Saturday, July 12, 2008

Next illegal diocese... Pittsburgh!

With the illegal and non-canonical establishment of PEcUSA's fake diocese of San Joaquin, you've got to start wondering if this is but the first example of yet another novel PEcUSAn precedent (demonstrating "radical welcome", inclusivity, and shalom) of replacing any "disobedient" (i.e. Christian) diocese with a new "company man." If it worked in San Joaquin, why not elsewhere?...

April 27, 2008
AP Wire

Surprise Episcopal Convention at Local Parish

Some Episcopal parishoners at Calvary Episcopal church were surprised today to find the leader of their organization, Dr. K. J. Schori, present at their 11 am service. Schori, after presiding over worship services, met in a special (and largely unexpected) diocesean convention with area Episcopalians to appoint a new bishop and standing committee for the troubled diocese.

Some parishoners expressed surprise at the announcement, of which they had received no warning. Rev. Geoffrey Chapman, a member of the standing committee, was informed about the visit via cellphone during the service's recessional hymn ("Unbreakable Union of Post-modern Anglicans") and arrived by taxi in time to raise an objection during the meeting, saying that he had never resigned from the Standing Committee and thus should not have his seat taken away from him. Several heavily-muscled deacons from the Episcopal Organization's central office muscled him out of the room before his protests could be completed. The Rev. H. Lewis, convention chair, merely said "this matter has been settled", and added, gesturing to the returning deacons, "anyone else who wishes to raise canonical or other legal concerns may address their questions to Deacon Mickey Da Finger and his associates, who will be pleased to have a conversation with their kneecaps."

When the convention secretary read a roll-call of the diocese's 74 congregations, 13 of them responded, represented by 4 clergy and 27 laity... although there was some delay caused when 25 of the 27 laity apparently forgot which parishes they were supposed to be representing and all of them demanded their promised checks to be handed over before announcing their presence and affiliation. Several of these individuals were then appointed to be the new diocesean Standing Committee.

Delegates, both clergy and laity, and nominees to diocesean office were required to sign an oath before taking up their posts. The oath read, in part, "I swear by my bank account and sex life this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to Dr. K. Jefferts Schori, F├╝hrer of the Episcopal organization and its parishes, supreme interpreter of canon law, final arbitrator of belief, quintessential designer of liturgical garb, primate of primates and most beloved of dictators, and that I shall at all times be ready, as a brave Episcopalian, to violate my conscience, my faith, Scripture, Tradition and Christian Heritage and to sacrifice all my worldly goods for this oath."

Schori then cited canon III.13.1, which states in part that "a Diocese without a Bishop may, by an act of its Convention, and in consultation with the Presiding Bishop" may be placed under another bishop's authority. "Robert Duncan is no longer recognized as a bishop of this organization because I SAID SO AND YOU HAVE SWORN UNCONDITIONAL OBEDIENCE TO ME RESISTANCE IS FUTILE YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED" screamed Schori; then, pausing to wipe spittle from the corner of her mouth, added more normally "besides, I don't like his haircut."

Turning to the matter of the new diocesean bishop, Schori said "I am pleased to announce that, late last night, a special investigatory committee cleared retired bishop Charles Bennison of all charges, and I now appoint him to be bishop of the diocese of Pittsburgh. His years of leadership, integrity and vision provide an inspiration and example that we can all admire."

She then told the convention that there is "new hope here for a church that can tolerate and even welcome diversity. Deacon Da Finger is now handing out a manual to help you recognize what sorts of diversity are to be tolerated, welcomed and celebrated... and what statements, beliefs, liturgical styles and prayerbooks require their advocates to be hunted down and slaughtered without hesitation or mercy regardless of what Scripture or the Episcopal canons might appear, to the uninitiated, to actually say."

Convention then approved a $459,000 annual budget for the diocese, a budget funded by an anonymous donation, given only with the stipulation that the diocese be renamed "The Diocese of the Glorious and Immaculate David Booth Beers." The resolution to rename the diocese passed unanimously, with the roll-call "aye" votes punctured only by the sound of Deacon Finger whacking a blackjack into his open palm.

Concluding the convention, a beaming Schori announced that the rest of the Episcopal organization "stand[s] with you in the firm and constant hope that this body will grow and flourish and bless the Pittsburgh areas in ways you have not yet dreamed of," a statement met by loud crys of "Aye!" and "Hear! Hear!" and "Heil Schori!" from a collection of cross-dressing transgendered Wiccans and Satanists gathered in the back of the room around the buffet table.

Former bishop Duncan was not available for comment.

First posted on the MCJ blog.

Will the GAFConners blink?

Even before the GAFCon meeting was over and the Jerusalem Declaration circulated, I wondered if the greatest challenge the new movement would face would concern how it "defined" itself vis a vis the "Anglican Communion" (aka Lambeth Anglican Federation) especially if, in order to be true to its principles, it would have to disassociate itself from parts of that group. And, indeed, since the Declaration was published, it is precisely along those lines that many opponents (starting with the Archbishop of Canterbury and working its way down) have criticized it.

And a real danger is both that erstwhile "supporters" of GAFCon will, when push comes to shove, not want to make that step (many "traditionalists" in PEcUSA have a 30 year history of refusing to make a break, regardless of the provocation or degree of apostasy) and that the position of the GAFConners themselves will be undermined by those who claim to "support" their position and yet refuse to leave the LAF.

In a pessimistic speculation, I posted this a week or two ago...

A PREDICTION: A possible post-GAFCON scenario.

Of far more concern (and significance on the national and global stage) than the penny-ante players are the statements and actions of someone like +Lawrence -- hailed as a GAFCON supporter and as an "anglocatholic" voice in their midst -- who had this to say about GAFCON and the Declaration:
Briefly let me say that The Jerusalem Declaration (the fourteen points in the document) affirms much of what I understand as basic Christianity as Anglicans have received it. As for the call for a North American Province to align the various judicatories of the Episcopalian diaspora, it is a noble and necessary endeavor, though it does not address any particular need that we in South Carolina have.... I am grateful that we here in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina remain in full communion with Canterbury, that most historic and prominent See of Anglicanism.
Now while this is, no doubt, not his final and definitive statement, just his initial one -- and while it admits of several interpretations -- it sure sounds like setting the stage for a "fight from within" approach.

He praises the fact that groups like the AMiA and Global South parishes get support and recognition... but sounds as if he's saying that he has no intention in joining them outside PEcUSA, since the meeting and Declaration "does not address any particular need" of himself or his diocese. In fact, his statement that

I rejoice that these brothers and sisters who have long looked for validation as “continuing” Anglicans are now recognized by important Provinces on the world stage when Canterbury, for various reasons, has been unable to do so
(note the clever attempt to muddy the waters by appropriating the "continuing" label for them) is rather misleading... as best I as I can tell, all the missions, splinter groups and individuals at GAFCON already had the "recogni[tion] by important Provinces" before the meeting was held. While a big formal announcement to that effect is no doubt encouraging and flattering, it hasn't - on that score - added anything new to the situation.

In short, ++Lawrence's comments seem to amount to:

  • I support much of the Declaration [no indication here as to what conflicts between it and theological anglocatholicism he perceives, or where he falls on those issues]
  • I'm glad these various splinter groups got affirmed by provincial authorities [though they already had this affirmation and recognition before the meeting was held]
  • GAFCON and this statement don't do anything to address the needs of me or my diocese [true enough -- there's not much that can be done for people until they're willing to dissociate from PEcUSA]
  • I prize my official recognition by the ++ABC [and, implicitly, he has no intention of ever joining a group which - regardless of what other primates say about it - isn't recognized by the leader of the Church of England]

Hardly the kind of ringing endorsement, support and participation the GAFCON folks have said they expect from leaders like +Lawrence. Of course, a I said, this isn't his last word, only his first... but it's a pretty weak and discouraging first word!

But if this pattern continues -- and we've seen it from other supposed "sympathizers" like +Wright -- then what you've got is, already, a falling off of support because of GAFCON's implicit "separatism" from both "inside" and "outside" its movement -- i.e. a falling off for support of those statements or actions which would actually DO ANYTHING DEFINITE.

And this is going to present them with the very real challenge of having to decide if they are going to hold fast to a traditional notion of "communion" -- one based on shared faith and ecclesiological compatibility -- and make a stand on that (in word and deed)... or if, realizing that this will cost them supporters both in and outside the movement, they back down and take a more ambiguous stand with vague definitions and undefined terms in an effort to please everyone.

In fact, this "try to include everyone, regardless of the facts or theology" is a real hallmark of the movement to date -- notice how so many of them treat the Continuum with contempt, insult and dismissal in day to day operations, choices, beliefs and relationships... until it's time to release a press statement. Then suddenly (and briefly), the Continuum is a fellow-fighter and valued comrade, nearly 70% of of whose members (or so the FIFNA press release tells us... though where that incredible figure came from mystifies everyone actually in the Continuum) are members and supporters of GAFCON!

So, let me make some "predictions" about one possible scenario. I'm not saying that I think this is certain to happen -- but I think it's a very real and present danger, and each statement like that of +Lawrence above make it seems increasingly likely:

The GAFCONers are going to "blink".

