THE ACC, ECUSA, MONEY AND TIMELINES
By David W. Virtue
NEWRY, Northern Ireland (2/26/2005)--Follow the money. It's an old business adage, but it applies as much to the church as it does to big business. It is particularly applicable to the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Episcopal Church.
Consider the following.
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) - the Anglican Communion's chief legislative body, comprising more than 100 bishops, clergy and lay representatives -- will receive the Windsor Report and the Primates' communiqué when it meets in Nottingham, England, in June 2005.
Now you must know that the ACC is the most liberal of the four "instruments of unity" and its existence depends almost solely on the beneficence of the American Episcopal Church and Trinity Church Wall Street, the single richest church in the world. ECUSA kicks in some $600,000 a year to run the London-based office, and Trinity Wall Street kicks in about $400,000 to keep Anglican World afloat, a magazine that regularly berates the African Anglican provinces for their narrow provincial ways at the same time is a patsy to American thoughts, theology and attitudes.
The former head of the ACC one Canon John Peterson despised the Global South and used his power whenever the Primates gathered to manipulate them to please his American paymasters. He got caught out when Dr. Paul Zahl revealed Peterson's venality in papers he inadvertently gave the American Dean, which Zahl read and told all.
(It should come as no surprise then, that when his time was up at the ACC that he should land a job in the Washington National Cathedral under the revisionist Bishop of Washington John Chane - a diocese loaded down with sodomite and lesbian priests, a 'thank you' position for a job well done for his years of support of Griswold when Peterson was head of the ACC.)
Now we have yet to see the full measure of Ken Kearon his replacement, but he is no evangelical and his appointment was pushed by his Irish uber purple Primate and all round ecclesiastical bellwether politician Robin Eames, the man who allowed Frank Griswold to preach in the Belfast cathedral recently but denied Southern Cone Primate Greg Venables the same right to preach in an evangelical congregation. Ah inclusivity.
Now the ACC is the only body that has the authority to act legislatively on the recommendations of the report or the primates' statements. That's important to remember.
In their recent communiqué, the primates encouraged the ACC to organize a hearing at its Nottingham meeting in June of this year to which representatives of the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada would come for the specific purpose to explain their thinking behind the recent actions of their Provinces, to consecrate a divorced sodomite to the episcopacy and approve the blessing of same sex unions.
This is the first of three time frames for the Episcopal Church to repent. The second will be in 2006 at the ECUSA General Convention and the final one will be at the Lambeth Conference in 2008 in Canterbury where it could all come unglued if things have not been resolved by then. This is the dreams and fantasies of Rowan Williams who can't say no to anybody because it might hurt them and his theology is wifty enough to ignore the Messiah in his lament on the recent Tsunami earthquake.
Several reporters I talked with said that if things are not resolved, Lambeth 2008 will be a "blood bath."
There is a certain amount of irony in that Williams who calls himself an Affirming Catholic (which is not to be confused with Roman or Anglo) is prepared to be loose on other peoples' morals at a time the Roman Catholic pontiff has come out publicly condemning gay marriages and sodomy in general. Of course the Anglican Communion has no authority we are constantly being told, no papal authority, and even though we have a Bible which is pretty definitive about morals, we can never say for certain because, as Peter Carnley reminded us all in Dromantine, "the Scriptural texts can be interpreted in many different ways." Really. And no one knows better than Frank Griswold who told Beliefnet.net that the Bible had NOTHING to say about the modern condition of homosexuality at all!
Now imagine the scene if you will in Nottingham, a place made famous by that vagabond figure Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. The ACC (which has been taking from the rich to support itself) might well have the following conversation:
KEARON: "Welcome my dearly beloved American and Canadian friends to the ACC communion table. Please sit on my right and left hand side."
ECUSA REP: (Aside) "Pssst. Mess this up Kenny boy and you're finished. Read my lips 'no more money.'"
KEARON: As I was saying, it is wonderful to have our American and Canadian friends here today and I want to assure the whole Anglican Communion that we will be fair, loving, kind, tolerant, inclusive, understanding, progressive, involved, generous in spirit, as well as in word, thought, deed and action, while, at the same time, getting in touch with the vulnerabilities of our hurting brothers and sisters as we all journey in the desert looking for our shadow selves.
As you know we as a communion openly condemn homophobia and I have seen too much of it as I have traveled the Anglican Communion, and while I am not permitted to name names, the color of these people is definitely non-white and their churches are growing at a pace faster than rats breeding in New York City's subway system.
CANADIAN REP: (Aside) get to the point.
KEARON: I have decided therefore to ask my colleague and friend the Rev. Dr. Gregory Cameron who is a close personal friend of Rowan Williams, and who is one of the smartest men I know on the planet, to draft a 100-page report with 400 bulleted paragraphs clearly outlining the problem of cross over sex, poof bishops and how we can look better as we have more and more Anglican Transsexual Fashion Shows at future gay consecrations.
ECUSA REP: You fool, you weren't supposed to say the last part, just think it. Say this. "The ECUSA Presiding Bishop wants you all to know that he is taking advantage of the open space afforded by the recent meeting of the Primates to air his mind out in the wilderness of New Hampshire where he has a summer home. It is there that he is getting in touch with his inner self (while avoiding his dark side) and he has put out a couple of calls to Sufi Rumi to see how we can all get beyond good and evil to a level playing field of mutual understanding. Our presiding bishop is a man of deep and profound spirituality and while he has been accused of Gnosticism, pantheism, Nestorianism, Arianism and general theobabble, it's all a terrible lie, he just reads Schubert Ogden on Process Theology right after he reads the Psalms."
KEARON: Thank you for those illuminating words. We have all been asked to "listen" to the gays and their hard fought rites, and even though we have been, as a communion, listening to them since 1998 and the Episcopal Church has been listening for nearly 40 years we may need yet more space for listening. Now if we should happen to run out of space we can always ask the Primates for two more gigabytes who we know will give it to us. Robin Eames, who has more charm than a leprechaun, will arrange it.
Now I want to assure everybody here that there is no more spiritual man that I know than Frank Griswold, and when Gregory writes up his report he will make sure that the penultimate paragraph fudges the word 'regret' into a 'deeper apology' with a hint of repentance without actually saying so. I can assure you that at the end everyone will be happy. God bless.
ECUSA REP: Brilliant Ken. I just spoke to Frank and he said the check will be in the mail next week.
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