Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Home to Roost

Now, at last, the long-brewing situation is coming home to roost for all parties involved.

Fr. Jake, Susan Russell, Davis Mac-Iyalla, Greg Griffith, and Kendall Harmon have all joined in repudiating outrageous statements reportedly coming from the episcopate in Nigeria. The real hatred and violence of rhetoric in parts of the Anglican Communion is now being shouted from the rooftops, it seems.

I am struck by the self-fulfilling prophecy, almost apocalyptic in tone, that this September is already coming to embody for the greater Church. It is a bold, raw moment for true Christians to step forward and show the light of Christ to one another. . . or to recoil into the darkness of schism and vituperation.

This will provide a true measure of the Archbishop of Canterbury and, to a lesser degree, our House of Bishops, and their sisters and brothers across the Communion.

Who will stand and be counted, indeed?

We watch, pray, and speak with hope of our God in Christ, who is the light "when all other lights have gone out."


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

R, it has been a truly worrysome exchange on the many blogsites regarding +Orama's hateful, hateful words. Matt Kennedy showed his true colors, Godwin-law-fulfilling right there at Jake's place. I was so tempted to simply pick up the phone, call him, and read him the riot act (the nicest thing I could think of to call him was "twerp"), but I restrained. Others, on both "sides" modeled Christian patience which I could not dredge up. But I'm better now :-)

Blessings, Richard. Mill Valley is so very fortunate to have you.

Padre Wayne

R said...

Padre Wayne,

Thank you always for your visit.

'Tis a temptation for all of us these days to participate in the abuse and name-calling! A lot of emotional content gets dredged up at times like this, no? That's why we're in community to hem each other in when the tempers rise.

Patience is such a hard virtue. As is often said, "God, give me patience. . .and I want it NOW!"

Thanks for your kind words about Mill Valley. The Vestry very generously elected me as the rector yesterday evening, after a year's being "long-term interim" (priest in charge.) It's good to be here working with wonderful people with all kinds of diverse opinions but a common love for the Gospel, one another, and the Church.

Christopher Evans said...

Godwin's Law or not...those words participate in a history, including, but not limited to National Socialism, that for any gay persons spells pogrom.

R said...

Yes, indeed.

Of course, in this case, I believe Godwin's Law does not apply. The history speaks for itself, and should never be repeated. But alas, it is not mere history that we concern ourselves with, but lives this very moment under threat!

And yet this hour the Primate of Nigeria and too many other Anglican leaders remain silent.

obadiahslope said...

Off topic but a line in your post puzzled me: This will provide a true measure of the Archbishop of Canterbury and, to a lesser degree, our House of Bishops, and their sisters and brothers across the Communion"
Why is the heavy lifting to be done mostly by the ABC?

R said...

Obadiah,

I would not and did not use the word "mostly."

But additional weight is placed on the Archbishop of Canterbury's response for at least one principal reason:

He serves as the focus of unity for the entire Anglican Communion. Our House of Bishops does not. For this reason, he has, at very least, a certain degree more moral authority in the Communion at large than our House of Bishops. (The difference is subjective, of course, but it strikes me as pretty self-evident.)

Put yet another way, it seems to me that he is more likely to be listened to by our most vituperative detractors in the greater Communion than our House of Bishops would be. Hence, yes, he carries a greater responsibility.

And, indeed, he has just responded to this particular situation out of that position.

R said...

Reports out yesterday and today cast the veracity of the UPI article in some doubt.

Mark Harris offers a roundup and reflection that makes sense of the firestorm this caused on both sides. The way we reacted indeed tells us a great deal about the dangers of hateful speech in community, especially one in conflict.

It would be good to know the words were not uttered by a bishop after all. It is good enough that the story has been withdrawn, at least for now. It needn't remain part of the record. It would be best if no one thought or believed such things as were said. But the reaction was fierce precisely people the world over have and continue to - even authors of our beloved Scripture - a sad reality that must be confronted and challenged if it dares gain any more claim on the Christian Way.

But more than that, it exposes a dark side at work in the present "crisis." One that we all should watch with vigilance.

Anonymous said...

r: "The Vestry very generously elected me as the rector yesterday evening, after a year's being "long-term interim" (priest in charge.)"

KOWABUNGA IN THE HIGHEST!!! The sun shines brighter today!

Padre Wayne