Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fort Worth and Quincy have been busy this week. Katie Sherrod reports on 4 priests in Fort Worth going to visit the Roman Catholic hierarchy to talk about the diocese becoming an RC Diocese. Jack Iker seems to have given support to their quest but also put out a press release assuring the Southern Cone that they are still BFF.

Read it all here and here. The first link has the presentation and Bp. Iker's letter. The second is the story of Bp Pope and his joining and unjoining of the Roman Catholic Church and the RCC reaction to him. Seems that Bp Pope was a little too Catholic for the Catholics.

One has to wonder if the Fort Worth bishop and his minions are not satisfied with joining the Southern Cone and their uber-evangelical low church ethos. But don't want to let go of that option without another.

And then there is Quincy - a pamphlet (HT Episcopal Cafe) went to all 1105 members of the Diocese and 24 churches. Read their story here.

Bp Ackerman has overseen a 19% loss in ASA during his tenure.

The pamphlet has a history of all the "shocking crises" in the Anglican Communion from the publication of Honest to God to today.

Another non-ordination of women diocese with no place to go.

According to email I have received today - many are not all that interested in leaving The Episcopal Church but fear speaking out. Some travel 140 miles round trip to go to a safe church.

13 comments:

kitty said...

There's so much talk among conservatives about being persecuted becuase they oppose TEC and yet there appears to be more persecution in conservative dioceses than in more liberal or even strictly middle-of-the-road ones. I pray that those who feel voiceless and fearful in those dioceses will find a voice and the strength and courage to use those voices in the face of such opposition as they face daily and weekly.

Ann said...

Those in Fort Worth seem to be organized to carry on as TEC but Quincy will probably be absorbed into a nearby Diocese.

JCF said...

Bp Ackerman has overseen a 19% loss in ASA during his tenure.

Do you have any doubt ?Ackerman blames (the democratic-majority of) TEC for the losses in his diocese?

James said...

I was going to blog on this today but decided the PBS documentary was more interesting as it contained new news. :) LOL

I think it's time we stopped calling these people "conservatives" and start calling them fundamentalists -- that's what they are. And as such, they are never happy unless they are or are trying to make problems someplace in the church. And all the time they are doing so, they are blaming other people.

Cany said...

The more I read, the more I realize how completely right you are, James... they really are not Anglican let alone comfortable in the American church.

As far as Ft. Worth and Venables, he does not oppose women's ordination, correct? Therefore, wouldn't that be an issue for Iker?

How they are going to sort out these differences is beyond me, but maybe they will, maybe they won't. I suspect they will eventually frazzle into more groups.

FranIAm said...

"Some travel 140 miles round trip to go to a safe church." - God have mercy.

David said...

Shoot, we travel from Plano all the way down into Dallas to find a safe, mainstream Episcopal parish* (yes, they do exist in Dallas ;) There were two nominally Episcopal churches in town, but Christ Church Plano left for the AMiA, and the other is such a hard-core, neo-con, Anglo "Catholic" place that I'm surprised +Iker from Fort Worth hasn't tried to swipe them from +Stanton...

* We're just lucky it isn't anywhere near a 140 mile round trip.

Ann said...

No women's ordination for Venables' - that is why John David Schofield went there. No girl or gay cooties at the altar for any of them.

James said...

Ann, you rease an interesting point. I think that Mr. Schofield went to the SC for two reasons: 1) Venables i white and 2) the SC is the only place that would put up with David's "bull in the china shop" personality. Certainly no-women-ordained was part of David's desire, but he had to find a place that would take him with NO demands that he submit to authority. He may be in the SC, but he still runs his fundamentalist cluster of churches as if he [David] were the pope.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Certainly no-women-ordained was part of David's desire, but he had to find a place that would take him with NO demands that he submit to authority. He may be in the SC, but he still runs his fundamentalist cluster of churches as if he [David] were the pope." James

Everytime David Schofield is described in his grasping and clutching at the throats of his fellow human beings I realize how emotionally troubled he is, and apparently always has been...as in the case of most of the manipulated in codependent situations the abuser throws out "dividends" to pay off any kind of objection to the desperate CONTROL...IF, someone/anyone questions ANYTHING they will be dealt quick/angry threats or lectures BECAUSE both Schofield and Venables are critically vulnerable...they are operating on their own pumped up visions of greatness and out-of-control grandiosity...no place to go but down...it will take only a few courages sheep to pull the whole un-Godly mess down.

fear not said...

Having had some dealings with some of these folks - a couple years back - from which I fled, I can report a few things. In person, doing a good deed, like sharing a hymnal or something, Ackerman is extremely kind and humble. Nevertheless he brooks no going outside the moral boundaries he has staked out (or believes God has). I have been the recipient of one of Ackerman's "good deeds" but had a friend who was the target of his moral strictness. Also, from a story I heard, his eagerness to evangelize would, in my opinion, put a person in a position where they "appeared" to have been converted (like a waitress in a public setting!!!???) - but where it's not fair to the "recipient" of the evangelization. So... on balance a man who believes he's doing good, but might cause much pain to others.

As far as how these fundies/neocons, call them what you will, will be able to get along down the road, it always seemed evident to moi that once they got the divine power they'd been striving for, "orthodoxy" would become ever more narrow and infighting would be the inevitable result. (Of course they can't see this... to them they see the Spirit powerfully doing things... and that proves to them that they are going in the right direction!)

I am no fortune teller. I think many of these folks are trying to follow God the best they can. From what I can tell, however, some seem to be the fearful type, who are afraid that if they don't carry out "God's Law" by every jot and tittle, that they will burn in hell (I truly think some fear this!) - thus they are judgmental. Others, as far as I can tell, are wanting power and prestige (but would never see that aspect of themselves) and are rule-ridden individuals but not because of anxiety - not sure why. I'd call the latter the ring-leaders and the former the obedient followers (too afraid to think for themselves... though they think they're thinking!).

Now, who am I to make these assessments? Well, I have some professional background that helps me. And I had some acquaintance with these folks - enough to know I was not one of them for sure and enough to form some judgments. You could describe my "time" among them as like being an anthropologist, though that is not my field and it was not a research process that placed me in a position to make some observations based upon close association for a while.

In any case it troubled me greatly at the time. And I fled after a season - as discretely as I could. I remain concerned for the Church. TEC. And the Whole (very broken) Body. I can say the whole experience related to TEC left me loving the Church Universal more. But so aware of the brokenness. Given the "cross" at the center of everything, I'm beginning to wonder if "brokenness" isn't a better sign of God's presence than a sense of triumphalism and self-righteousness.

I'm not sure what I've written will be helpful to anyone. And these are just the observations of one person who happened to be the right place at the wrong time - or however you want to think about it!

JCF said...

I think many of these folks are trying to follow God the best they can. From what I can tell, however, some seem to be the fearful type, who are afraid that if they don't carry out "God's Law" by every jot and tittle, that they will burn in hell (I truly think some fear this!) - thus they are judgmental.

[Hope that's not too long, in italics, Josh ;-/]

Yup, fear not. And they have NO concept whatsoever, of their own subjectivity. When two people read (they don't acknowledge "interpret") the Bible differently, it can ONLY be because one of them is wrong---mortally (even eternally) WRONG.

"Choose wrongly" (i.e., don't follow their plain reading) "and you lose your salvation".

I don't know what kind of too-small-god religion that is, but I don't see how it can be the Faith of Jesus Christ (OCICBW!)

***

Godspeed (car-pooling, etc) to all those who have to travel, to find a faith-community which affirms their God-given orientation (and/or, intelligence!)

fear not said...

Thank you, jcf. Very helpful clarification there.