LAMBETH: David's Diary - From My Ear to Yours (4)
By David W. Virtue
Liberal and Revisionist American bishops here are putting it about that it is orthodox TEC parishes who are suing liberal dioceses for their properties and not the other way round. A VOL reader told me that all the bishops are saying this to whoever will listen. They are trying desperately to put the spin out there that they are the victims of orthodox parishes. "It is terrible. They are lying like crazy to keep the Lambeth Conference together. They want to make orthodox parishes under siege for wanting to hold fast to the faith the enemy of the diocese and the Episcopal Church."
The truth is that some dioceses, namely Los Angeles and Virginia, are on the third round of lawsuits against orthodox parishes and their priests trying to wrench properties they neither built nor paid for from faithful Episcopalians. A number of liberal bishops are taking legal action against parishes wanting to flee their grip, hence the intervention by overseas Primates. The dioceses and national church are spending millions of dollars in lawsuits to retain properties.
There is so much irony here. The Lambeth conference is falling apart and they are desperately looking for anyone or anything to blame for what is going on while trying to push pansexuality onto the back burner.
At an impromptu press conference on the lawn outside the Darwin Building, The Archbishop of the Middle East, Mouneer Anis said that he is disgusted by the constant in your face actions of gays and lesbians at the Kent University campus. "Everywhere I turn they are waiting. They come with literature they push into our faces when we step outside our Indaba groups., they dominate the Marketplace, and they never leave us alone. They wait for us when we go in for meals. I do not like this experience." Even as he spoke, a cameraman from Pacific News and Claiming the Blessing shoved a microphone in the face of the Archbishop trying to rattle him with multiple questions. When other reporters interrupted saying he had had his one question and others had questions, he got closer to Mouneer shoving his microphone within a foot of his face. The rest of the reporters shouted him down. He then moved away and tried to engage Dr. Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream who didn't bite and said nothing. Mouneer said that homosexual obsession in the West is a new form of slavery. "The outright advocacy of unscriptural practices is inviting the church into a new form of slavery; a slavery to modern secular culture and to immoral desires and lusts. Simply because people feel desire to do certain things, or, to live in certain ways, has never before, of itself, meant that the church should bless them in doing so." When Mouneer was asked why he didn't attend GAFCON, he said he had conflicting meetings on those dates.
A Scottish Bishop was heard to say that it is time to wrap this conference up. "The body is dead; it must be eliminated before the stink rises."
The Episcopal Church has the most bishops here, some 140. Only 105 are diocesan bishops. The rest are here to support the diocesan. Some are so old they are in virtually in their dotage! TEC has one of the lowest attended provinces, less than 800,000 church-going Episcopalians, but they are waging a campaign of war, spin and survival to keep their place at the table. That place is faltering with each passing day and they are desperate for any kind of win. According to Ruth Gledhill's blog there is even a fake bishop masquerading as a real bishop here!
Mrs. Jefferts Schori was apparently asked if she would kick in some money to help defray the $4 million Lambeth deficit. She apparently said she might, if the Archbishop of Canterbury would cooperate. Translation. Let Gene in and the check book will open. No deals so far.
There will be no time line for the Covenant, Canon Geoffrey Cameron of the Anglican Consultative Council told a press conference today. The idea is to keep everyone at the table and hopefully wear down any opposition to The Episcopal Church's love of queer behavior. TEC pays 60% of the ACC's office budget. Cameron said it would take not one, but two General Conventions to finally approve a Covenant. Don't worry, there won't even be a Lambeth or an Anglican Communion in its present form in a few years.
The GAFCON folk are not the slightest bit interested in whether TEC agrees to a covenant or not. Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola has already dismissed talk of a covenant and Windsor report revisions as a means to hold the communion together.
Furthermore, if there is a final covenant and they break it, there will be no punishment metered out or "punitive" actions taken against TEC. "Never bite the hand that feeds you" is the moral of this story. The Covenant is a relational document, not a legalistic document said Cameron. If you don't sign on to it, you will still remain an Anglican anyway, but perhaps in a secondary capacity. What Cameron wants is the right MECHANISM (not theology) for a covenant to keep us altogether.
There now, doesn't that make you feel better? No judgment, no wrath, no pain, no discipline, no Jesus who dies on a cross for our sins, because sex outside of heterosexual marriage is no longer a sin, so there. In a final rip, he said the devil is in the details and who makes the final decision is a difficult one. On that point he might be exactly right.
Handing out Bishop Michael Nazir Ali's book, "The Unique and Universal Christ" to all the bishops on campus met with resistance from Lambeth staff who told two distributors that they couldn't do that. Undeterred, they went ahead and did it anyway, and got a copy of the book to all the bishops. Note, the pansexualists are having no problems distributing their literature;, they get a pass. Orthodox folk have to fight to get their minimal demands met.
Revisionist Massachusetts Bishop Tom Shaw said in a video that he is more on the theologically conservative side while discussing homosexuality with an African priest. I all but choked on that one. This bishop has drummed out orthodox priests from his diocese, sued orthodox parishes that wanted to leave, has a quarter or more of openly homogenital priests in partnered relationships in his diocese and brought a transgendered priest to Lambeth as well. The lies and spin never end.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, together with London Bishop Richard Chartres, have forsworn travelling by aircraft for a year in order to minimize their carbon footprint. The question is how big a carbon footprint has been left by the ABC in inviting1300 people to meet him in Canterbury this month!
