CONSERVATIVE EPISCOPALIANS?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 | Uncategorized

You’re down to two options and only two.  You can leave or you can get thrown out.  Want to know how I know that?  The original version of the same-sex marriage resolution had a conscience clause.  The one they passed doesn’t.

105 Comments to CONSERVATIVE EPISCOPALIANS?

Michael D
July 16, 2009

Where do you go to school to learn to be this unclear?

Defenders of this version of the resolution will say that it does not authorize SSB, and thus they had to delete the part that says “no one will be forced to do SSBs.”

Instead of explicitly authorizing SSBs, it says bishops “may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church.” Now if someone tries to tell us this is not an authorization of SSBs, well that is just a load of hooey. Bishops did not need a resolution to authorize them to provide “generous pastoral response” – that is their job – unless that “generaous pastoral response” is in the form of a previously-not-authorized rite.

Why don’t they just say it? Why are they so morbidly afraid of the Sound Bite?

Doug Stein
July 16, 2009

Because the Lady of the Green Kirtle hasn’t finished putting the believers in the AC to sleep yet. Unfortunately for her, a large number of orthodox bishops are about to go Puddleglum on her.

She and the rest of the TEO leadership are in the process of turning (visibly) into a serpent – so the critical thing is who’s going to take the part of Caspian and terminate TEO’s connections to the AC with extreme prejudice.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode of “General Apostasy”…

Gregg the Obscure
July 16, 2009

The lefties are still irate that, so many years later, WO is not universally accepted by ‘piskies. They want no chance of that happening with “the new thing”. St. Charles Lwanga, ora pro nobis.

Ed the Roman
July 16, 2009

“St. Charles Lwanga, ora pro nobis.”

Well played.

WannabeAnglican
July 16, 2009

Be inclusive . . . or else.

Cindy T.
July 16, 2009

Praise God, many Bishops’ “generous pastoral response” will be “Be Transformed,” rather than, “sure, let’s do an SSU.” Hopefully that option will remain open.

I’m not optimistic about the effect of this resolution on the church, but if I was an orthodox Bishop in TEC, that’s the loophole I’d use.

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 16, 2009

Anybody been reading Christopher Seitz’s comments at SFIF?

Allen Lewis
July 16, 2009

TU..AD -
I do not plan to waste a whole lot of time reading Seitz’s rationalizations of this mess. He rants and raves with the best of them, but does not have the courage to actually do anything.

Allen Lewis
July 16, 2009

@Doug Stein -

That was Prince Rillian who cut off the head of the green serpent.

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 16, 2009

Allen Lewis,

I agree with you about Christopher Seitz. It’s somewhat of a mystery to me how much of a hold his arguments have upon the Institutionalist-Enablers in TEc.

Here are my favorite comments by those opposed to appeasing, moral cowardice:

(1) “If Peter Beckwith, Jim Stanton, Mark Lawrence, Bill Love and John Howe do not lead their dioceses out of TEC and into ACNA after this debacle of a General Convention nothing will.”

[110] Posted by David Wilson on 07-15-2009 at 11:25 PM

(2) “I appreciate the pain and the steadfast character of all the bishops mentioned in these recent posts. Bishop Stanton is my diocesan. Bill Love was a year behind me at Nashotah House. I am a fellow Navy Chaplain with bishop Beckwith. I know and Love these men in Christ.

I do find a great disconnect between the concept of bearing witness and standing for truth and what happened amongst the conservative Bishops at this convention. Since the opening address GC has been a festival of Anti-Communion, Anti-orthodox, Anti-Confessional Christianity, Anti-Evangelism, Pro-abomination cultists who have won every vote by astounding margins.

The conservative Bishops have voted appropriately. They have spoken against certain resolutions, often with a fair degree of eloquence. However, they have not, with any strength, cried “Anathema”, rent their garments and called the TEc by its proper name-“The Abomination of Desolation”.

