Friday, May 30, 2008

Real Excommunications!

Excommunications are back!

Yes, there is such a thing as church discipline.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the faith has pronounced excommunications against those attempting to ordain womynpriests.

(And again, my issue is more with trashing church order for liberal pet causes than with women’s ordination, although I look askance at that as well.)


Hat tip to The Good Professor

Thursday, May 29, 2008


One time, in a discussion of what issues are secondary among Christians, one wag volunteered, “Snakes.” Said discussion was in North Carolina, not too far from snake-handling churches, so we knew what he was talking about.

But it turns out snakes are not just a backwoods Pentecostal thing. Even Cartholicks get into them.

Now my parish has its very own Anglican snake-handler. He was involved in some outdoor work when he and his cohorts came upon and killed a rattlesnake. Being the curious sort, he picked up the head after it was dead to check it out. And it bit him on the finger.

Now I’m not making that up. Anyone who has accidentally run over a snake with a mower as I have will notice that freshly dead snakes have amazing reflex action.

Another thing about snakes is that an adult snake will have some control over how much venom he releases, but not a dead snake. So our Anglican snake-handling friend got a full dose. He was in bad shape for a while. But God answered prayers and he’s doing well and working. But he probably will have to have surgery to replace the skin the venom dissolved on his finger.

I hope you enjoyed this post over a pleasant meal.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In Schori’s Face.

Now, five dioceses have issued statements protesting PB Schori’s violation of the canons in her lust to get Bishops Cox and Schofield deposed. The statement from the Diocese of Northern Indiana is particularly remarkable:

We, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Northern Indiana strongly protest the failure of the Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori and Chancellor David Booth Beers to follow the Canons of our Episcopal Church in the depositions of Bishops John Schofield and William Cox. . . .

Further, it goes on to anticipate future enormities of the Presiding Heretic:

We note with alarm that the Presiding Bishop has publically stated her intent to begin, at the September meeting of the House of Bishops, deposition proceedings against Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh for abandoning the communion before the diocese votes to do so in November. We plead for calm and prayer in the face of temptations to escalate abuses of power in this way. We agree with the Standing Committee of Central Florida and others who insist that depositions are an unnecessary and unfortunate way to deal with disagreement, dissension, and even division within our Church. We believe it also borders on unchristian.

Wow! For an Episcopalian diocese, and a non-Network one at that, to make an in-your-face statement like that is something. It certainly doesn’t reflect well on Schori’s repute in the church.

Methinks Schori overreached in going after two beloved bishops. Her standing has already been taken down a couple notches, and there may be more to come, perhaps even a presentment. I don’t think the Not-So-Great Harlot will be knocked off her oven-mitt colored beast. But she perhaps she will be made even less Great.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gulag UK: Labour’s Baby-Killing Operation

Gulag UK just wouldn’t be a real gulag without mass murder and ghoulish medical experimentation. But New Labour just took care of that.

Oh, you thought Glorious Leader Gordon Brown graciously permitted a free vote on these progressive measures? Then why did Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Brown and her Feminazi shock troops conduct a full scale and intimidating whipping operation?

Technically, once the MPs turned up, they could vote either way. In reality, sources say, they were greeted by Ms Harman’s group, who pressured them to vote against the move, proposed by Tory MP Nadine Dorries.
According to one account, women Labour MPs formed a ‘human corridor’ to channel their colleagues into the ‘No’ lobby. One Labour MP claimed to have heard one of Ms Harman’s team shout: ‘Vote against us and the sisterhood will never let you forget it.’

Some free vote.

Now granted, I don’t find the opportunity to tell Feminazis, or Glorious Gordon for that matter, to go to hell very intimidating. But these are obvious threats, and we are talking Labour politicians. Cranmer comments further on this travesty here.

Let’s see . . . mass killing of “undesirables,” particularly “life not worthy to be lived.” Check.

Fun medical experimentation. Check.

Shock troop supported dictatorship cloaked by faux democracy. Check.

Hmmm, that’s strange. I thought we defeated Hitler.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Using My Reader’s License

As I let slip the other day, I used my Reader’s License and led Evening Prayer at my parish Wednesday. Actually, I’ve led it the past three Wednesdays. The first two were in part to give me practice with my rectors either amidst the congregation or up there with me so that I (and they) would be confident when I did it this week without them present. (They went to a clergy convocation in Dallas.)

