Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Illegal Border Crossing - Part Deux

Note: My colleague, Paul Ambos, deputy from the Diocese of New Jersey, has kindly given me permission to reprint his reflection here.

If you haven't already, do read Bishop Duncan's email immediately below.

Paul writes:

Bp. Duncan's second point is, shall we say, "disingenuous":

Bishop Duncan writes
: "The second is the notion that, even if the moratoria are held to be equally necessary, there would be some way to "freeze" the situation as it now stands for those of us in the process of separating from The Episcopal Church. The three dioceses of Pittsburgh, Quincy and Fort Worth have taken first constitutional votes on separation with second votes just weeks away. We all anticipate coming under Southern Cone this fall, thus to join San Joaquin. This process cannot be stopped -- constitutions require an automatic second vote, and to recommend against passage without guarantees from the other side would be suicidal."

Paul Responds: First of all, the constitutions of neither Pittsburgh (Art. XV) nor Forth Worth (Art. 19) (Quincy's constitution and canons are not available online)
specifically in terms "require an automatic second vote" on a constitutional amendment. As a matter of basic parliamentary procedure, no main motion(such as a motion to confirm an amendment to a constitution) is _required_ to be voted on. It may be withdrawn, amended, postponed indefinitely,referred, tabled, not reached prior to adjournment, or even never moved.

Furthermore, Bp. Duncan's history on this particular amendment is troubling. The particulars have been posted by the Rev'd Dr. James Simons, a rector "committed to orthodoxy" and a member of the Pittsburgh Standing Committee in his blog,.

Three weeks prior to the November 2007 diocesan convention he met with a group of diocesan clergy, including Fr. Simons, who specifically rejected the bishop's plan for realignment and who intended to voice their opposition at the convention.

"The Bishop asked us to do two things: first, not to speak out against the resolution and secondly, to vote for it even if we didn't want to realign. His reasoning was that a strong majority vote would provide an impetus for the Presiding Bishop's office to negotiate with him, especially over issues of property."

"Even though the group was prepared to issue a statement before the vote,stating our opposition to it, when the Bishop's request was taken back to the group we decided to honor the request. None of us spoke out against the resolution to realign, either before or during convention, and I assume that some in the group voted for it as well."

Following the convention he again met with Bp. Duncan to advise that his group needed to issue a statement opposing the plan to leave TEC. "The Bishop said he understood this and asked if we could wait until March 1st in order to provide time for him to negotiate with the Presiding Bishop's office." Shortly thereafter, Bp. Duncan was charged with abandoning the communion of the church, it became clear that no "negotiations" ever would take place, and so the twelve conservative priests issued their statement at the end of January 2008.

I cannot know if Bp. Duncan made the same request to lay representatives to vote contrary to their conscience on the 2007 constitutional amendment as he made to these clergy. To "honor" such a "request" may have been foolhardy, but to make it in the first place, particularly to clergy over whom one has authority, is reprehensible and the very opposite of "a wholesome example for the entire flock of Christ."

As Mike Russell has recently pointed out, a "fear-based ecclesiology" lacks
legitimacy in the Anglican tradition.

1 comment:

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Oh, my, I only live 70 miles from Quincy, IL (Oh, and Elizabeth, I know you being an old Bostonite want to call it "Quinzy" but out here, it's "Qwin-see") but man, it is like a whole world away.

I first learned about their issues when the two fellows who repair our organ at Trinity announced they would be moving somewhere else as they were no longer welcome in their parish. We are an Oasis congregation and that seemed soooooo incredibly foreign.

But download their diocesan newsletter sometime and be very afraid. It is like a perfectly preserved 1950's diocesan newsletter, complete with male clergy only, non-inclusive language (these "men"), and cookie baking ECW groups with no higher calling. AAAGGH!

I was thinking about that at my parish while I was wearing my Big Dog beach shorts and flip-flops!