They have spoken often and well about how we are tearing the fabric of the Anglican Communion. I have heard not one public statement of how TEc has abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that this church has abandoned Christianity.

There have been no calls for the removal of Mrs. Schori as the leader of TEc, not on the grounds of breaking communion, but in that she is a heretic and this church has become thoroughly apostate under her reign.

If even a few of these things had happened in the past few days, the expressed intent of staying in TEc might be reasonable. I pray that thew will do such things by the end of or within a few days of the close of convention. To remain silent, to simply vote correctly and issue statements of despair will only prolong the death of the faithful cells that remain in the cancer called TEc.”

[151] Posted by frreed on 07-16-2009 at 08:59 AM

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 16, 2009

Christopher Johnson: “You’re down to two options and only two. You can leave or you can get thrown out.”

David Sh: “This is for Sarah, Dr. Sietz, or anyone else who is staying: just so us on the outside understand, what you’re saying is that you will stay until kicked out—is that correct? Would anything short of that cause you to leave? What if the Prayer book were re-written to redefine marriage as “between two persons”? Or something equally bad? This is asked with all due respect for those staying. Dave”

Sarah Hey: “DavidSh—what would cause you to leave the USA? I ask that with all due respect for those staying.”

A good question by Sarah Hey in response to a serious and respectful question?

Sparky
July 16, 2009

Doug Stein and Allen Lewis,

At GC06 during a morning “table talk” (pre-ubuntu) with other deputies and a bishop, I mentioned what I interpreted to be the repentance metaphor in the Chronicles when Lucy only suggested taking another path, Lucy only seeing Aslan–but faintly, as possibly applicable to TEC.

It was as if I had passed odious gas upwind.

The only Prince able to kill the snake is referenced in Genesis.

Oscewicee
July 16, 2009

I think Dr. Seitz has probably done more than most of us have.

Allen Lewis
July 16, 2009

TU..AD -
The Heyism you cited is the kind of snotty remark that she makes that rankles. She has repeatedly said that she wis not going to talk specifics along those lines. Apparently she gets annoyed at being asked to provide them and thus descends into being a Snark of the First Class. Sarah at her most odious, IMHO. But I do not condemn her for that. I have enough sins of my own to confess.

I see Dr. Seitz was his usual self, arguing principle in that gracious Anglican Fudgey way that he has perfected. Bless his heart. It is enough to make me gag.

I sometimes wonder what his response will be to the question, “What part of ‘Touch not the unclean thing’ did you not understand?”

Ahhh! Time for the knee pads once again!

Whitestone
July 16, 2009

Allen, You DON’T need to repent for telling the bald-faced factual truth. You WOULD need to repent for holding back.

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 16, 2009

Oscewicee: “I think Dr. Seitz has probably done more than most of us have.”

I agree. He’s done more damage than all of us combined.

Paula Loughlin
July 16, 2009

I just don’t get the attraction of remaining in the TEO.

It can’t be the theology. That is in a shambles and clearer expressions of it can be found either in the Reformed churches or the Catholic/Orthodox churches depending on one’s leanings and beliefs.

It can’t be the passion for mission. Many higher ups view mission as a cultural blitzkrieg. And let’s face it the smallest tent revival in the most obscure mountain holler does a better job of telling the world about Christ than does TEO.

It can’t be the liturgy. Cause you can find liturgy in the Lutheran Churches if you are of a non Calvinist Protestant persuasion.

It can’t be the support for families and marriage because that is just too exclusive.

It can’t be the support for those struggling with sin. Cause, well you know.

It can’t be because of clarity of doctrine and defense of the faith. Cause that would be an awfully small box to put God in.

It can’t be about commitment to unchanging Scriptural teachings. Cause all moral edicts have to always be taken in cultural context.

So what is the attraction? Is it the free salad forks with every Confirmation? Is it the carte blanche issued at every Baptism? Is it the robust, yet not overbearing delightful domestic old vine red served at communion? Is it the chance to gawk at humorous vestments?

