because he's declared himself an Anglican bishop of the Southern Cone and no longer an Episcopal bishop (did I already mention that?).

"Windsor compliant?" 

Would that these boys would be compliant with their ordination vows to the episcopacy.

What a joke!

Funny, but no one is laughing.

Except, some of us can't help but giggle at the irony of the term "Windsor compliant."


Anonymous said...

I think "Windsor Compliant" sounds like a wonderful name for a new cocktail.

hmmm... let's see...
2oz of Angostura Bitters on the rocks with a dash of Cayenne. Decorate glass with a wedge of pickled artichoke.

Just the thing for Jerusalem in the summer.

Lisa Fox said...

Very fine essay, Elizabeth. Thank you for this one.

As I see it, the Episcopal Church has been much more "Windsor-compliant" than ... say ... Nigeria. We haven't authorized any SSBs. We haven't consecrated any honestly gay bishops. We haven't crossed any provincial boundaries. Can Nigeria or Kenya or Uganda say as much? I think not!

Now ... a serious question for you as a deputy and a leader in our church: Given what we've seen of Schofield and the thievery he has tried to commit after leaving TEC, do you think there's any chance that Duncan and Iker could also be inhibited before they wreak such havoc on the Episcopal dioceses in which they currently sit?