I’ve led pretty well with only a little nervousness the first time. I don’t think I committed any significant abominations. And this past Wednesday went particularly smooth even though my mike wasn’t working. The congregation was generous with praise for my efforts afterwards. A couple of them said that now I have to become a deacon although I think that a bit of a stretch.

And, yes, I enjoy leading Evening Prayer. That should be no surprise given how much I love the liturgy.

For those interested in such things, details:
The Order for Daily Evening Prayer was from the Reformed Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, very similar to the 1928 BCP. I was vested in white over a black cassock, like an acolyte, but without any priestly vestments, of course. I prayed from the North end of the table as Cranmer intended. The sung parts: the opening and closing hymn, various Gloria Patris, the canticles (I chose the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis.) Everything else was said. No chanting, although I might want to do that someday. And instead of the Absolution after the General Confession, I prayed the Collect for the 21st Sunday after Trinity.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

UK Women Priests: Leave Those Traditionalists to Us

I missed this a couple weeks ago, but it is still worthy of comment. There is a group of women in the Church of England who are not happy with proposals to allow woman bishops but at the same time provide for those who can not conscientiously recognize women as bishops. And these women priests have said so in an open letter.

This puts the lie to their claims to be inclusive. The single clause policy they advocate can be nothing more than an order to “submit or else” to traditionalists. Well, on second thought, maybe that is inclusive . . . like the Borg.

Anyway, they claim they’ll be nice to those sexist bigots traditionalists.

After 21 years of ordained ministry and 14 years of priesthood, many of us have much experience of building trustful relationships with those unable to accept the priestly ministry of women. In the Anglican Communion overseas, women take this experience into the episcopate, which leads them to invite other bishops into their Dioceses or Episcopal areas to ordain, confirm and take other services when required. Bishops should be trusted to act wisely and behave with dignity, and all bishops should work within clear expectations and codes of practice. The language of “protection” and “safeguard” is offensive to women, . . .

Oh! We ladies are so offended, we might just faint!

. . . and we believe the existing disciplinary procedures are enough for women or men to be brought to account if they behave inappropriately. We would commend the good practice over the past 20 years of the 15 Anglican Provinces which have already opened the episcopate to women . . .

Yes, we’ll be just like the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, which have a wonderful record of conduct toward conservatives bigots.

Discussion of a single clause measure without including the possible arrangements for those opposed, characterises those who argue for it as somehow “not caring” about those who oppose the ordination/consecration of women. This is far from the truth. Strong relationships have been forged on the anvil of profound disagreement and there is ample testimony to the richness of these encounters, to set alongside those situations which have proved painful. As the broken body of Christ on earth, the Church’s internal relationships should rest on trust, forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation, rather than on protection and an over-anxious reliance on the letter of the law.

We don’t need legal protection for those who oppose us. Trust us. We’ll take care of those sexist Neanderthals traditionalists. We just love reconciliation, just like the Episcopal Church.

Well, that’s very nice. And I hope some of the signees are big enough not to require everyone to kiss their ring. But if I were a UK orthodox Anglican, I would be sure measures of provision and protection are in writing with the force of law, thank you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Big Reason to Leave Apostate Denominations

You might be able to personally stand firm in your faith in an apostate denomination such as the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada. Maybe your parish can stand firm for a time, although I think that time is growing shorter by the day.

But what about your children? What effect will it have on them if they are liable to be taught stuff like this?

We believe in Jesus of Nazareth, who is our brother, who wants not to be idolized but to be followed.

We believe that we dwell in the presence of the Holy Spirit; without her we are nothing; filled with her we are able to become creative, lively, and free.

Pray tell, how is it possible to “idolize” the only begotten Son of God?

Anyway, if you think you can keep your apostate denomination from teaching tripe like this to your kids . . . maybe you ought to think again. I’m not saying it can’t be done. But I do have my doubts about it. And why should you fight your church in the religious education of your family?

Hat tip to Stand Firm.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

English Roman Catholic Hierarchy Subverts Latin Mass

A big reason Pope Benedict issued his Motu Proprio mandating that the 1962 Latin Mass be made widely available is that, although it has remained permissible since Vatican II, many bishops and priests were suppressing it.