Please let me in on the mindset that makes staying the best option.

I think perhaps Episcopalians have a bit of isolationism in their veins. If everything is good at the parish level or even better the Diocesean level the 815 could start rounding up Volcano Virgins and still they would display their “The Episocpal Church Welcomes You” stickers with glad heart.

Zach Frey
July 16, 2009

Paula,

I think perhaps Episcopalians have a bit of isolationism in their veins. If everything is good at the parish level or even better the Diocesean level the 815 could start rounding up Volcano Virgins and still they would display their “The Episocpal Church Welcomes You” stickers with glad heart.

Bingo! (To steal a Catholic term. :) )

Oscewicee
July 16, 2009

Paula,
I usually enjoy your comments. :-(

It can’t be the theology. That is in a shambles and clearer expressions of it can be found either in the Reformed churches or the Catholic/Orthodox churches depending on one’s leanings and beliefs.

I’m AngloCatholic. There are reasons why I am not Catholic. There are also reasons why I am not Orthodox, though I admit that if there were an Orthodox church within range I would have to consider that option.

It can’t be the passion for mission. Many higher ups view mission as a cultural blitzkrieg.

Yes, but then there are missionaries in the field who are passionate about their work.

It can’t be the liturgy. Cause you can find liturgy in the Lutheran Churches if you are of a non Calvinist Protestant persuasion.

I’m definitely non-Calvinist and the Lutheran church isn’t even on the radar where I am.

It can’t be the support for families and marriage because that is just too exclusive.

But it can be for the support of aging fellow parishioners.

It can’t be because of clarity of doctrine and defense of the faith.

But it could be in order to defend the faith.

It can’t be about commitment to unchanging Scriptural teachings.

And where may that be found? Perhaps in the Orthodox church.

So what is the attraction? Is it the free salad forks with every Confirmation? Is it the carte blanche issued at every Baptism? Is it the robust, yet not overbearing delightful domestic old vine red served at communion? Is it the chance to gawk at humorous vestments?

Thanks for the cheap shots and gratuitous insults. Much appreciated.

Paula Loughlin
July 16, 2009

Oscewicee,

I am sorry if I did not make it clear that I was speaking specifically about the TEO and not Anglicanism in general. I have always prayed that a body such as ACNA would take root and flourish in the US. Especially if it was welcoming to Anglo Catholics such as yourself.

I think it true orthodox Anglicanism you do find all those things I wondered about. But I honestly believe that TEO has left such things far behind.

I know there are committed, passionate, workers in the vinyard in TEO, but I fear that soon their voices will be silenced and they will be looked upon as quaint memories of a less sophisticated time. And believe me I hurt for you on that account.

As for the remarks you find insulting my apologies I was trying to emphasize that sometimes I think it is a matter of form over the reality of what is going on.

But please I meant no personal hurt and am mortified I have caused any to you at all. I pray that you find a church where you can live out your love of Christ and His gospel and be nurtured in your faith so that your example may bring the lost into His mercy. All for His Glory.

Oscewicee
July 16, 2009

And I apologize for going off a bit like a rocket, Paula. But ACNA is not an option for me – there is no ACNA church I can get to. Even if there were, I feel called to serve my dwindling parish, where I am needed. I think there are many faithful orthodox still in TEC, who are not blind to what is going on, but who have reasons for staying as long as it is possible. It is difficult, and I realize that they can ultimately make it impossible. But when I joined the church, it was a conversion experience and it is not something I can easily turn away from nor do I see any church to turn to. Every day of this convention brings new pain.

Mrs. Lawrence
July 16, 2009

Not to cause anyone any pain, it is of some Anglican historical interest to note that a high churchman, Henry Edward Manning of Tractarian fame decided more than 150 years ago that parochialism would ultimately destroy the Church of England.