Or, rather, the North Americans are. The African primates, I think, will stick to their guns and hold fast to their formal rejection of PEcUSA's authority, and will continue to support their missionary efforts in the U.S. After all, this is what they've been doing for years -- the only new thing they announced at GAFCON on that score was that they were giving up trying to do so through the impotent and useless existing mechanisms of the "Communion".

But their efforts, and support for the "traditionalists" (mainly "moderate revisionists") in North America, are going -- in this prediction -- to be undermined by the "Institutionalists" and "Enablers" in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Now, no doubt, these folks will continue to praise themselves as supporters and sympathizers of the GAFCON movement and the non-PEcUSA provinces. And they will evolve some elaborate theories and new military metaphors (to go along with the nonsense of "little stone bridges") about how they are part of a "pincer movement" or something -- the "resistance from within" supporting the "defenders from without". I fully expect soon to be reading WW2 metaphores -- about how the non-PEcUSAn GAFCONers in their various jurisdictions represent the Allies, while the institutionalist GAFCON "fight from within"-ers are the loyal French, fighting a noble foxhole resistance movement from withing Nazi-occupied territory.

The problem is, of course, that this is the wrong comparison -- the accurate one is to Vichy France, kowtowing to the invasion of a foreign ideology and power (an apostate theology and false gospel) and staying within the system that supports, empowers, and legitimizes it.

Even more -- unlike the French resistance, with their raids and broadcasts from unknown hideouts -- these "fight from within"ers who claim to support GAFCON, have no such hideouts. The apostate PEcUSAn powers know exactly where they and their families live. Heck, to find +Lawrence just check the clergy directory and pick up the phone... or look for him at the buffet table at the next HOB meeting! There are no commando raids under the cover of dark these folks can pull, not with the scrutiny that will be on them; they have no "institutional power base" outside of their parishes or (in a few cases) dioceses, and that "power base" is ultimately part of apostate PEcUSA (the apostates - to mix my military metaphors - control the "high orbitals" already); and the local power base that they do have is a stationary target for (to open the floodgates to a whole galaxy of mixed metaphors) the river of apostasy to erode and the missals of apostasy to bomb. [Er, wait, not missals. That's angloatholics. "Wiccan Rite III" bombs perhaps?]

Anyway, wasn't GAFCON supposed to be D-day? No, wait, it was supposed to be Dar Es Salaam. No, wait, the Windsor Report. No, wait, Lambeth 1998. No, wait....

So what this actually means is that the "oh, I support -- hey, I'm a member of! -- GAFCON"ers who remain in PEcUSA -- and whom GAFCON will (in this prediction) refuse to disavow because they don't want to alienate anyone (well, except theological anglocatholics of course!) -- will wind up undermining much of the appeal and legitimacy of the movement, because, whatever its concerns or pronouncements, it obviously doesn't really require a break from PEcUSA.

Which, in turn, will undermine any effort to create an alternate jurisdiction in North America -- an effort already faced with grave challenges by the extreme differences of theology and praxis among its members (including things like sacramental theology and ordination). After all, if "GAFCON members" and "GAFCON supporters" are still in PEcUSA, then, even if you do set up an alternate jurisdiction, you're still split between 2 groups. And if 2, why not several? After all, there are differences on some other fundamental issues -- like WO -- which has already created such splits (the AMiA and AMiC both being Kenyan missions, one which ordains women to the priesthood, one which doesn't).

And add to this the fact that the African jurisdictions will still be "in communion" with the CoE -- or, at least, "in the Anglican Communion" with them -- and that the CoE won't have broken off communion with PEcUSA or the AcoC (but still be having meetings and panels and review committees and a "listening process") but still won't recognize any other bodies in N. America (after all, PEcUSA and the AcoC are the 2 official Lambeth groups there)... well, out the airlock goes much of the "impetus" to reform into a unified "replacement" jurisdiction to take the place of PEcUSA and the AcoC in North America. The very best you could hope for would be "parallel" Lambeth jurisdictions... which gets us back to the last point!

All in all, then, these early reactions to GAFCON present the very real possibility that the fallout of all this will be a whole bunch of fragmenting Protestant Anglican jurisdictions tracing their roots back to the GAFCON movement and the Declaration, but being in an ever-more confusing relationship with each other, with Canterbury, and with the "Anglican Communion"... and with increasingly different interpretations of (or commitment to) that Declaration.

And oh, won't it be interesting THEN -- should that happen -- to see if many of these folks can eat their years of insults against the Continuum for being fragmented, and not part of the "Anglican Communion", and not showing adequate commitment to unity, and having divisions which sometimes reflect their leader's egos or hangups on (ecclesiologically) secondary issues. Very Interesting Indeed.

Still, as I say, this is only one possible scenario -- and I'm by no means convinced that it is even the most likely one. But it is a very real possibility.

Time will tell!


Projected deposition of bishop Lawrence

Back in March, this seemed likely, and I jokingly forecast it for the weeks following the diocese of SC's objection to +Cox' and +Schofield's deposition. Now, some months later, as I copy it over to this new blog, it seems less likely.

New York, April 3, 2008
AP wire

Recalcitrant Episcopal bishop of South Carolina Deposed

In an unexpected move today, Dr. K. J. Schori, leader of the Episcopal church, announced the deposition of bishop Mark Lawrence of the Episcopal diocese of South Carolina.

"We have had reservations about this bishop and diocese for some time" said Dr. Schori. "In fact, we were quietly working on a writ of deposition based on recently-discovered clerical irregularities in his selection and ordination. However, last week's statement by his diocese disagreeing with our actions and interpretations of the canons has forced us to make this decision several months ahead of our planned schedule."

Early this week, Dr. Schori called an emergency meeting of bishops for the express purpose of taking a vote on the inhibition and deposition of Bp. Lawrence. Surprisingly, quite a few bishops claim that they never received notification of the meetings, and several others reported not receiving the bulk-rate-posted notices until two days after the emergency meeting took place. "I'm sure all the letters went into the mail" avowed Dr. Schori, conducting reporters quickly through her office where a secretary was busy shredding letters returned for insufficient postage. "I can only suggest that you investigate the inefficiencies of those dioceses' secretarial staffs to track down the purported delays."

In fact, only seven bishops actually appeared for the votes: Dr. Shori herself, Charles of Utah, Ilhoff of MD, Robinson of NH, Spong of Newark, Swing of CA and Waynwick of Indianapolis. "It just so happened," said Waynwick, "that we were in town meeting with Dr. Schori on another matter and so extended our stay to attend this emergency session of the House of Bishops. So we learned about it from in-person conversations with her, but I can't imagine why the other bishops didn't show up."

Despite the small turnout, the Episcopal church's lawyer, David B. Beers, certified that the vote was valid. Looking up from his drink at a working lunch with Dr. Schori, he said to reporters "Quorum is from the Latin 'of whom'. At this emergency meeting we had individuals all 'of whom' -- quorum -- were members of the House of Bishops. So we had a quorum. And, as the majority of them voted for this deposition, it is canonically valid. Now go away... the Episcopal church is paying for this lunch and I want another martini."

Asked if she thought that some members of the diocese of South Carolina might leave over this potentially contraversial decision, Dr. Schori replied "Well, there are always some bad apples, sure. But we've seen that the vast majority of Episcopalians really don't care about theological or ecclesiastical matters. After all, we've been steadily abandoning the Christian faith for 30 years now, and people keep showing up on Sunday and putting money in the plates. As long as weekly coffee hours aren't affected too much, Episcopalians really don't care what their church is doing, teaching, funding, or promoting. So I don't expect this vote -- this completely legal and valid vote -- to cause too much disturbance in that diocese."

"Moreover," she added, "pleased with how successful our Dennis Canon has been, we will be introducing new legislation at General Convention next year which will require any Episcopalian who wants to leave the church to pay a $100,000 fine. After all, they voluntarily associated with a hierarchical institution and have thereby forfeited the right simply to leave, as that reflects badly on our organization and can be misunderstood by the public. These perfectly legal and canonical fines should reduce the number of people leaving -- which really is very small anyway!!! -- and, even if they do, help us continue to pay for these business lunches at Manhattan's finer restaurants."

Sources informed our reporters that the new bishop and standing committee for the diocese of South Carolina have already been selected by the organization's central office, and that instructions to its members on how they should vote and what they are permitted to say at their upcoming special convention will be distributed early next week.

First posted on the MCJ blog.

Deposition of Bishop Coke Classic

Back in March, Chris Johnson of the MCJ gave us an interview with the latest innovative bishop in PEcUSA -- an empty coke bottle. Given the trends of that organization, however, it is only a matter of time and "progress" until what seems like an innovation today is revealed to be far too outmoded and conservative. Looking down the road a few years, therefore, I predict that this empty coke bottle shall eventually be deposed...

Update -- PEcUSA 2067

Today, by a majority vote of 22 to 195, bishop Cokes Classic was deposed from office by presiding bishop Dr. Pepper Lite.

In a statement released by 815, Dr. Pepper said "We can no longer accept the continued presence of 'classic' bottles in our organization. 'Classic' sodas are responsible for global warming, slavery, racism, sexism, homophobia, carnivorousness, tasteful vestments, earthquakes, fire, floods, rains of fish, tooth decay, receeding hairlines, spandex, constipation and the common cold.

