Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Eve

The end of 2007 on the ecclesiastical front sees a fascinating correspondence between a conservative theologian Peter Toon and Archbishop Akinola, apparently penned in large part and as usual by Martyn Minns. Dr. Toon has asked some questions about the process by which the GAFCON ‘pilgrimage’ is being called and announced. You can read it here. It makes clear the rogue nature of the conservative leadership as they seek to ‘realign’ (read ‘takeover’, ‘split’, or ‘render conservative’) the communion without using traditional orthodox conciliar processes. It is ironic, of course, that it was a flawed process perhaps, but an conciliar process nonetheless that approved the consecration of the bishop of New Hampshire. The position of the Windsor Report is that our conciliar consultation and process was not nearly wide ranging enough. It has subsequently been acknowledged that the Episcopal Church has acted fully within the bounds of our own constitution and canons, and therefore with full attention to conciliar process. That process as has often been pointed out has been going on publicly for at least thirty years.

Who knows what 2008 will bring? More of the same, I suppose. I applaud the clarity of our House of Bishops who, in spite of disagreements among them on matters of human sexuality, are able to be clear about the Church to which we all belong and are willing to respond to the separatists with clarity. Such response does not preclude charity toward those who dislike being a minority in the councils of the Episcopal Church, but it does preclude our bishops from abdicating their own ordination vows and the trust that was placed in them at their election. (That is why it was important that the Church be assured that the new bishop of South Carolina be clear that he will not seek to lead that diocese in a separatist direction before he received the necessary consents for consecration.) I hope for more clarity with charity in the year to come and the grace of God to continue to be free to worship around the table of the Lord and enjoy the blessings of the work we have been given to do in the name of Jesus.

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