Even with Pope Benedict’s directive, many RC clergy are still trying to hamstring traditionalists wishing to have the Latin Mass. The English hierarchy is Exhibit A in that regard. There are numerous masses every day at Westminster Cathedral. How many of them are Tridentine?

The episode this past weekend at Cardiff Cathedral is particularly egregious. Permission was supposedly given for a Latin Mass there. But at the last minute, the Dean insisted that women servers be used. The Archbishop refused to intervene. And the Latin Mass Society was compelled to cancel.

The wrench the Dean threw into the Mass was so last minute, many traveled to the Cathedral for the Latin Mass only to be told at the door what had happened.

Leaving aside the issue of women servers (I have no problem with them.), when one celebrates the liturgy in whatever form, it goes without saying that you follow the rubrics. When I lead Evening Prayer tomorrow (Oops, I let the cat out of the bag!), when we have the confession, we will do it kneeling. We won’t break out into liturgical dance. The rubrics for good reason say kneel, not dance. So we will kneel. I really don't think that's terribly hard to understand. There are also other requirements. For example, for a layman to lead Evening Prayer in the Reformed Episcopal Church, he must have a nice Reader’s License from the bishop as I do.

Now the rubrics and requirements for the 1962 Latin Mass do not allow women servers. So for the Dean to supposedly permit a Latin Mass, but require women servers or anything else that violates the rubrics and laws of said Mass is a contradiction. Again, if you do a form of the liturgy correctly, you follow the rubrics. So, in effect, the Dean gave permission for a 1962 Latin Mass then arbitrarily withdrew it at the last minute at the great inconvenience and expense of many.

Whatever one's liturgical proclivities, that is flat wrong and an underhanded defiance of the Pope’s Motu Proprio.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Brad Drell’s Patience “Wears Utterly Thin”

Drell’s Descants is one of the several blogs I check out from time to time. I find his posts thoughtful and knowledgeable. He hasn’t been blogging much lately. I hope that is just a temporary lull.

However, I have found him in the past perhaps a bit too wedded toward working within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. So I find his latest (written) post very interesting. In his own words, his patience with the Anglican Communion and TEC is wearing “utterly thin.” He even avers, “I’ve often thought over the past years that some of the folks that left [the Episcopal Church] perhaps did so prematurely. I don’t think that anymore.”

Brad Drell has been the epitome of patience since 2003. So for him to say this is . . . saying something. It certainly shows that those orthodox who still insist on staying in the Episcopal Church may soon find themselves very very lonely.

He cuts to the core of the problem that is exhausting even his capacity for longsuffering:

Moreover, what everyone seems to be missing is that some sort of structural relief is necessary to provide conservatives some sort of safe haven within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. TEC was asked to provide this a number of times. They have not. The only thing that can be done is to excommunicate TEC from the Anglican Communion and recognize someone else.

Strong words. But ++Rowan and Company are not only unwilling to discipline the Episcopal Church, they don’t even lift a finger to provide that sorely needed relief for North American orthodox.

A church that shows it cares so little about the faith and the faithful is not worthy of allegiance. And the days that many orthodox – including even Brad Drell? – will remain aligned to said church are numbered.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mugabe’s Pure Evil

I find what Robert Mugabe and his thugs are doing in Zimbabwe so disturbing, I’m at a loss to comment and hardly trust myself to do so. So I will simply refer you to this article from the Daily Mail with a hat tip to Cranmer.

(I must warn you, however, that Cranmer has posted very disturbing photographic documentation of torture by Mugabe’s thugs.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BREAKING: ++Orombi Responds to --Schori

Things are a bit hectic this morning, so I can’t comment in detail now. But I wanted to alert my good readers to this excellent response of the Archbishop of Uganda Henry Luke Orombi to the letter from PB Katharine Schori I mentioned Tuesday.

I will note that ++Orombi confirms that Schori’s letter was released to the internet before it got to him. Sad.

Brian McLaren: Another Reason Not to Go to Lambeth

It’s been confirmed that Brian McLaren will be speaking to the Lambeth Conference.

