Anglican Fudge: Just Dessert
Anglican Leader Urges Church To Find Accord Amid Turmoil - washingtonpost.com
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Anglican Communion, made a rare visit yesterday to a meeting of Episcopal bishops to urge them to compromise in the face of international pressure over their approval of same-sex unions and gay clergy...more is at stake than the 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church, or even Anglicanism, experts say. Other faith groups, including Presbyterians, Muslims and Jews, are struggling with similar debates about issues such as whether Scripture should be taken in historical context and how much weight should be given to centuries-old interpretations. Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, wrote this week in the National Catholic Reporter: "The struggle going on inside the Anglican Communion . . . is not peculiar to Anglicanism. The issue is in the air we breathe. The Anglicans simply got there earlier than most. And so they may well become a model to the rest of us how to handle such questions."
The issue is even bigger than they imagine. It's a question of whether churches have any business formulating and promulgating moral doctrine. Ironically, the Episcopal Church attempted to lay down the law to establish liberal dogma. It was the same old thing though--priests who imagined that they had the expertise to enlighten us and the credibility to promote their views to the world. Who the hell are these twerps to think that they have anything to teach me, or any other literate, educated member of the Church, about sexual ethics or anything else?
The only proper business of the Church is running the cult and maintaining the buildings--supplying the props for religious experience. But as their credibility, prestige and power waned, these presumptuous priests' self-importance inflated--reminiscent of the pope who declared himself infallible after losing all temporal power. They crapped up the liturgy. They gave less and less and demanded more and more. Now it's biting them in the butt--and they deserve it.
As I write, they're in New Orleans at yet another confab, piling Anglican fudge higher and deeper as the Sept 30 drop-dead date looms. There are meetings and negotiations, "international pressure," elaborate diplomacy, mounting tension--as if they were dealing with high stakes issues like nuclear proliferation, economic meltdown or the crisis in healthcare, when the whole thing is transparently nothing more than office politics and a squabble over property in an institution which, for all its wealth and size, is of no more significance to the world than the Chula Vista Historical Homeowners Association. It produces nothing. It is a little alternative universe in which bitchy castrati hold meetings to make themselves feel important and provide one another with busywork--St. Martha's Guild writ large.