"By being a 'Classic' bottle, bishop Cokes has thus sinned against what this institution stands for, and has thus been voted out of office by the 22 votes which our laywer, David Root Beers, assures me constitutes a majority according to the canons. Accordingly, effective today, Bishop Cokes Classic is no longer a member of the House of Bottles and no longer permitted to perform any ecclesiastical acts in our organization."

Reportedly, 43 members of the Episcopal church have left the organization over this latest decision -- representing a loss of 11% of the group's remaining membership. Asked about this devleopment, Dr. Pepper said "the media is focusing on only a minor percentage of our organization and blowing the issue way out of proportion. The majority of the Episcopal Church's 5 parishes in 11 countries are doing quite well and continuing to focus on spreading the word of the MDGs and sharing that good news with the world." Asked what he thought about this latest development in his church, one of the organization's few remaining members said "eh? Whazzat? Speak up, sonny! Where's my peanut?"

The United Church of Christ, Unitarians, and ELCA issued statements supporting this latest action by the Episcopal Church. Asked what the official Roman position was on these latest development in the Episcopal Church, pope Benedict XVIII said "the what? Sorry... never heard of them."

- Reuters

First posted on the MCJ blog.

Whining, Episcopal style

So, back in March, lesbian priestess Gayle Baldwin went whining to the press because the bishop of North Dakota was actually enforcing PEcUSA's own rules about not licensing open homosexuals (at least until PEcUSA gets around to officially okaying it). Unlike the rejection of Scripture, the jettisoning of the Nicene Creed, or the persecution of traditionalists to the full extent of the canons (and beyond), this particular incident (i.e. a bishop actually obeying the institution's policies) was, apparently, outrageous. Because, of course, it got in the way of the heretics and apostates. And we can't have that.

Anyway, both the nature and the mentality of the complaint got me thinking... what would any sensible parent say should their child act and argue the same way. And so I bring you, modeled on precisely the same arguments and logic:

TO: Dr. K. J. Schori, Gene Robinson, Bonnie Anderson, a religiously-clueless but knee-jerked-ly anti-establishment anti-Church anti-Christian mainstream media who will therefore publish this letter, and anyone else who likes to listen to this sort of inane narcicistic prattle.
FROM: Ima Whiner, youth member, parish of St. Ipsos.

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am writing all of you as a response to my parents' recent refusal to let me have icecream.

The reason they have refused me dessert has nothing to do with my character, nor my skills and gifts of digestion. Their so-called reason was that I failed to clean up my room as I had earlier agreed and I did not eat any of my dinner.

In refusing to let me have ice-cream, my parents are REFUSING TO RECOGNIZE MY BAPTISM, because we are all supposed to be equally children of God and are marked as "Christ's own forever"... and so therefor they obviously have no right to keep me from getting my ice cream which is promised to me in that baptism and in Scripture.

Refusal to recognize baptism is a serious matter. This is why I am writing this open letter, so that we might begin a dialogical conversation over this matter... in the hopes that my incessant whining will create such unpleasantness and fuss over this bogus silliness that my parents give up in irritated disgust, or at least so that I can keep eating my icecream while everyone is distracted by it.

I had been warned by some of my classmates that certain parents can be very oppressive over matters of nutrition and diet. By not letting me eat my ice cream, my parents have refused to recognize my individual personhood, my human dignity, my full autonomy, and my civil rights. As Martin Luther King would have said, my parents have, by refusing to let me eat my ice cream, cast me into an "I-It" relationship with them rather than an "I-Thou" relationship... and they have definitely refused my right to have the proper "ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!!" relationship that Gene Robinson has shown us all in the Episcopal church is what God really wants for us to have.

Inspired by these lessons we learned in Episcopal Sunday School, several of us formed the "Pottinghead" group, an "youth underground", freedom-fighting child-liberating movement where we have been able to partake of icecream, drugs, alcohol, indiscriminate sex, and all the other behaviors our parents -- who are thereby REFUSING TO RECOGNIZE OUR BAPTISM!!! -- have denied us.

But I have grown more and more uncomfortable with the fact that I have to sneak out of the house to go to these meetings, rather then being allowed to indulge them in the middle of the living room in front of dinner guests or out on the playground in public parks.

"Obedience", as I was taught to understand it in the context of authority in the Episcopal Church, means "obedience" to whatever I decide is my "true, inner self," as expressed by my moment-to-moment urges -- it has nothing to do with accountability objective truth, historical or scientific fact, common sense, good nutrition, or Christian teaching. Only in such sanctified self-indulgence can we find the true "ME ME ME ME ME ME ME" relationships which the Episcopal Church has taught us to prize above all things.

Only such self-love is true love... and without such love, our relationship with God is turned into "Master/Slave" or "King/Subject" or "Parent/Child" -- or even (incredible, almost incomprehensible, as it might seem) -- "Creator/Creature" relationships. And this rejects the Gospel and DENIES MY BAPTISM!!!

I have now discerned that this true "love" and "obedience" to this love -- as well as my responsibility to minister to and celebrate the similar gastronomic urges of my peers -- requires me to obey my desires for ice cream as a holy, God-given right, regardless of what my parents, Scripture, or anyone else says. So I wish to announce that, tomorrow night, I will be leading an icecream and dessert party with the Pottinghead Underground.

In order to respect my parents -- despite the fact that they are EVIL MEANIES who have DENIED MY BAPTISM!!! by refusing to give me ice cream -- I will be taking the following actions so that I will not be functioning as their child in any official capacity:

  • I will leave any i.d. with my name on it out in the car, and people will not use my last name.
  • The party will not be held on my parents' property.
  • The ice cream will be bought and brought by other youth from the parish, and so it will be "youth" ice cream and not "adult" ice cream, and so won't count as dessert.
  • The ice cream will be served on plates rather than in bowls, and so it won't really be ice cream.
  • We will be holding hands with each other while eating the ice cream, so it won't really be me eating the ice cream anyway.

May the peace of the Lord (and Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Almond Nougat) be always with you.

Hugs and kissies (at least for those of you who aren't evil meanies like my parents and thus DENYING MY BAPTISM!!!),

Ima Whiner

First posted on the MCJ blog.

General Convention 2009 -- a transcript

In the wake of the illegal depositions of +Cox and +Schofield, and with Dr. Schori making noises about deposing +Duncan, we sent one of our time-traveling agents into the future to check out what might be coming down the "Bishop Pike" Pike at PEcUSA's GC next year. Here is a transcript of the recording with which our agent returned....

THE TRANSCRIPT from a closed-session H.O.B. meeting at General Convention, 2009.

Schori: Before finishing the session, we are required to take motions from the floor. Are there any motions?

Iker: Yes, I have one.

Schori: Any motions? Anyone?

Iker: Yes, I have a motion.

Schori: No motions?

Price (quietly): Um, ma'am, we're required by the rules of order to notice his motion.

Schori (quietly): Are you sure?

Price (quietly): Yes ma'am.

Schori (quietly): Even from someone like him?

Price (quietly): I'm afraid so ma'am.

Schori (quietly): Damn. Get that fixed before the next convention. (aloud) Why, Jack, I'm so sorry... I didn't see you there. Did you have something you wished to say?

Iker: I wish to move for consideration of the Title IV matter I submitted yesterday which we deferred to today's meeting.

Schori: Oh, come on now, Jack. Surely we can deal with that some other time. There's an exhibition at the museum across the street on native South Pacific goddess cults I really wanted to see -- I think it could give us some truly inspirational ideas for future prayer book revisions, not to mention new designs to put on my mitres.

Iker: I'm sorry, but I really must insist.

Schori (disgusted): Oh, very well. Is there a second?

Duncan: I second it.

Schori: No second?

Ducan: Second!

Schori: Bob? What the hell are you doing here? We already gave you the boot... you can't second a motion...

Price (quietly): Um, ma'am?

Schori (quietly): Damn it, what is it now Ken?

Price (quietly): Um, I'm afraid that, technically, he isn't inhibited yet.

Schori (quietly): What do you mean? I thought we had that all worked out! The money I distributed for bribes and retirement packages was nearly as much as we pay Beers each month! Don't tell me we couldn't get enough votes this time?

Price (quietly): Um, well, no, we got the votes, but the paperwork hasn't been fully processed yet, so it hasn't gone into effect.

Schori (quietly): What do you mean hasn't gone into effect?

Price (quietly): Well, after the National Church ran out of money a few weeks ago, we had to let all our secretaries go. You and Beers are the only ones left on the payroll, plus the funding to Integrity of course, and you're going on half-pay next week.

Schori: WHAT?!! (quietly) Er, I mean, what?! I thought we were getting income from the Jihadist party we're renting office space to in 815.

Price (quietly): Well, yes, but the check hasn't cleared yet. So all the paperwork is in your inbox still.

Schori (quietly): I have an "in box"?!

Price (quietly): Yes ma'am. It's been there for 3 weeks now.