Henry did leave the Church of England for Rome and became Cardinal Manning.

Paula Loughlin
July 16, 2009

I understand and you have my sympathy. You will have to be a shadow warrior, fighting the good fight. I know God sees your labors and truly blesses them. For the more difficult the battle. the more sweet the victory.

And we know Christ is Victorious so anything we do for Him is never in vain.

Christopher Johnson
July 16, 2009

Know what popped into my head the other day whilst thinking about all this? Luke 3:17. Maybe this is what’s going on:

His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 16, 2009

Osciwicee: “Every day of this convention brings new pain.”

Acknowledged. There are constructive ways to react to the pain and there are not-constructive ways to react to the pain.

With regards to many in the GLBT crowd, I often see them retreat to a “I’m in pain” meme which they use as emotional manipulation. They are “pained” because they are not accepted to ordained ministry or denied same-sex blessings. And so because they’re in “pain”, weak-minded and weak-willed namby-pamby professing Christians cater to and accommodate themselves to enabling same-sex sin.

“I’m in pain.” Waaaa-Waaaaa. Call Dr. House if you want to get well. Call Dr. Seitz if you want be in pain and to be told that wallowing in pain is the path forward.

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 16, 2009

CJ: CONSERVATIVE EPISCOPALIANS?

Paula Loughlin: “I just don’t get the attraction of remaining in the TEO.”

Allen Lewis: “She has repeatedly said that she is not going to talk specifics along those lines. Apparently she gets annoyed at being asked to provide them and thus descends into being a Snark of the First Class. Sarah at her most odious, IMHO.”

Sarah explains why she is not going to talk specifics:

“I’ve commented extensively on blogs since 2003—six years. I have blogged at StandFirm since 2006—three years. Six months ago I made a personal commitment that the time for my answering further continued questions about 1) when I’m going to leave, 2) when I’m going to go to ACNA, 3) what would it take for me to leave, 4) why don’t I want to join ACNA, 5) why I’m staying, 6) and all other related questions was at an end. Those are distractions and essentially red herrings that take me away from the things that I personally—and incidentally that other remaining Episcopalians—need to focus on.

So I no longer answer such questions. I’ll most likely merely ask the question about when the commenter will leave the US or some other question, if I have the time to respond. There may be—as I blog and analyze about the various events and try to search out strategic questions for those of us remaining in TEC—a time when such topics come up in essays and articles. But those topics would be side-topics for the main article.

I’ve recognized also that some [but not all] of the people asking the above questions are often trying to figure out why others are not affirming the decisions that they made. For some reason they need that. Others simply cannot grasp the reasons, though they are not so insecure that they need others to bear their own decisions out. It’s possible that we need a separate blog for those folks who have left and are simply unable to get over the fact that others did not leave. I do think it says a lot about whether they have really “left TEC” in their hearts, since they’re unable to leave the topic of others leaving alone.

Either way, I have recognized at last that no explanations by the Stayers will suffice for those who fall into those two categories.

I hasten to add that many Leavers fully understand why the Stayers are staying—and they’re not the ones asking those questions.”

But the question remains:

Are the ones staying serving as Institutionalist-Enablers of soul-destroying heresy and apostasy? Actions speak louder than words. And the action of staying in a blatantly apostate body says more than all your words of protest.

The TEc Beast needs numbers and dollars. Staying in does that.

Gregg the Obscure
July 16, 2009

As to those who claim to be Christians, yet won’t answer why they’re still connected with TEO, do they take seriously the charge: “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”?

Dale Price
July 16, 2009

“The TEc Beast needs numbers and dollars. Staying in does that.”

I wish there was a nicer way to put that, but unfortunately that’s exactly it. Also, you are a handy “tame orthodox” they can show off to show how enlightenedly tolerant and diverse the communion is. Rather like the “black friend” the bigot is always mentioning to argue that he’s not really a bigot.

