21 June 2007

Rebuilding ruins

Having left the Episcopal Church some twenty-five years ago, I have made it my practice not to comment too frequently about the goings-on in the Anglican Communion. In fact, I’ve found that I feel a certain detachment from it all. Certainly it’s interesting, and I feel badly for those who are still there trying to clean house and make sense of the growing mess – but I have no real emotional involvement in it.

I do, however, try to keep up with what’s happening. At one time it was a big part of my life. I still have friends there. I read the blogs and the news stories and every time I think I could no longer be amazed, something happens that takes my astonishment to a new level.

I parted ways with the Anglican Communion when it was decided that women could be ordained. Not that I was able to see into the future or anything, but it didn’t take a genius to know where this was heading. Now the Episcopal Church resembles little more than a Gnostic sect, and we are witnessing its disintegration right in front of our eyes.

I guess the pièce de résistance is the recent revelation of the priestess in Seattle who claims she is both Christian and Muslim. Poor thing. Actually, she is neither Christian nor Muslim, but she doesn’t let that stop her. In fact, her bishop says that he finds this “exciting.”

With all the property lawsuits, a bishop in an openly homosexual “marriage,” a woman as Presiding Bishop who sees Jesus as “a way” to God but not “the way,” and other aberrations too numerous to catalogue, making one’s way through the many websites and blogs discussing these things is like wandering through a disaster site looking for signs of life. One interesting site is TitusOneNine, and there I came across the posting of one obviously frustrated Episcopalian who wrote the following “creed” as descriptive of the state of the faith in that church:

I may or may not believe in God/Goddess/Divine Force/Allah/Buddha/Nothing, the Father/Mother/Creator almighty, bringer of Shalom and Gaia.

I would like to believe in Jesus Christ, His/Her/Its only Son/Daughter/Redeemer, our Lord/Lady/Whatever, Who could not possibly have been conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit/Spirit of the Times/Nurturer/Earth Mother even though He/She/It would have been born of the Virgin/Lesbian/Transgendered Mary/Mother Goddess.

He/She/It would have suffered under Pontius Pilate, if He/She/It had actually been crucified;
for sure, He/She/It eventually died, and was buried. So He/She/It must have descended to the dead, if He/She/It ever existed.

On the third day, it is extremely unlikely, if not impossible, that He/She/It rose again. If you think so, you are a gullible fool.

If He/She/It had ascended into heaven, and been seated at the right hand of the Father/Mother/Creator, He/She/It would come again to judge the living and the dead, which would be really bad news for most of us.

However, this will never happen, according to Bishops Pike and Spong.

I may or may not believe in some sort of Divine Being or Spiritual Essence, but I definitely believe in:

the holy Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church,

the blessing of Gay/Lesbian/Transgendered/Bisexual unions of whatever number of individuals,

the unforgiveness of those mean-spirited bigots who claim to be orthodox in their beliefs,

the consecration of Gay/Lesbian/Transgendered/Womyn priests and bishops,

and the right to do whatever I please, whenever I want to, without any consequences. Amen.

Overstating things? Perhaps. But if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. The sad thing is, there are many very good people still there who are confused about what they should do and where they should go. We need to pray for them. They need the clarity of the Catholic faith, and our Catholic bishops need to throw out life-lines to them. The Pastoral Provision, with its Anglican Use liturgy, is just such a life-line – and yet there are still some bishops who don’t want it in their dioceses. In our prayers, I guess we need to pray for those bishops, too.

If we were to see someone injured beside the road, or a child being abused, or someone being threatened with bodily harm, wouldn’t we help in any way we could? Our beloved Holy Father, Pope John Paul the Great, provided the Pastoral Provision for that very reason. Let’s pray that our shepherds will be more generous with the Provision now and in the future, than they have in the past. After all, a gift is something that's supposed to be given.