Schori (quietly): Damn it, Ken, you know I don't have time for that sort of stuff! I've been out doing God's work -- you know, photo-ops in fields of organic grain and guest speaking at "Just Let Gene Robinson Be The Bishop Of New Hampsire" tours and exhibitions. I don't have time for paperwork... that's what we have secretaries for!

Price (quietly): Um, we had to let them go, remember?

Schori (quietly): Damn! (aloud) Um, ah, well folks, Ken tells me I have to accept Bob's second after all... (quietly) that worthless Bible-believing piece of.... [inaudible on transcript]

Duncan: Thank you.

Iker: I would like to draw the House's attention to the items in Appendix C from yesterday's agenda, pages 126-134.

Waynick: Objection! Out of order!

Schori: Aha! Can we dismiss the motion?

Iker: What do you mean, out of order, Cate?

Waynick: My pages are out of order. I've got page 132 before page 131!

Schori (quietly): Does that count?

Price (quietly): I'm afraid not.

Schori (quietly): Damn!

Iker: Um, riiiiight. Sorry about that. I guess the staff reductions have led to some inefficiency. Or maybe page 132 was feeling liberated. Anyway, I bring again before the House the matter of illegal and unauthorized diocesean boundary crossings last year by Elizabeth Kaeton and the other five individuals, documented in those papers.

Robinson: Objection!

Schori: Yes Gene?

Robinson: No one has mentioned my name or sympathized with my pain for almost ten minutes now. I just want to be the bishop of New Hampshire!

Schori: I'm so sorry, Gene. We feel your pain. Really, we do. (quietly) Ken, could you get security to slip him another sedative please?

Price (quietly): Yes ma'am.

Iker: Right. Um, where was I? Oh yes. The individuals mentioned in the brief entered several dioceses, including my own, and performed pastoral acts without the permission of the local bishops. Accordingly...

Schori: NO they didn't!

Iker: Um, yes they did. We have signed statements, newspaper reports, and videotapes from over 30 incidents in five dioceses...

Schori: Oh, facts... those don't matter. I'm talking about the higher spirit and deeper truth of the matter! And in that sense they didn't cross diocesean boundaries because we are all one without boundaries or divisions... well, except for you Bob.

Ackerman: Hang on, these are exactly the same charges on which Bishop Cox was deposed last year... except in that case, he was visiting parishes in a different jurisdiction and with the express permission of the local bishop. Here it was crossing boundaries in the same jurisdiction and without such permission. How is this not even worse?

Duncan (quietly): If the canon fits, you can't acquit?


Schori: Look, Keith, that's a totally different situation!

Ackerman: How is it different?

Schori: Bill was going off to minister to a congregation and jurisdiction which doesn't like the Episcopal Church. So they're the bad guys. We can't have our membership giving aid and comfort to the enemy...

Ackerman: Bad guys? The Province of Uganda is still a member of the Anglican Communion...

Schori: Nonsense! They's not the real church in Uganda!

Iker, Ackerman, Duncan: Excuse me?!!

Schori: They don't approve of homosexual activity, so last year we secretly sent over several bishops to start up several "bath-house churches" to be the real Anglican...

Price (quietly): Shhhh!

Schori (quietly): What?

Price (quietly): We're not supposed to say anything about that until Integrity's announcement in September!

Schori (quietly): Oh, right. Damn. (aloud) Um, scratch that. Um... I meant to say, um... ah! That the dioceses Elizabeth visited were violating the civil rights of women by not adequately celebrating women's ordination, and so boundary-crossing actions were true to the spirit of the Gospel as we've defined it and so they can't be criticized for it.

Iker: That's not what the canons say.


[conflicting voices... general noise. 30 seconds before order is restored and the recording becomes clear again.]

Schori: Um, yes. Er, what I meant to say was that the foolish "respect" for the "minority position"...

Ackerman: You mean the clear sense of Scripture and 1900 years of explicit Christian teaching and practice... that minority position?

Schori (louder): ... the minority position opposing women's ordination for which we promised toleration as part of the "listening process" to con the traditionalist into tolerating innovation was, as you know, revoked in 1995 because by then we had the votes to force the revisionism on everyone. So your refusal to accept this new teaching of the church means that it is, in fact, you, not Elizabeth, who should be brought up on charges and...

Duncan: Objection!

Schori: What? I thought you supported that particular abandonment of orthodoxy with us, Bob?

Duncan: The issue at hand is not about Keith or Jack's theological beliefs, but about whether or not Elizabeth Keaton's illegal boundary-crossing should get her deposed.

Iker: Right. So I call for a vote on my motion.

Ackermann: Second!

Schori (quietly): Damn! (aloud) Oh, okay, okay. All in favor of censuring or deposing our good and visionary friend Elizabeth?

[Several calls of "aye"]

Schori: All opposed?

[Many calls of "nay"]

Schori: The nays have it. Motion defeated. Now, can we please...

Ackermann: I call for a roll-call vote!

Iker: Second!

Schori: A what?

Price (quietly): Um, they want to get everyone's votes on record.

Schori (quietly): Can they do that?!

Price (quietly): I'm afraid so.

Schori (quietly): Damn. (aloud) Um, it's obvious that the majority opposed it, Keith, do we really need...

Ackerman: I'm afraid I must insist. I would like everyone's votes on record.

Schori: Oh, alright al...

Price (quietly): Ma'am?

Schori (quietly): Now what?

Price (quietly): Um, this could be bad. I mean, if we actually get something on record, it could make it harder for some bishops to continue to con money out of their wealthy, elderly head-in-the-sand parishoners by pretending it's "all happening somewhere else"... and you know how tight money is getting...

Schori (quietly): Damn it. (aloud) One moment, gentlemen. (quietly) Get me David on the phone. He'll get us out of this!

Price (quietly): Okay, one sec... good thing he's on speed dial.... [on phone] Yes, hi, is David in? ... No, just for a minute... Thanks... Hi, Dave? This is Ken.... Yeah, fine, thanks. Listen, real quick: we're trying to avoid a roll-call vote and... oh, you have? ... You're sure? ... Great, thanks! -click-

Schori (quietly): Well?

Price (quietly): We're in luck. He said he keeps a copy of the canons and procedures in the bathroom and just happened to be looking over them yesterday.

Schori (quietly): Really? In his bathroom? Why?

Price (quietly): He said something about being out of toilet paper... I dunno, I didn't quite follow. Anyway, he said we can check ensure we have a quorum before doing the roll-call vote.

Schori (quietly): Will that work?

Price (quietly): I dunno. Worth a shot.

Schori (quietly): Great, let's...

Price (quietly): Oh, and we owe Dave another $159,400 for his time.

Schori (quietly): No problem... make a note to close down and sell off another parish property. Something from Illinois this time, I think.

Price (quietly): right.

Schori (aloud): Sorry about that delay. Um, right, so we'd be glad to do a roll-call vote...

Ackerman, Duncan, Iker: Really?!!!

Schori: ... but first we have to ensure we have a quorum for the roll-call vote to be valid.

Duncan: Didn't we last determine that a quorum is 13 bishops? Or was that a majority? I think there are more than 13 of us here...

Schori: No, I'm sorry, for something this serious we have to have a quorum of all members entitled to vote. This isn't something obvious like kicking anglocatholics and other traditionalists out. We have to do this one by the numbers.... Ken, do you have a headcount yet?

Price (quietly): Um, I'm afraid we're in trouble. We have exactly enough people here... we may have to do the roll call. Which means these votes could go on record, and that would be bad for some of...

Dixon: Um, excuse me...

Schori: Yes, Jane?

Dixon: Um, Gene appears to have passed out over here!

Schori (quietly): I guess those seditives finally kicked in...

Price (quietly): Um, ma'am... this means...

Schori (quietly): Got it! (aloud) Um, sorry folks, I'm afraid with Gene inexplicably incapacitated, we no longer have the necessary quorum for Jack's roll-call vote. The voice vote will just have to stand. No censuring of Elizabeth for her visionary and courageous witness against the voices of oppression. Now, can I have a motion to adjourn?

Dixon: Let's adjourn!

Harris: Second!

Schori: Meeting adjourned! (quietly) Thank Gaia! Well, I'm off to see that exhibit. Some of the photos have already given me some great ideas about new vestments...

First posted on the MCJ blog.

Radical Welcome - Episcopal Style

"Radical Welcome". Yeah... that's just got to be an Episcopal thing, doesn't it? It even encodes its own subtext... "Welcome Radicals" -- or, more accurately, "[Only] Radical[s] Welcome".

Anyway, you can see just where this sort of thing is leading....

Sunday, April 6, 2008
Philadelphia, PA

Prince of Darkness attends Episcopal Seminar

In a move that suprised some observers, Satan, Prince of Darkness, Fallen Angel, and C.E.O. of Hell Inc. (tm) yesterday attended a seminar entitled "Radical Welcome" at Christ church, Episcopal, here in Philadelphia.

"We were delighted by this distinguished individual's presence" said Susan Richardson, assistant minister and organizer of the event. "Historically, demonic powers have been among those constituencies marginalized by the Church, so this visit was not only a special personal treat for me but was also of profound symbolic significance for our whole community."

