jQuery Slider

You are here

ECUSA: Paranoia, Fear & Delusion Grip Revisionist Bishops


News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

As we get closer to D-Day (Doomsday) for the Episcopal Church, mounting paranoia, fear and delusion grips a growing number of revisionist bishops.

The most recent strident outburst occurred when Sergio Carranza, Bishop Assistant in the Diocese of Los Angeles launched into a tirade about what he called a "subversive movement" going on in the communion, "that pretends to alter the character and essence of this unique body of Christians by imposing on it an alien ecclesiology redolent of an institution set across the Tiber."

The Mexican bishop, whose own province, before he left it, was one of the most corrupt in modern ecclesiastical history with millions of ECUSA dollars disappearing with a former archbishop and bishop, now accuses unnamed persons of waging a "guerrilla warfare, fostered and nurtured by unhappy Episcopalians intent on sabotaging General Convention and destroying the polity of ECUSA."

He says their tactics include the encouragement of uncanonical visits to carefully selected dioceses, by some bishops and Primates from the Global South, as well as some domestic retired bishops, with the purpose of disrupting the life and ministry of said dioceses.

"The excuse for violating the boundaries of diocesan jurisdictions is that tender consciences have to be protected from "revisionist" bishops and that the provision for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight is inadequate."

Carranza then said that another tactic has been to ascribe constitutional authority to the Lambeth Conference, and to attribute exaggerated power to the Primates Meeting. "This is wishful thinking at best or devious manipulation at worst."

He then says that some of the Primates themselves are involved in the conspiracy; otherwise it is difficult to explain their venomous assault on the Episcopal Church; unless they just do not understand our polity. "Their groping for undue power is an indication of their participation in the seditious maneuvers to change the face of Anglicanism."

He then rips the orthodox by saying, "if the ultras cannot coerce the Archbishop of Canterbury to expel the Episcopal Church - which he cannot do anyway - some of the Global South Primates will attempt to carry out a coup d'etat that would substitute one of them for the Archbishop of Canterbury as head of the Anglican Communion, thus "successfully escalating an ongoing family fight into an international schism," as Susan Russell says.

"Let the probable emerging evangelical denomination, if it desires, turn its primates' meeting into a sort of college of cardinals under an omnipotent prelate empowered to speak for the whole body and to impose a single interpretation of what pertains to the faith and practice of the Christian faith."

But it is not just Carranza who is living in a world of paranoia and fear; other bishops are making similar statements.

Carolyn Tanner Irish, Bishop of the Diocese of Utah, in reflecting on the Windsor Report had this to say, "it is my belief that this work is being seriously handicapped by persons and groups who not only disagree with the actions we took at the General Convention of 2003 (which is fine), but are working behind the scenes-actively, secretively, divisively, and rather effectively since they are well-financed-to pressure other primates, provinces and persons to support them. That is not so fine."

Catherine M. Waynick, Bishop of Indianapolis recently wrote, "What is at stake in this controversy is power and control."

Even Frank Griswold publicly lashed out at Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan at Camp Allen recently over his appearance at Dromantine and what he felt was an undermining of his authority and the authority of his fellow Primates.

Clearly paranoia, fear and delusion along with conspiracy theories now grips a goodly portion of ECUSA's revisionist bishops including V. Gene Robinson who cannot control the Internet and thus spin his consecration as a godly fulfillment of biblical promise.

It is the NETWORK and Bishop Duncan who have become the focal point of most of the anger with supplemental rage being reserved for Canon David Anderson and the AAC as well as this writer.

Now it is incomprehensible for revisionist bishops to believe that they can have it all their way when what they are preaching is a counterfeit faith, what the Apostle Paul termed "another gospel", and expect to get away with it.

They have been getting away with it for more than 35 years beginning with bishops Pike, Spong, Righter et al and now that they are being called on the carpet by well educated Global South Primates and bishops and their noses are suddenly out of joint and they are screaming bloody murder.

Their outrage is as phony as they are. They have denied the Lord that bought them, they have denied the gospel that has the power to save them, and they expect their priests and laity to follow them to Hell.