I’m sure there are still a few good reasons (helping the people in one’s parish certainly accounts) for battling on, but the lights are going out everywhere and will never come on again.

alfonso
July 16, 2009

I think it is theoretically possible to stay, with integrity, if one is not enabling the antichrists.

But, among other things, that would mean no money to 815 and most dioceses. That would mean no confirmations/sacramental acts permitted by bishops who so enable.

One such parish staying with integrity is Good Shepherd, Rosemont, PA. But most all are staying “until they kick us out,” but are perpetually compromising themselves by not holding their organization accountable. They redraw lines in the sand time and again, even when the first line was by Christ’s hand, and thus there is no reason to kick them out.

Oscewicee
July 16, 2009

TEC gets no dollars from my parish and from what I hear, leaving doesn’t take you out of the number count, so I’m not sure that you’re making any difference there.

diane in nc with a small d
July 16, 2009

There are reasons why I am not Catholic.

Several Anglo-Catholics have said this recently, hereabouts. And then gone on to state that, if there were an Orthodox church nearby, they would consider that option.

At the risk of igniting WWIII, I think it really does come down to Romophobia — or the Anything But Catholicism (ABC) Syndrome. And that is unfortunate, because, in my experience, most Romophobia is utterly irrational.

When Anglicans (or Orthodox converts for that matter) articulate the reasons why “they aren’t Catholic” and couldn’t seriously consider Catholicism, I’m left sputtering, “But we don’t believe that…no, that doesn’t happen…no, that’s not Catholicism.” Even people who think they’re extremely well informed re Catholicism almost invariably turn out to have HUGE misconceptions and misunderstandings. I am not saying that anyone here harbors these misconceptions (cough) or is blinded by ignorance. Let’s just say that I am continually amazed by how ignorant the critics of Catholicism can so often be. Even the smart, informed ones.

Bottom line: The old “No Popery” myths and caricatures die very hard. (Indeed, that at least partly explains the attraction to Orthodoxy: You can have your smells’n'bells and your Anti-Popery Prejudices, too…what’s not to like? ;-) )

Paula Loughlin
July 16, 2009

One huge advantage of Orthodoxy over Latin Rite Catholicism is that as far as I know there is not a group of traitors within determined to destroy Orthodoxy and remake it in their image.

As a Catholic I know the efforts of the likes of Bishop Weakland, Gall To Action, Womyn Pests and Voice of the Farceful will fail because of Christ’s promise. But to an outsider who has just been through the soul destroying antics of TEO any sign of trouble may be reason enough to say “thanks but no thanks, I’ve had enough of that already.”

And I fully get their are legitimate theological differences that many in TEO just can not overcome.

But my advice is if you are looking for a calm port in the storm where there is never a sign of darkening sky and where the waves are never in tumult, you are not going to find it in the Catholic Church. Cause we are the most stubborn bunch of contrary sinners you will come across.

But if you look beneath all that you may just find an anchor.

Phil
July 16, 2009

Diane,

I disagree with regard to Orthodoxy. Many people convert for positive reasons – because they believe it to be the fullness of the Faith.

We’re on the Western side of the divide. Roman Catholicism is probably considered pretty often, and, from what I understand, has gotten its fair share of fleeing Episcopalians. That Orthodoxy is considered at all is something of a miracle – perhaps literally.

Phil
July 16, 2009

Again, I should have added that none of that is or should be read as a criticism of Catholicism.

Christopher Johnson
July 16, 2009

And there’s always this. I disagree with several points of Catholic doctrine. Right now. Down the road, I may see something or understand something that I don’t as I write this. Or I may never. But, as Shakespeare put it, “this lies all within the will of God.”

thomas
July 16, 2009

Paula,
in many places in the US, Eastern Rite Catholicism is just as accessible as any of the Eastern Orthodox churches

Floridian
July 16, 2009

Well, Paula Loughlin, you are undoubtedly the most honest Catholic on the face of this earth. Still chuckling over the unforgettable phrase you used to describe RC Christian education.