Ms. Richardson went on to explain how the Episcopal church's program of transformation over the last 40 years has, in fact, worked in close consultation with the powers of Hell and Everlasting Damnation. "However, this is the first event," she gushed, "which one of our new allies has attended in person, and I take great pride in the fact that it was a meeting centered upon our organization's themes of 'welcome' and 'inclusivitiy' which was so honored." She quickly added that she "confidently expects" more and more Episcopal functions over the coming months and years to be openly attended by fallen angels.

The first physical appearance of a demonic minion at an Episcopal event was, in fact, supposed to have occured at a recent Episcopal synod (in a panel entitled "The 2020 Task Force: New Directions") however Dr. Shori, the ecclesial organization's leader, requested that the appearance and panel be delayed, lest too much attention be drawn to the details of that meeting, which was taking the "radically welcoming" step of illegally deposing two of its members.

"We were happy to respect Dr. Schori's request to delay my appearance" smiled the visiting devil. "We in Hell have no desire to distract from the laudable progress which has been made by the Episcopal church in recent decades... and, of course, though not there in person, I was there in spirit, as I have been at many of its meeting and conventions."

Yesterday's all-day seminar -- entitled, "Radical Welcome – Welcoming Transformation" -- included sessions entitled "Welcoming Other Faiths"; "Welcoming the Transgendered"; "Cows and You: How to Greet without Methane"; "Welcoming the 'New Thing'"; "The Welcoming and Transforming Power of Labyrinths"; "Greeting the goddess" and, reported to be Satan's favorite, "Transforming the Faith."

In a gesture which Ms. Richardson described as "emblematic of the welcoming nature of Episcopal church", Lucifer, the Fallen One, was asked to address the congregation at Christ church this morning in place of the usual Sunday sermon. "I wasn't bothered by his presence at all" said Leslie Cartwright, a long-time parishoner. "What he preached didn't sound any different from what we usually hear from our pulpit... I think he fits right in to our parish family and we felt quite at home. He even" she added, blushing, "requested the recipe for my devil's food cake at coffee hour afterwards."

Asked whether the rumors of his plans to seek ordination in the Episcopal church are true, Satan declined to comment, saying only that his busy schedule would preclude any full-time enrollment, at least until the new Episcopal seminary in the city of Dis is completed. "After that... well, we'll see" he said, before disappearing back to the Great Pit in a brimstone-scented flash of fire.

The vestry of Christ church is reportedly looking forward to the growth of its parish membership by an influx of Satanists, as they learn of this special appearance by their Dire Master and Foul Ruler. "The ongoing litigation being forced upon our church is quite expensive" confessed Ms. Richardson. "As satanists often are single and have extra disposable income from their hobbies of murder, blackmail and theft, we look forward to the pledges from these new members helping us meet our fiscal goals to the diocese and national church... and, of course, in helping us spread our transforming message of radical 'Shalom'."

First posted on the MCJ blog.

The Bovine Primate

The Presiding Individual's Easter Message was just too rich in possibilities. Here's another satire from back then:

Episcopal Church Center
New York; April, 2053

Today, by a 5:3 margin, the Episcopal House of Bishops appointed the first non-human as a Presiding Bishop in the Canturbury Anglican Communion.

"This is a great day for the Christian World" said retiring chief executive Jim McGreevey. "For centuries the Judeo-Christian tradition had denied equal civil, employment, and sexual rights to its non-human brothers and sisters. Today, we in TEc take a bold step to right that wrong."

An official statement relased by TEc, concerning the appointment, read "there is nothing sinful about being non-human. Accordingly, there is no impediment to ordaining a non-human. Moreover, though the Canturbury Anglican Communion is still engaged in discernment concerning the morality of sexual intimacy with non-humans, we are exercizing our 'local option' to permit this ordination, without prejudice to that on-going listening process."

Observers confidently predict that the quality of the Presiding Bishop's easter messages can, with the new administration, only improve over what they have been in recent decades.

Asked for a statement after the ceremony, the new presiding bishop said: "MOO!"

First posted on the MCJ blog.

Presiding Administrator's Easter Message

The Presiding Administrator’s Easter 2008 message - DECODED

Your Easter celebration undoubtedly has included lots of physical signs of new life—eggs, flowers, new green growth.
Because you’re an Episcopalian, it certainly won’t include going to church… or, if it does, hearing anything about Christianity if you do.
As the Easter season continues, consider how your daily living can be an act of greater life for other creatures. How can you enact the new life we know in Jesus the Christ?
The “easter living” and “new life” which is, of course, the United Nations’ MDGs. That’s what it’s all about after all… read on. The “new life” certainly isn’t that of the Episcopal church, which is shrinking faster than any other denomination in the U.S. and which is actively replacing the life-generating love of marriage with sterile homoeroticism and murderous abortion.... but never mind all that… just keep chanting “MDG… MDG...”
In other words, how can you be the sacrament, the outward and visible sign, of the grace that you know in the resurrected Christ? How can your living let others live more abundantly?
After all, it is _you_ who are and does sacraments, not God. It is _your_ living—not His… er, sorry, _its_—which is the center of the Easter message.
The Judaeo-Christian tradition has been famously blamed for much of the current environmental crisis, particularly for our misreading of Genesis 1:28 as a charge to “fill the earth and subdue it.”
In case you missed such “famous” blaming, check out some of my other fine lectures.
Our forebears were so eager to distinguish their faith from the surrounding Canaanite religion and its concern for fertility that some of them worked overtime to separate us from an awareness of “the hand of God in the world about us,” especially in a reverence for creation.
And in fact—hmmm… maybe this is why I mention this point—people still do that today, thinking that Christianity is “true” or “better”. Look at all these silly un-modern “witch doctor"-like so-called “orthodox” these days who are actually so presumptuous as to claim Christianity reveals unique truth.
How can we love God if we do not love what God has made?
Remember: start with the fallen and corrupt creature… and then make God in that image. It’s so much easier that way. Imagine and then love God only insofar as He—er, sorry, it—matches our desires. Don’t love Creation for the sake of its Creator. That’s much more inconvenient.
We base much of our approach to loving God and our neighbors in this world on our baptismal covenant.
That’s the _new_ baptismal covenant, mind you, with the innovation of its 60s-ideology secular-humanist “justice” trumping all that depressing talk about sin, repentence, forgiveness, and faith.
Yet our latest prayer book was written just a bit too early to include caring for creation among those explicit baptismal promises.
… but don’t worry. We’ll be fixing that soon enough. We’ll be getting rid of some more of its inconvenient religious baggage at the same time too.
I would invite you to explore those promises a bit more deeply—where and how do they imply caring for the rest of creation?
Er, that would be “those promises” as I’ve just redefined and rewritten them mind you—this environmentalist stuff—not what the text actually says. But that shouldn’t be any problem for you… we’ve been teaching our clergy (and you) to do that with the Bible for over 30 years now.
We are beginning to be aware of the ways in which our lack of concern for the rest of creation results in death and destruction for our neighbors.
Of course, the few of you who have read the first chapters of Genesis might just notice that this isn’t a new idea… but, then again, those of you who actually read and believe the Bible will have left the Episcopal church years or decades ago, so that’s not really a concern for me, now is it?
We cannot love our neighbors unless we care for the creation that supports all our earthly lives. We are not respecting the dignity of our fellow creatures if our sewage or garbage fouls their living space.
Of course, the same might well be said about this sermon… and everything produced by the HOB.
When atmospheric warming, due in part to the methane output of the millions of cows we raise each year to produce hamburger, begins to slowly drown the island homes of our neighbors in the South Pacific, are we truly sharing good news?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, _this_ is the Easter message… _this_ is what Christ (and, of course, Muhammad and Buddah and Confucious and John Lennon) came to save us from.... (drum roll please)… COW FARTS!!!
The food we eat, the energy we use, the goods and foods we buy, the ways in which we travel, are all opportunities—choices and decisions—to be for others, both human and other. Our Christian commitment is for this—that we might live that more abundant life, and that we might do it in a way that is for the whole world.
Yup… _that’s_ our Christian commitment. Environmentalism. MDGs. Please stand by as we update your Prayer Book accordingly.
Abundant blessings this Easter, and may those blessings abound through the coming days and years.
Just don’t eat meat. Or drive SUVs. Or read your Bible or believe in Christianity. Or we’ll have to charge and expell you under Title IV or our new and improved canon law.

Have a nice day.

(Please find enclosed the latest draft of our new Canaanite easter liturgy.)

First posted on SFiF
, before I was banned there for being too articulately traditional and catholic... as have quite a few other anglocatholics.

Episcopal church condems mathematics

Back in March, Dr. Schori arranged for the depositions of bishops Cox and Schofield with a novel interpretation of the canons under which, as Chris Johnson on the MCJ blog pointed out, a "majority of bishops eligible to vote" could be re-defined as 21%.

In celebration of this novel interpretation, I bring you the following item of interest:

Breaking News

The Episcopal church announced today that it has determined that mathematics is contrary to its mission and the "new thing" it is doing, and so is to be excluded from all further Episcopal deliberations and judgements.