Now some of these priests have caught on and decided that Pascal's wager might be worth a second look and that to believe in Spong's 12 Theses might be a one way ticket to Hell and that is a too high a price to pay; to go on believing in inclusivity without redemption.

Furthermore it should be noted that nothing the Network or AAC has done has been done 'in a corner'. Their origins, mission statements, who their followers are and more have all been done publicly and not behind closed doors.

The Global South Primates' outrage at the Episcopal and Canadian Churches comes by naturally. They needed no prompting from American Episcopal Evangelicals or Anglo Catholics.

They read the same Bible we do, they are overall better educated than most Westerners, having more earned doctorates than American or Canadian bishops, and they know how to interpret Scripture better than we do. They come by their anger and outrage from a deep base in Holy Scripture and not the zeitgeist.

For Carranza to say that the orthodox in the ECUSA are "imposing an alien ecclesiology" is so laughably absurd as to be not worthy of comment. It is the orthodox that want to maintain the 'faith once delivered' and a goodly number would like to see the Episcopal Church go back to using the '28 Prayer Book or at least be given the option of doing so.

To argue that uncanonical visits to carefully selected dioceses...disrupts the life and ministry of said dioceses, begs the question as why these would be even necessary if revisionist bishops proclaimed the historic faith they swore to uphold when they became bishops!

They haven't and that is why orthodox priests are begging for orthodox oversight. They don't want to compromise their souls and those of their parishioners by having a bishop come into their parish who does not believe the historic faith and disrupt the faithful, many of whom are new babes in Christ. Why wouldn't such a priest want alternative pastoral oversight?

Does anybody think for a moment that having Frank Griswold preaching his pluriform nonsense and then blaspheming the body and blood of Christ by dispensing Eucharist is something God winks at? Why have both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches declared themselves out of communion with Griswold if that was not the case?

Carranza doth protest too much. He says some of the Primates themselves are involved in the conspiracy. What conspiracy? A conspiracy to maintain the gospel at all costs against its imperial Western 'we know better than you' cultured despisers? The Province of Nigeria has 18 million Evangelicals and will double in three to five years. The Episcopal Church and the Church of England are closing down parishes left right and center with little left that anyone can call gospel.

Dozens of parishes and their priests are leaving the ECUSA and they are discovering a freedom they have never had before...and they are prospering. Out of the multitudinous parishes that have the left the ECUSA this writer knows of only parish that did not make it, all the rest are growing and prospering right under the noses of their former revisionist masters.

God is never mocked, and He apparently isn't very much interested in fine buildings either. The C of E is now telling its people they might have to meet in their homes when they can't afford to keep the doors of their churches open any more. The vicarage might be the new local church sans tea and biscuits.

The fiction that the Archbishop of Canterbury can or will be coerced into anything is also patently false. He has been walking a fine line since he got the job, and by doing so has incurred the wrath of just about everybody in the media on the right and left in the church including Louie Crew. Some of us think his heart is with the left, but his head is to the right for purely political reasons.

Utah bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish, a former Mormon who was never baptized a Christian, continues the fiction by accusing the Network and others of "working behind the scenes-actively, secretively, divisively, and rather effectively since they are well-financed-to pressure other primates, provinces and persons to support them."

And what has Crew, Integrity, Via Media and revisionist ECUSA bishops who go to Africa to try and persuade orthodox bishops and primates to change their mind doing - sleeping through the revolution? Nonsense. The Via Media has been actively building coalitions in every orthodox diocese to bring down orthodox bishops and replace them with more compatible ones like unto themselves. Hell, if you are going to sink the SS ECUSA the least you can do is drown with us, might be their motto.

No, the paranoia, delusion and fears of the revisionist bishops is grounded in one single fundamentalist reality: you shall be like unto us and conform to the canons and constitution of the ECUSA and any new truth revealed unto us about sodomy, doctrine and anything else we can pass at General Convention or you can leave.

At the end of the day that is what many are doing - and they are doing it to save their souls, which is not a bad reason for leaving anyway.


Get the latest news and perspectives in the Anglican world.
comments powered by Disqus
Barnabas Fund

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice


Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top