I think it’s a very sad commentary on the Archbishop of Canterbury that, with all the great minds Anglicanism still possesses, he invites McLaren to speak. McLaren’s co-called “generous orthodoxy” is no genuine orthodoxy but is just another flavor of wimping out on the faith along with much of the rest of the haze that comes from the “emergent church movement”. And the only thing really new or “emergent” about it is the packaging, if even that. Such has always been around and always will be around until Jesus comes back and cleans house. (And I speak as someone who used to be sympathetic to emergent stuff until I came to know better.)

And about the headline, I do fully respect the decisions of +Venables, +Iker, and other strong orthodox bishops to go to Lambeth to make a stand for the faith. I hope one way they will take a stand is to stand up and walk out when McLaren starts emitting his fog.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Catholic Call to Action Outrage

In case you think only oh-so-trendy Episcopalians are capable of liturgical outrage, watch this video, if you can endure it.

This is from a Catholic Call to Action service. Yes, libchurch in Roman Catholic guise.

I was laughing at the liturgical dance, giant scary puppets, and old libs getting hip . . . until I heard this from the celebrant at the end: “And may we bless ourselves in the name of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier.”

Then I got angry. That “may we bless ourselves” bit and desecration of the Trinity is grounds enough for severe discipline of that priest. I hope my Catholic friends demand it.

Hat tip to Holy Smoke.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tennessee Dept. of Education Declares Homeschool and Church School Diplomas Worthless

I thought state attacks on home and church schools went out with men wearing short shorts (a relic of the 70’s and 80’s for those who are blessedly free of that memory). But apparently, the Tennessee Department of Education is back to the past.

Amazing Arrogance

Once again, Presiding Heretic Schori has the chutzpah to write an open letter to an Anglican Archbishop, ++Orombi of Uganda in this case, and object to his daring to come to the U. S. and visit parishes which have already left the Episcopal Church and to which he is invited.

Now ++Venables of the Southern Cone did visit the TEC (for now) Diocese of Ft. Worth. But even there, as Ft. Worth Bishop Iker clearly stated, he was invited and it’s none of her frickin’ business.

Her bizarre brand of geographical fundamentalism makes one wonder if the reason she turned down an invitation from the Pope is she objected to him coming to her Holy Turf.

And, just in case anyone trots out that canard that such visits from overseas bishops violate the ancient practice of the church, Captain Yips has a history lesson for ya.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Question of the Day

Is Barack Obama isn’t a Leftist, then why has he surrounded himself with Leftists, particularly of the anti-Israel, terrorist-coddling variety?

Oh, of course, when a scandal comes up from such, he distances himself from it, even if it does take him a while as with the Rev. Wright. Anything to get the New Messiah elected.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Way Separations Should be Handled

Kudos to Trinity Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Central Florida for coming to a mediated agreement instead of suing each other. Bishop Howe is to be commended for refusing to follow the scorched earth policies of Presiding Heretic Schori.

One wonders how many more such civil agreements would have come about if it weren’t for pressure from Schori and her legal thug David Booth Beers. There’s little question the situation in Virginia and with Matt+ Kennedy’s Church of the Good Shepherd in New York were well on the way to agreement before Schori applied the pressure.

Again, kudos to the Diocese of Central Florida for having the backbone to be civil in what has become an uncivil denomination.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Cardinal Kasper Misses the Mark

There’s been much discussion in the Anglican blogdom about Cardinal Kasper’s assertion that it’s time for the Anglican Communion to chose between the Protestantism of the 16th Century and Catholicism. Said he:

Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic and Orthodox - or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the 16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain difficult decisions.

But I think this misses the real divide in the Anglican Communion. Now if he had said it’s time to choose between the (small “c”) catholic church and the Protestantism of the 21st Century, he would have been much closer to the mark. For that is the real issue – will the Anglican Communion act in line with the Faith carried to us through the centuries, or will it continue to coddle (and eventually be taken over by) the counterfeit gospels of 20th and 21st Century mainline Protestantism?

Though Cranmer has his thoughts about this matter, today’s divisions have much more to do with dealing with mainline apostasy than with the Catholic-Protestant divisions of earlier centuries, particularly with orthodox Protestant Anglicans and orthodox Anglo-Catholics getting along well for the most part nowadays. Also, the divisions created by mainline apostasy are more fundamental when it comes to the basics of historic Christianity.

