Sunday, December 17, 2006

Episcopalians Reach Free Agency

Some Episcopalians have not cared for the direction their franchise was taking, and have opted to take free agency. Apparently they're now negotiating with teams that they think offer better chances for long-term success - and they're even considering getting together to start a new team to compete with the old one:

For about 30 years, the Episcopal Church has been one big unhappy family. Under one roof there were female bishops and male bishops who would not ordain women. There were parishes that celebrated gay weddings and parishes that denounced them; theologians sure that Jesus was the only route to salvation, and theologians who disagreed.

Now, after years of threats, the family is breaking up.

As many as eight conservative Episcopal churches in Virginia are expected to announce today that their parishioners have voted to cut their ties with the Episcopal Church. Two are large, historic congregations that minister to the Washington elite and occupy real estate worth a combined $27 million, which could result in a legal battle over who keeps the property.

In a twist, these wealthy American congregations are essentially putting themselves up for adoption by Anglican archbishops in poorer dioceses in Africa, Asia and Latin America who share conservative theological views about homosexuality and the interpretation of Scripture with the breakaway Americans.

“The Episcopalian ship is in trouble,” said the Rev. John Yates, rector of The Falls Church, one of the two large Virginia congregations, where George Washington served on the vestry. “So we’re climbing over the rails down to various little lifeboats. There’s a lifeboat from Bolivia, one from Rwanda, another from Nigeria. Their desire is to help us build a new ship in North America, and design it and get it sailing.”

I will need MikeD and Philo to tell me what it means. And I'll be looking to the Anchoress as well. Plus, MKH promises more news.

Back to the top.

1 comment:

Philo-Junius said...

Philo-Junius said...
It means that Catholics around the world look forward to the merry highjinks of an organisation which acquired all of its foundational property by breaking away from superiour organisations twice (first in the English Reformation, and then in the formation of the Episcopal branch of Anglicanism after the American Revolution) litigating tooth and claw to keep its own breakaways from taking their parochial property with them when they go over the wall.

As Karl Marx observed:

"The English Established Church...will more readily pardon an attack on 38 of its 39 articles than on 1/39 of its income."