"Mathematics, with its insistence upon right and wrong, true and false, is contrary to the true meaning of Christianity" said Dr. Schori, the organization's leader, in an afternoon press conference. "Christianity is about love, acceptance and inclusivity... and saying that one answer is 'right' and another is 'wrong' goes against that spirit, and against everything we in the Episcopal church preach."

She continued: "these outmoded concepts of 'truth' and 'logic' were foolishly adopted by the Judeo-Christian tradition, and help explain that tradition's culpability for environmental warming, global pollution, overpopulation, and premature hair loss. If the Jews had simply listened to their Caananite neighbors or Christians to the Gnostic so-called heretics, we wouldn't be having any of these problems today."

One reporter asked how her message of inclusivity and tolerance is compatible with her organization's continued and growing persecution of its few remaining members who uphold the Christian faith. She replied "we cannot permit within our organization people who are intolerant. Those who claim that there is a 'right' and 'wrong' -- that the Scriptures or Creeds are objectively 'true' or that some behavior is 'sinful' -- are both mistaken and seditious. Their opinions are wrong and we cannot tolerate them any longer."

When a follow-up question pointed out the apparent illogic and inconsistency of her words, actions, and usage of the organization's own cannons, she replied "it is precisely that kind of mathematical, 'logical' thinking which has led us to our long overdue declaration that mathematics is no longer welcome in the Episcopal church."

First posted on the MCJ blog.

Deposition of the pope by Dr. Schori

In celebration of Dr. Schori's pleading of a "scheduling conflict" to avoid the reception by the pope of American religious leaders in New York this past April, I bring you:

-- Office of the Supreme Leader, Fuhrer, and Executive Autocrat
Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Oddly Mitred Person and Gorilla

Announcement of the Deposition of Pope Benedict XVI

The Title IV Review Committee having certified to me on April 19, 2008 pursuant to Canon IV. 1(1) of the Hermetic-Samaratine Corpus of the Secret Laws of Episcopal church (whose glorious contents are known only to those initiated into the mysteries of the goddess under the aegis of Simon Magus by archierophant Beers) that the Rt. Rev. Joseph Alois Ratzinger, sometimes known as Benedict the XVI, bishop of Rome, has abandoned the communion and teaching of this organization; and the three senior individuals of my personal coffee & martini klatch (the Rt. Rev B. Harris, the Rt. Rev. J. Spong and the Rt. Rev. V. G. Robinson) having consented to this inhibition on that same day, I hereby inhibit the said Bishop Ratzinger and order that from and after April 19, 2005, he cease and desist from exercising the gifts of ordination and ministry; and pursuant to Canon IV.15 of that same Hermetic legal corpus, I pronounce him deposed and order that he cease and desist such acts in any jurisdiction, country, monastery, pub, auditorium, sports arena, or ecclesial location.

I further order and decree that, pursuant to Canon IV.23a and to the Denis Canon, that all monies, properties, parishes, buildings, endowments and any other temporal or secular possessions heretofore belonging either to his see of Rome or to any diocese, religious house or institution which owes affiliation to that see is now forfeit to the Episcopal Organization and I direct that all titles, funds, leases, liens and endowments be transfered forthwith to this office after which transfers, pursuant to section 23b of that same canon, I direct him to cease and desist exercise of all matters temporal as well.

I call upon this former bishop of Rome, now deposed, to apologize to the world for being accused of supporting Nazism, for belittling Islam, for denigrating European secularism, for causing global warming, for eating beef, for rejecting homosexualism and women's ordination, for encouraging prayer, for having nicer vestments than I do, and for upholding Christian teaching.

I hereby direct that notice of this Inhibition and Deposition be expiditiously sent to the college of Roman cardinals, Louis Crew, the New York Times, the Ecumenical Patriarch (you're next, mister!), the Dalai Lama, Barbara Streisand, Muqtada al-Sadr and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may-he-live-forever-and-be-blessed-with-1000-camels.

Katharine J. "Kitty Cat" Schori
a.k.a. Donnette Schorlione
Presiding Administrator of the Episcopal Organization
Revered and fully-participating member of the Canturbury Anglican Communion.

First posted on the MCJ blog

Affirmation vs. Declaration

For those who are interested in how GAFCON's Jerusalem Declaration compares to the Continuing Church's Affirmation of St. Louis, here are some main points:


1. Continuing Anglicanism

We, being moved by the Holy Spirit to walk only in that way, are determined to continue in the Catholic Faith, Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship and Evangelical Witness of the traditional Anglican Church, doing all things necessary for the continuance of the same. We are upheld and strengthened in this determination by the knowledge that many provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion have continued steadfast in the same Faith, Order, Worship and Witness.... We affirm our continued relations of communion with the See of Canterbury and all faithful parts of the Anglican Communion.

We cherish our Anglican heritage and the Anglican Communion and have no intention of departing from it.

2. Rejection of Apostasy

We affirm that the ACoC and the PECUSA, by their unlawful attempts to alter Faith, Order and Morality (especially in their General Synod of 1975 and General Convention of 1976), have departed from Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church... We affirm that all former ecclesiastical governments, being fundamentally impaired by the schismatic acts of lawless Councils, are of no effect among us, and that we must now reorder such godly discipline as we strengthen us in the continuation of our common life and witness... We affirm that the claim of any such schismatic person or body to act against any Church member, clerical or lay, for his witness to the whole Faith is with no authority of Christ&'s true Church, and any such inhibition, deposition or discipline is without effect and is absolutely null and void.

We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

3. Lordship of & Salvation through Christ

In the firm conviction that “we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,” and that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved,” and acknowledging our duty to proclaim Christ’s saving Truth to all peoples, nations and tongues, we declare our intention to hold fast the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith of God.

We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

4. Authority of Scripture

We repudiate all deviation of departure from the Faith, in whole or in part, and bear witness to these essential principles of evangelical Truth and apostolic Order: (1) The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and the authentic record of God’s revelation of Himself, His saving activity, and moral demands—a revelation valid for all men and all time.

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation.

5. The Three Creeds

...(2) The Nicene Creed as the authoritative summary of the chief articles of the Christian Faith, together with the “Apostles’ Creed, and that known as the Creed of St. Athanasius to be “thoroughly received and believed” in the sense they have had always in the catholic Church.

We uphold… the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

6. Marriage

The God-given sacramental bond in marriage between one man and one woman is God’s loving provision for procreation and family life, and sexual activity is to be practiced only within the bonds of Holy Matrimony.

We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family.

7. Ecumenicism—though Affirmation is clearer in what the essentials are, they both state that ecumenical relations are based on such standards:

The continuing Anglicans remain in full communion with the See of Canterbury and with all other faithful parts of the Anglican Communion, and should actively seek similar relations with all other apostolic and catholic Churches, provided that agreement in the essentials of Faith and Order first be reached.
(N.B. Once the CoE started ordaining women, it no longer met, from the Continuing perspective, the requirement of agreement on “essentials of Faith and Order”.)
We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.


1. Ecumenical Councils—Affirmation accepts all seven; the Declaration only four.

...(3) The received Tradition of the Church and its teachings as set forth by “the ancient catholic bishops and doctors,” and especially as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church, to the exclusion of all errors, ancient and modern.

We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils… as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

2. Thirty-nine Articles—for the Affirmation, these are less authoritative than the Creeds, Councils and the patristic consensus; for the Declaration, they come second only to Scripture:

In affirming these principles [Scripture, Creeds, Councils etc] we recognize that all Anglican statements of faith and liturgical formulae must be interpreted in accordance with them.

We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.

3. Historic and traditional norms of Scriptural interpretation are “required” by the Affirmation, merely to be “respected” by the Declaration.

We acknowledge that rule of faith laid down by St. Vincent of Lerins: “Let us hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all, for that is truly and properly Catholic.”

The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

4. Liturgical Norms

In the continuing Anglican Church, the Book of Common Prayer is (and remains) one work in two editions: The Canadian Book of 1962 and the American Book of 1928. Each is fully and equally authoritative. No other standard for worship exists.

We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

5. Ordination—Affirmation explicitly defines the clergy with apostolic succession and the Eucharist, rejects lay presidency, and requires a male-only clergy; Declaration only speaks of “historic succession” (could mean the same thing of course) and doesn’t forbid W.O. or lay presidency:

The Holy Orders of bishops, priests and deacons as the perpetuation of Christ’s gift of apostolic ministry to His Church, asserting the necessity of a bishop of apostolic succession (or priest ordained by such) as the celebrant of the Eucharist—these Orders consisting exclusively of men in accordance with Christ’s Will and institution (as evidenced by the Scriptures), and the universal practice of the catholic Church.

We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

First posted on SFiF before I was banned there for being articulately anglocatholic (like so many other anglocatholic former members).


Similarities: the first thing to notice about these similarities, laudable as they are, is that they are very basic. Other than the commitment to the Anglican Communion (point 1), there is nothing here which any minimally Christian organization (Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox) could not agree with. (Much of the Anglican Communion in the first world, of course, therefore will have trouble with those points, but that should come as no surprise by now.)