It is likely that the lack of Biblical Christian education and discipleship in both RC and Episcopal churches seminaries is helping to fuel the fires of rebellion that are growing more numerous and intense in US churches.

Perhaps Christ’s church is like a longleaf pine forest that needs to be burned off to remove the competitive worthless undergrowth so the valuable pine timber can reach its maximum potential.

bob
July 16, 2009

Sun comes up in the east, goes down in the west. ECUSA is a flaky bunch of flakes. Yawn. Why oh why is this a surprise to anyone? I bet a thousand dollars there are still folks saying it ain’t over yet…The oceanographer has sung, fellas.

st. anonymous
July 16, 2009

When challenged about what they have done to the Church, revisionists invariably defend themselves by pointing to all the seemingly contented conservatives who still remain in the pews. They have even used this strategy in court cases.

So yes, the Stayers are hurting not helping. Even if they withhold all their money, they’re still enablers by virtue of their mere presence.

Paula Loughlin
July 16, 2009

Thomas, I was deliberate in my reference to Latin Rite Catholicism for that very reason.

The Catholic Church (I believe) has the fullness of Truth. We do not have the fullness of Perfection.

Robb
July 16, 2009

Paula,
Perhaps this might explain why more of us that leave TEC do not swim the Tiber.
A friend of mine and a member of our parish has about had it. He feels he should leave but has no place to go. A divorce in his youth would probably keep
him from being received in the Latin Church I do remember somewhat the circumstances of the divorce and there is little question that in falls under the exception to divorce that our Lord allowed. There are no OCA churches in our area. Like me, he is very much the Anglo-Catholic and would probably be unchurched rather than join a regular protestant church. I am staying because I belive my Lord bids me to do so, but my friend’s circumstances may fit othrs.

Paula Loughlin
July 16, 2009

Robb, The fact that he is divorced will not keep him from being received into the Catholic Church. The problem arises if he is divorced and remarried. And if the first marriage is regarded as a valid sacramental marriage under Church law. Protestant marriages are so classified.

As for staying I know you are doing as you truly have discerned what the Lord desires of you. But be watchful and hope an alternative is given soon.

Peter C.
July 16, 2009

diane, when our parish left ECUSA fifteen years ago, there were several reasons we became Orthodox instead of Roman Catholic. Two, one practical and one theological, stand out in my mind.

1) On the practical side, we had several parishioners that had been Roman Catholic but, because of divorce or other circumstances, had become Episcopalians. It would have been very difficult to ask them to go back to being Roman Catholic. I know that is also true in parishes elsewhere.

2) On the theological and historical side, the reason we were looking to leave was because of all the changes being made to Tradition. As far as I can tell, the forerunner to all the Spongs and Brunos unilaterally making changes whichever way they want was the Pope of Rome unilaterally deciding, even after Leo III had rejected such a change, was Benedict VIII inserting the filioque into the Creed, thus breaking the conciliarity of the Church. Yes, I know, this is a very crude oversimplification of a 200-year process, but the point is that, with regard to Tradition, it has been Old Rome that, time and time again, has been the innovator, not the Orthodox.

goddessoftheclassroom
July 16, 2009

Peter C, I noticed in the article you linked that “The General Convention of The Episcopal Church (U.S.A.) also has enacted that, when the Book of Common Prayer is next revised, that the Filoque clause will be removed from the Nicene Creed.”

Is that correct, or is it out of date?

Doug Stein
July 16, 2009

Allan – thanks for the correction. I know it’s Rillian in The Silver Chair, but I had the image of the whole scene in my mind’s eye and the signals didn’t cross the corpus callosum to fetch the correct name.

Expanding on the image – and applying it to the discussion of Stayers/Leavers might be helpful.