Last night at the Inclusive Church get together at a fringe event, the advisor to the ABC on climate change said that just as climate change is killing people, gender discrimination is also killing people. No sign of the dead bodies has been spotted, however.
Orombi's blast at the ABC met with resistance here today. He was disrespectful, sniffed one liberal bishop. American Episcopal bishops should talk. Americans have been nothing but disrespectful to Africans since Jack Spong lashed out at our brothers in the Global South at Lambeth 1998 continuing on to Catherine Roskam with a detour through Frank Griswold.
Regret is not repentance. Asking the TEC to repent and express regret got this response. The Americans feel regret at the pain they have caused, but have never repented for the actions they have taken. We are sorry about hurting your feelings not for consecrating Vicki Gene. There now, doesn't that make you feel a lot better about TEC bishops? The truth is they would have voted for it anyway.
One feels genuine sorrow for Archbishop Drexel Gomez, the Primate of the West Indies. He is putting on a brave front defending the Covenant. The man is a solid Anglo-Catholic and truly loves the Lord. The Church of England, the ABC and the ACC desperately want this Covenant to hold the Anglican Communion together, but none of them have any use for Anglo-Catholicism. Last month the Church of England Synod blew off the Anglo-Catholics over the issue of consecrating women's to the episcopacy. One wonders how Drexel feels while he is defending a Covenant that no one really believes will work when there is no place left for his kind in the C of E!
More press conferences are held outside the Missing Link building than inside it. The official press pundits are losing control of the situation. Bishops who want to talk to the media, put the word out and hey, presto, 30-40 media miraculously turn up on the front lawn outside the Missing Link building.
While asking bishops for their reactions to Archbishop Henry Orombi's article in Friday's Times of London, Hans Zeiger had an encounter with an Episcopal bishop's wife who he mistook for a bishop. She told him that she was the wife of a bishop, and then made the accusation that "you're not really press. You're part of the conspiracy that's trying to divide The Episcopal Church. I can see through you." When Hans said that he really was press, she said, "I know who you are. You're spending time around the GAFCON people, and Keith Ackerman."
Bishops of the developing world are wife beaters, a senior female bishop of the US branch of the Anglican Communion said today. The Rt. Rev. Catherine Roskam, Suffragan Bishop of New York, told the bishops gathered at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury that domestic violence is acceptable in "some parts of the world" and indicated that it is likely that some of the bishops of the Global South group beat their wives. "Culturally, many of our bishops come from places where it is culturally accepted to beat your wife. In that regard, it makes the conversation quite difficult." Clearly hurt by the bad publicity, Roskam, one of the truly dim light bulbs in TEC, tried to back track and came out with a disclaimer saying she never meant what she said and was misinterpreted. She knew exactly what she said and what she meant. No interpretation needed.
Bishop Mathes of San Diego has put up a letter on his diocesan website that is now being picked up by the blogs that the Archbishop of the Southern Cone (who has received countless parishes and an entire Episcopal Diocese into his province) has allegedly apologized for the "incursions" into Bishop Mathes diocese. Archbishop Venables is not apologizing for taking in Episcopal refugees into his province. He may not have the authority to control the flow of mail into South America, but he clearly knows which Episcopalians he takes in for refuge during this crisis and to whom he continues to offer pastoral care - even in San Diego.
Venables told VOL, "We had a polite conversation in which I said I was sorry I hadn't told him about what we were doing and why we were doing it," but there was no apology for taking parishes under his ecclesiastical care.
LISTENING according to The Episcopal Church means you haven't listened until you agree with me.
Is this the Last Lambeth? Not to be missed a conversation with Archbishop Gregory Venables. Watch it here: Thanks to AnglicanTV. http://www.anglicantv.org/blog/index.cfm/2008/8/2/Lambeth-2008-A-Conversation-with-Archbishop-Venables
*THE ALTERNATIVE ROCKY HORROR SERVICE BOOK*
*No.94: A Service for the Fudging of the Schism*
*President:* Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in a very real sense to say as little as possible about sincerely held differences of opinion that exist between members of our Anglican community over a matter that we do not wish to talk about.
(Here he may call upon representatives of the two parties to come forward.)
*President:* Do you, Bishop Onanugu, from the Church of the Holy Exorcist in Lagos, agree to be quiet for the next three years in the hope that the whole thing will blow over?
*Bishop Onanugu:* I don't.
*President:* And do you, Bishop Marvyn de Lumberjack from the Church of the Village People in Moosejam, also agree to be quiet for the next three years?
*Bishop de Lumberjack:* I don't.
*President:* And will you further agree to love, honour and respect one another and your differing traditions for as long as you both shall live?
*Both:* No, we won't.
*President:* We will now give each other a sign of peace.
(The Bishops then exchange solemn blows in the sight of the congregation.)
*President:* We will now sing the Hymn of Thanksgiving for our deliverance from schism.
(All sing Hymn no.94)
*HYMN* "Fight the good fight, We both think we're right."
*The Archbishop of Canterbury* (for it is he)*: * I think that all went rather well.
*Bishops:* Get lost, beardie!
Copyright Nothing in Common Worship, 2005
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