The similarity of the language desiring to remain in the Anglican Communion (aka the Lambeth Anglican Federation) is noteworthy. Remember, the Continuing Church movement only intended -- for the sake of remaining faithful Christians as well as Anglicans -- to break away from apostate PEcUSA, not from the Anglican Communion as a whole. But the Anglican Communion chose not to disassociate itself from PEcUSA's apostasy but, at least in many places, to follow it. Those who are confident that the same won't happen again should take heed to this history and plan accordingly. Keeping the "GAFCon movement" within the "Anglican Communion" may prove to be more difficult than some think... and some of the "institutionalist" reactions to GAFCon in the days and weeks after that meeting should increase these concerns.

Among the differences between the Affirmation and the Declaration is how the Affirmation is a much more robust and comprehensive statement of basic norms. The Affirmation, for examples, mentions the sanctity of life -- the Declaration, by contrast, takes no position (implicit or explicit) on pressing issues such as abortion. Of course, this merely indicates that the framers of the Affirmation chose to address a slightly larger range of basic concerns than the Declaration; I mention it just to point out a difference between the documents, not as a criticism of the Declaration.

But by far the biggest difference between the two is how firmly the Affirmation remains in the Anglican catholic tradition and how aggressively the Declaration departs (at least implicitly) from it. At every point at which the Declaration had to chose between the catholic and protestant traditions it chose the protestant.

This self-consciously protestant identity is clear in the points of difference mentioned above. The Affirmation affirms the normative interpretive authority of Tradition; the Declaration does not. The Affirmation recognizes all seven Ecumenical Councils; the Declaration does not. The Affirmation acknowledges the primary authority of Scripture and the Tradition of the undivided Church over subsequent formularies; the Declaration, by contrast, elevates the 39 Articles to a confessional status they have never had in any Anglican church (except, at least nominally, in the Church of England) by making them second only to Scripture in binding authority. And while the Affirmation sets forth the balanced 1928 BCP as a liturgical norm, the Declaration reaches back to chose the most protestant option among the BCPs, making the 1662 book its norm. And, of course, while the Affirmation explicitly rules out both women's ordination and lay presidency at communion, the Declaration (whose supporters include those who practice the first and are, at least, open to the possibility of the second) does not.

In short, the Declaration is implicitly setting up norms of an angloprotestant belief which looks to be, at best, only grudgingly tolerant of any sort of "theological anglocatholicism". (By which I mean an anglocatholicism which holds to the traditional norms of Faith and Order outlined in the Affirmation, not the "liturgical anglocatholicism" of mere high-church worship or the "false anglocatholicism" of the so-called 'Affirming Catholics' in England.)

I'm not the only one who immediately noticed this clear protestant bent. From within the ranks of the GAFCon supporters, bishop John Rodgers of the AMiA notes:
any very important matters were not directly addressed at GAFCON, in the Statement or in the Jerusalem Declaration. This by no means relegates matters such as the status of 5th, 6th and 7th Councils, the ordination of women, the form of the Anglican Communion, abortion, the nature of and conflict with militant Islam, our relation to the persecuted Church etc. to secondary issues. There are serious issues and differences among the fellowship of confessing Anglicans that must and will be faced. It will not be easy, nor will solutions be sudden, nor can we be absolutely certain that some will not, in the end, decide they must walk apart.

And Archbishop Haverland of the ACC has likewise commented:
GAFCON produced a now widely published statement which does not address the innovations that led to the formation of our own Continuing Church in 1976-8: namely the ‘ordination of women’, a new and radical Prayer Book, and a pro-abortion policy.
Some anglocatholic observers are even more critical.

Obviously, the GAFCon ramifications are not yet over... it remains to be seen what the coming months bring, as well as the promised follow-up meetings. Nevertheless, from what we've seen so far, it should be increasingly clear to those few theological anglocatholics who still remain either in the Lambeth Anglican Federation or in GAFCon circles that the future of a genuine anglocatholicism -- if any -- does not lie in those affiliations, but rather among those Anglicans who maintain the traditional Anglicanism which was affirmed (not created) in the Affirmation of St. Louis.

Vicky Gene Robinson Empathy Center

Chris Johnson on the MCJ brought to my attention PETA's proposed Lobster Empathy Center.

Since leftist Episcopalians can be at least as nutty as leftist PETA members, I suggest they take this idea and run with it, by forming the:

Vicky Gene Robison Empathy Center

The Episcopal Center announced today that, in conjunction with PETA, they will be opening the "Vicky Gene Robinson Empathy Center" this September.

"We really want people to understand the pain and personal ordeals of this simple country bishop from New Hampshire" said Dr. K. J. Schori, leader of the Episcopal organization. "If people could only sympathize with his suffering, the Anglican Communion would just be one big happy family and kick out Bob Duncan."

The Gene Robinson Empathy Center will, designers say, include simulations of book deals, speaking tours, receipt of checks for royalty and appearance fees, sympathetic and fawning journalistic interviews, resort trips to HOB meetings funded by selling off empty parish buildings, tea with the Ian McKellen, three complementary pairs of rainbow colored dress shoes and, in a grand finale, an all-expense paid trip for two to the Gold Coast of Southern France... six days and nights in the honeymoon suite of the luxurious Palais de Lavande overlooking some of the finest nude beaches in Europe; dine in our five star restaurant and spend the night at our casinos and theaters before retiring to take advantage of your suite's triple-sized jacuzzi and complementary minibar.

Bullet-proof jackets are provided to visitors at no extra charge.

Star Blech - Episode 11.3

In celebration of the Presiding Individual's response to the recent GAFCon meeting, I bring you the latest installment (the first written, but perhaps not the first chronologically) of....

The GAFCon Encounter

CUE "Star Blech" music and opening sequence.

: "Space. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Episcobaal... its five-year missional: To explore strange new doctrines. To seek out new faiths and new ritualizations. To boldly go where no church has gone before." [swell music]

SCROLL TITLE: "Episode 11 - The GAFCON Encounter, part 3"

LT. ANDRUS (looking at screen): "Wait, that's not a moon... that's a space station!"

MR. SPORK (turning in chair): "It is as we feared, captain..."

CPT. SCHORI (loudly): "PRIMATE!"

SPORK: "... um... Primate Schori. They managed to get the GAFCON station off the ground after all."

SCHORI: "How could they? We mined that whole area with Photon Media-pedos to destroy their credibility. You said that would keep them grounded!"

SPORK: "It would have, captain..."


SPORK: "... but they used the Internet to get past the mines."

SPORK (fists upraised, "Khan"-gesture): "VIRTUE!!!!!"

LT. PRICE (from communications)
: "Captain?"


PRICE: "I'm getting some strange emissions from the GAFCON station. Er, on the GAFCON station. Um, about GAFCON. I mean..." (wipes brow, starts again) "The GAFCON station is emitting the GAFCON statement on the GAFCON station, ma'am."

SCHORI: "What do they say?"

PRICE: "They've announced they no longer recognize our jurisdiction in this sector of space."

[Loud PPPTHPP noise... Price pulls of headphones in pain.]

PRICE (whitefaced)
: "And.... they've blown us a raspberry!" (Shocked looks on all bridge crew)

[Beeping noises from Spork's console]

SPORK: "Captain?"

SCHORI (hopping up and down, waving her arms, orangutan-style): "PRIMATE!!!!!!"

SPORK: "Another ship is coming into range. It's the flagship Canterbabble!"

SCHORI (aside to Dr. Beers)
: "About time too. Do you realize how much money we've sent them?"

PRICE: "The Canterbabble is firing on GAFCON. It's hitting them with a statement of its own!"

SCHORI: "Any effect?"

SPORK: "Too soon to tell, ma'am. It's fired its logic disruptors at them... yes, it's hit them with legalese, pleas for patience, suggestions for another meeting, proposals to form a new committee... YES! It has accused them of not being nice!"

DR. BEERS (to himself)
: "Wow, the big guns!"

SCHORI: "Lieutenant Chane!"

LT. CHANE (turning)
: "Yes ca..., um, ma'am?"

SCHORI: "Give me weapons lock. I want to fire on those GAFCON emissions too, before they cause any Global Warming."

CHANE: "Aye aye ma'am. Firing now.... Damn!"

SCHORI: "What's wrong?"

CHANE: "Our statement... we appear to have fired a dud ma'am."

PRICE (listening to headset): "He's right and... yes... I think... yes, they're laughing at us."

SCHORI: "Damn. Well, just don't tell the crew. We'll issue something better in time for their Sunday Bulletins."

PRICE: "Aye aye ma'am".

SCHORI: "Okay, people, looks like we're going to have to take this GAFCON thing seriously after all. Price, call up the damage control parties. Senior officers, meet me in the debriefing room."

ENSIGN ANDERSON (from door to the debriefing room): "Um, ma'am... um... the debriefing room is full. Crewman Louie and Lieutenant Commander Robinson are having a party in there."

SCHORI (exasperated): "Again?! What are they doing this time?"

ANDERSON: "Um... getting de-briefed, ma'am."

SCHORI: "Oh, right... of course. Okay, my Ready Room then. It's time we took this fight to the enemy. We've got to sink them before the Lambeth Rendezvous! Spork, Beers, Sisk... with me." (gets up and strides toward ready room door)

SPORK, BEERS, SISK (getting up and following): "Aye, aye captain."