One may wonder if old-school Catholic prejudice against Protestantism is at work here. Although I am in several respects sympathetic to traditional Roman Catholicism (which I think slightly annoys my forbearing rector), one unsavory aspect is an animus against Protestants. It’s well portrayed by a Cartholick cartoon of a few decades ago (And if someone finds it, let me know so I can post it.) It shows Jesus shepherding sheep in his sheepfold. Outside the sheepfold wander other sheep, labeled “Atheists”, “Muslims”, etc. And guess what one of the stray sheep is labeled. Yep, “Protestants”.

This animus is mostly hidden today. But methinks Kasper let it show.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

++Venables in Fort Worth

As we’ve mentioned, Archbishop Gregory Venables’ visits to North American parishes and dioceses have provoked an outbreak of VDS among liberals.

But the orthodox have received him gladly. Here is a report of his visit to the Diocese of Ft. Worth. Yes, this is the visit which prompted PB Schori to make a fool of herself . . . again.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Crossroads to Pilot Point

I’ve been floundering a bit since my semester in Oxford. No, I haven’t been doing nothing. The occupation that enables me to eat (which is perfectly reputable but shall remain private), church, this blog, and various demands of daily life take up much or most of my time. But these by no means take up all of it. And, like I said, I feel like I’ve been floundering a bit.

Part of that has been uncertainty what my focus should be. I’ve considered continuing my education and getting some additional letters after my name. But I’m not at all sure just what I’d do with those letters. I’ve thought about joining the permanent diaconate. But as I’ve weighed the pluses and minuses of joining the clergy or remaining in the laity, I now think I’d prefer to remain in the laity. And, though if I were much younger I’d consider an academic career, I don’t want that now. So what would be the point of getting an additional degree is an open question indeed.

And, as I rediscovered in Oxford, academic work can sap most of my time and all of my energy. I’ve come to doubt the wisdom of such an investment when the returns are so doubtful.

Instead, I think I’ll resume my writing. Other than this blog, my writing has been on quite a long hiatus. I just haven’t been motivated. My experience with the publishing and book retail world since the publication of God Knows What It’s Like to be a Teenager hasn’t been very encouraging.

But lately my mind has been returning to a novel I wrote then put aside years ago. I completed a draft of Pilot Point in the 90’s. A Pulitzer Prize winner, no less, saw it, liked it, and recommended it to three literary agents he knew. But only one of those three then even bothered to look at it in spite of the impressive recommendation. And that one did not take it on. That experience was one of the things that soured me to the literary world.

But since then, with the advancement of the internet and other technology, it’s become more possible to be successful with a book even if the big publishers and agents ignore it.

And through these years, I’ve remained so convinced that this novel can be really good, great even, that I determined to return to it one day and get it published. This is one of those things (spending a term in Oxford was one, by the way) that I knew I would regret if I passed it up.

Well, I think the day has come to begin rewriting Pilot Point.

Oh, and there will be changes. I wrote the earlier draft long before my Anglican days. Now it shall acquire a strong Anglican flavor.

But don’t get too excited just yet. I can be a very slow writer.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Labour “Mauled by Voters”

I’ve wondered if the day would ever come when Brits grow some backbones and say “No!” to the Labourites and the Gulag UK they are fostering.

That day may actually be upon us.

I’m gratified to note that the Labour Party got hit and hit hard overnight in local elections. The numbers so far are breathtaking:

Conservatives 44%
Liberal Democrats 25%
Labour 24%

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not thrilled with the Conservatives. But let us pray this well-deserved slaughter sets back Gulag UK for decades. With margins like this, it just might.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Venables Derangement Syndrome

Has BDS mutated yet again? From the reaction to ++Gregory Venables doing some visiting and speaking, it seems it has. Already, three Primates of the Anglican Communion have come down with VDS. The Primate and bishops of Brazil and the Primate of Canada have made utter fools of themselves at the mere appearance of ++Venables. And now the Presiding Heretic of the Episcopal Church has as well.

--Schori foolishly wrote ++Venables objecting to his visit to the Diocese of Ft. Worth. But, as Ft. Worth bishop Jack Iker minced no words pointing out, ++Venables was invited and --Schori has “no say in the matter.” +Iker put the Presiding Heretic in her place as only he can.

But I’m sure that won’t keep Liberals from making fools of themselves again at the very appearance of ++Greg Venables. He apparently has joined President Bush and Pope Benedict as capable of triggering bizarre behavior in our friends of the Left.