Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Yet Still More on CANA

The Anglican Scotist has an interesting take on the installation of Bishop Minns, that examines the implications for both conservatives and centrist in the Episcopal Church. Here is a highlight:

Is the installation of Bishop Minns really of any significance? Why all the furor when, after all, he has already been ordained in Nigeria? The installation's predominant meaning probably shifts with the audience. To conservative Episcopalians in the US who have not yet come under CANA, it may feel like something of a challenge. While Bp. Minns & co. are moving forward with the Gospel, actually doing something--in their view creating the safe havens within which conservatives may worship and proclaim--what is the ACN doing? Or the AAC? What are the Windsor/Camp Allen/Whatever bishops doing? Who knows: equivocating, or talking and talking and writing and writing, or waiting around for some version of the PV-scheme to materialize, or..... It may seem like the Exodus is actually starting, the Israelites are actually leaving for the promised land, and those conservatives still outside CANA are missing out, sitting around in the sand insisting on bondage.

Minns' premature installation is just what TEC's bishops need to yield interesting conversation with Williams during his brief visit. Is there any point to talking about the PV-scheme when we all know that whatvever TEC does, Akinola will continue to cross borders? The Communique is dead; what to talk about then? Supposing one of Williams' chief concerns is the unity of the CoE, and that his past capitulation to Akinola had the premise of Akinola's reliability in delivering that unity, can anyone really believe that premise now? In light of Minns' installation is Akinola a reliable party for anything so important? Or does he belong with Duncan and MacPherson as mere might-have-beens? Amazingly, Akinola and Minns may have managed what seemed impossible just a few weeks ago: simultaneously undermining their own claim to Williams' serious consideration and other conservative TEC leaders' claims to serious attention; the conservative cause just took a crushing body blow. Just maybe it is time for Williams to rethink his broader strategy, and our bishops can help him out a little.


Read it all.

I think that there are three points here worth emphasizing. First, the installation of Minns puts other leaders of the dissenters (such as Bishop Duncan) in an uncomfortable spot. Do they join CANA? Unlikely. Indeed, for those congregations and Dioceses that dissent on ordination of women, CANA is not a comfortable home as CANA recognizes women as priests.

Second, the installation might also work to help the Episcopal Church within the Anglican Communion.

Third, it is a time for some grace on all sides of this issue. I think the Episcopal Church should try to take some steps to give conservatives within the church the safe place. A PV with control from the outside may be the step too far, but surely, we can find some mechanism that works. At the very least we need to try.

2 comments:

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

I'm still trying to figure out what isn't safe for conservatives in TEC. Why do they need a "safe place"? No bishop can force a priest to bless a same-sex union, and couldn't even if it followed the same canons as marriage. No bishop can be forced to ordain a gay person--the canons grant folks access to the ordination process, not automatic ordination. So I'm wondering what isn't safe for conservatives. Can someone enlighten me?

Chuck Blanchard said...

Tom:

I have posted the same question on this blog, and hope that others will answer your question. As I am a liberal or reappraiser on these matter, I already feel safe and don't have an answer to your question. I do know, however, that folks who disagree with me on the issues of sexuality appear to have a genuine concern for their place in the church.

Let's hope someone answers!