[Start fading to black]

VOICEOVER (Schori): "PRIMATE!!!!!!!!!"

CUE: theme music

VOICEOVER: "Tune in next week for the exciting continuation of episode 11: The GAFCON Encounter"

First posted on the MCJ blog.

News on the eve of Lambeth

Read side-by-side with this, which it follows closely.

Liberals, Apostates, and former Anglicans arrive in London for LAMBETH

Organizers release document inviting participants to ‘conversations’ and some of them to tea with the Queen.

By Dave Matthews, July 15, 2008

[Unepiscopal News Service] Apostates, heretics, and liberal Anglicans started to arrive in London July 10 in anticipation of the 2008 LAMBETH conference, an innocuous and irrelevant summit regarded by some critics as a pointless and useless gathering in the wake of the clear and forceful GAFCON meeting last month.

The LAMBETH event, set for July 16 - Aug 3, is expected to draw 800+ bishops and thousands of additional participants, including the wives, mistresses, and secret homosexual lovers of many of the clergy; as well as apostates, persecutors of Christians, at least one unbaptized “bishopess”—and several self-proclaimed “traditional” Episcopal bishops who have had to have over 3000 pounds of organic sand shipped in so they have somewhere to stick their mitred heads during much of the conference.

A closed-door, pre-meeting private party in an undisclosed oceanside resort between ++Williams, Dr. Schori, Vickie Gene Robinson and his new bride (or groom. Or whatever) toasting the happy couple concluded last night. In a meaningless gesture to “traditionalists”, bishop Robinson has not been formally invited to the pointless official activities of Lambeth, and so will be meeting with reporters and delegates informally throughout the 2 week conference. Asked how the parishes and business of his home diocese of New Hampshire will be doing during his extended absence, Robinson responded “where?”

LAMBETH has come under fire from more conservative Anglican leaders, including the most Rev. Akinola, primate of Nigeria (the largest jurisdiction in the Anglican world), who expressed his concern that the conference would “be yet one more meeting ignoring the cataclysmic disintegration of the Anglican Communion and attempting to paper-over apostasy and persecution with impotent, politically-correct ‘conversations’ and transparently dishonest reassurances that there is no great crisis.” Akinola previously called on all faithful Anglicans to consider boycotting the conference, since (given the current conflicts), this is neither the time nor the place for a do-nothing mamsy-pamsy limp-wristed tea-sipping heretic-enabling series of pointless dialogues with apostates… but, in many cases, his prophetic call has not been honored.

Akinola has declined an invitation to attend the conference.

Bishop Jack Iker of the Diocese of Fort Worth has traveled to London in order to be a traditionalist Anglican witness to and of the event. His deacon reports that the bishop has packed over two dozen air-sick bags, as well as 3 bottles of single malt scotch, to help him get through the event. “Bishop Iker is usually a genial and sober fellow” said his deacon “yet not even he will be able to stomach the useless and dishonest mush we expect from Lambeth without a few stiff ones. We also have, in case of emergency, a signed prescription for a strong sedative, to help him resist the temptation to fire-hose down many of the participants with holy water. Having shrieking Anglican bishops dissolve on live television into puddles of amorphous sulphurous goo might not be the best witness to a world which has trouble distinguishing the Angloapostates from the genuine Anglican Christians.”

On May 12, Archbishop Williams released a letter which set out to define the novel format and agenda of this decade’s Lambeth conference. The conference will not attempt to pass resolutions or draft objective formulae against which jurisdictions can be measured or to which they can be held accountable, but will be simply a series of indaba groups, which Williams defined as meaning a “purposeful discussion among equals"… though, of course, discussions which will be guided by “careful facilitation”.

His letter refused to speak plainly about the real divisions or issues which have fractured the Anglican Communion over the past decade. Indeed, at a conference in Hereford last month, Williams seemed to deny that there was any significant fracturing at all: he told listeners that there was not any actual rift in the Anglican Communion. This despite Archbishop Akinola’s diagnosis that, after ten years of expensive, futile efforts to heal the rift - efforts ignored and indeed flouted by the American, Canadian, and even English churches—that “there is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Communion”.

In his May letter about Lambeth, Williams attempted to frame the disagreements as nothing but mere “cultural differences”. He suggested that the Anglican Communion, as a whole, does not actually recognize what its “true challenges” are (despite statements such as the Windsor Report and several other communiques from the Anglican primates) and that the purpose of Lambeth, therefor, won’t be to address an actual problem—but, instead, simply to discover by cross-cultural focus groups what these actual (and apparently remarkably elusive) disagreements and challenges really are.

Dr. Schori, head of the Episcopal church, has praised this proposed format for the meeting. “I don’t expect legislation at Lambeth. That’s not why we’re going… It’s a global conversation… It’s not going to make a final decision about anything.” As the American and Canadian churches have, in the past, simply ignored Lambeth and other international Anglican resoulutions and statements (even those they have signed), it seems that Lambeth’s designers have decided to cease any resolutions whatsoever, and Schori is said to be pleased that her organization won’t have to take time off from suing traditionalists to explain away her non-compliance with any more such resolutions.

LAMBETH is being held one month after the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), when more than 1000 Anglicans from around the world met in Jerusalem to discuss seriously what is actually going on in the Anglican Communion and discuss what meaningful and substantive steps could still be taken to prevent its all-out slide into a meaningless fraternity tolerant of polysexual Christ-denying hell-bound damnation.

“We really felt it was far past time to take a stand” said one attendee after the conference “since we expect that by next decade’s Lambeth (if there is one), the American church will probably be ordaining transsexual Wiccan goats (divorced from their second multiple-partner herd ‘marriages’)… and Lambeth will still be hosting ‘discussions’ over tea and biscuits to try to discern whether there actually is a ‘rift’ and what the ‘true challenges’ which are ‘straining’ the ‘Communion’ actually are.”

Describing itself as a “the one occasion when all bishops can meet for worship, study and conversation”, the LAMBETH event is exclusive to “Anglicans” recognized and invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Thus while it includes bishops who have denied the faith, contemned Scripture, rejected parts or all of the Creeds and Councils, oppressed traditional Anglican belief and practice, flouted fellow primates, ordained and consecrated practicing homosexuals, and possibly even connived at covering up the sexual abuse of children and other parishoners, its invitations do not extend to the missionary bishops sent by faithful Global South jurisdictions (such as Nigeria) into America to succor its persecuted traditionalists, nor does it include some of the world’s staunchest and most theologically orthodox Anglican bishops, those of the “Continuing church” movement.

Professor Ian Douglas, an instructor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Massachusetts who helped design the format for this decade’s Lambeth, said “this is a bold, new, exciting thing that we are walking into together.” GAFCON’s “The Way, the Truth and the Life” paper has also commented on this “new thing” that Lambeth is walking into, describing it as the “road, that of compromising Biblical truth, [which will] lead to distruction and disunity.”

Observers have remarked that, in the hagiographical tradition, “Oh look—this is a bold, new exciting thing” is often how souls describe and justify themselves as they walk through the gates of Hell. And, in fact, rumors from the Other Side report that, inspired by Lambeth, the forces of darkness will soon be adding to its torments by organizing indaba groups for damned souls to discuss topics such as “Do we actually have a spiritual problem here?”; “Circles of Hell: Celebrating our ‘Cultural Differences’”; and “Flame-retardant liturgical garb for summer weather.”

It is understood that not all of the bishops who participated in GAFCON will also be attending the Lambeth Conference. Archbishop Akinola has observed “if even a single province chooses not to attend, the Lambeth Conference effectively ceases to be an Instrument of Unity"… and this despite the fact of the “caring and sharing” Lambeth will be encouraging. Asked about Akinola’s comment, one Episcopal bishop said “this is exactly the sort of unproductive, needlessly divisive comment that flies in the face of what it means to be Anglican. If these GAFCON bishops would just sit down with us, exchange a few stories and have a few drinks, they’d see that there really isn’t that much which separates us and that we can just agree to disagree on minor matters such as sexual morality or the divinity of Christ. There’s nothing wrong with the Anglican Communion that several gin and tonics and a few hugs won’t solve.”

Williams identifies the goal of the LAMBETH conference as “build[ing] a level of trust that will help us break down the walls we have so often built against each other in the Communion” and “strengthening our Communion and equipping all bishops to engage more effectively in mission.” Conservative commentators have observed that the “walls” which divide the Communion are those between Biblical faith and Christ-denying apostasy, and that the “mission” of the Episcopal church is not to bring the saving Word of God to unbelievers, but to promote a radical homosexualist agenda and an anti-Creedal un-Scriptural post-Christian secular philosophy… and, thus, that these walls may be appropriate and that not all “missions” may be laudable.

But perhaps those at LAMBETH will discover that—despite the statements from recent GAFCON meeting—archbishop Williams is correct: that there really is no “rift” in the Anglican Communion after all… and that there is no wall between members that can’t be broken down (or at least overlooked) by a few happy, indaba-group hugs.

-- Dave Matthews is the fictitious editor of the non-existent Unepiscopal Life Online and the Episcopal Death Media correspondent for spoofs on Anglican news reports. Not every quote in this satire is genuine. Only most of them.

First posted on the MCJ blog.