Rillian was lost (whereabouts unknown) and presumed dead. Is he a pew-potato who’s grown up in the church as it was stolen by the revisionists? What will it take to wake him up?
Eustace and Jill were charged with saving the missing prince by no other than Aslan himself. They had some misguided opposition by folks who had lost hope for the mission’s success and would have discouraged them from even starting out. Is this not what Leavers tend to do with Stayers? Leavers care about the spiritual health of the Stayers and (many) would love for TEO to be redeemed. It’s just that they think it’s a lost cause – which it is unless they are specifically chosen for the mission.
Rillian is actually met quite early, but is imprisioned in armor and under the close watch of the Lady in the Green Kirtle. Isn’t it the case that the Stayers have to be encountered one-at-a-time when not under the close watch of the enemy? It’s clear that neither GenCon nor diocesan conventions nor parish vestry meetings are the place to turn hearts and minds back to the Lord.
The children end up visiting Rillian in the stronghold of the enemy’s power. They have to be there to catch the moment when he is in need (about to go back into the Silver Chair). They also have to recognize when he is in his right mind and help untie the bonds so he can destroy the chair and end the spell. Is it not also the case that the moments to awaken the pew-potatoes and if the Stayers aren’t there all they’d have to look forward to is their weekly LBGTQ indoctrination and Biblical deconstruction session (also known as “announcements” and “sermons”)?
Finally, the overthrow of the serpent and true deliverance comes when the awakened Rillian recognizes the enemy for who she is. The transformation from woman to serpent makes it easier for him to strike. Isn’t it also the case that as the revisionists’ mask slips it will become easier to strike the killing blow? Maybe it starts with witholding a pledge. Maybe it starts with an off-premises Bible study. Maybe it starts (shudder) with sharing the Gospel (the real one).

As for me, I left 3 years ago. Why? I sought the Lord after fighting for about 20 years and was told it was time to go. I’m in a non-Anglican church that uses Alpha as one of its evangelism tools. We do two Alphas per year with about 150-200 folks each time. This includes a Teen Alpha with about 40-50 each time. It is much more satisfying to spread the Gospel to folks who are thirsty for the water of life than it is to try to get folks who are drinking spiritual Ripple to drop it and detox.

In the summer months, I spend time on the weekends doing street evangelism with Jews for Jesus as a volunteer. It was partially the fact that I realized I could never recommend any of the newaby TEO congregations to a new believer that convicted me it was time to go.

That being said, I can understand that there are folks called to Stay. It can be a calling from the Lord and is of extreme importance to those who are enchanted and lost.

Just remember that you are called to find Rillian and do what you are charged by Aslan to do – not to go to the Autumn Festival the Giants are putting on or to have indaba with the Lady.

Also, remember to keep repeating and remembering the Signs :-)

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 16, 2009

Paula Loughlin: “But my advice is if you are looking for a calm port in the storm where there is never a sign of darkening sky and where the waves are never in tumult, you are not going to find it in the Catholic Church. Cause we are the most stubborn bunch of contrary sinners you will come across.”

True. But it’s still better than TEc.

Which should be regarded as a wholesome compliment and a cause for jumping up-and-down joy.

;-)

Californian
July 16, 2009

Forgive the ramble–

I have great sympathy for you that feel called to jump ship — I’m a priest and I haven’t had a clear word from our Lord whether to stay or go, or where to go. I love the ACNA folks, both Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical, and have friends in both those camps. My old priest who sent me to seminary has gone to the Antiochian Church and others I know and admire have gone back to Rome. God bless them all, and those who stay as a witness in TEC, even in my super liberal diocese.

My word to those traditionalist laity in TEC: you will not be thrown out. Period. For all the reasons of money, numbers, having token or showpiece conservatives, etc. they will not want you to leave. Expect nice pats on the head and expect to have real opportunity to minister in outreach work, especially in hard, unpleasant work like serving the homeless, the mentally ill, the prisoner. However, do not expect to be sought after for university work or shaping the spiritual or moral life of anyone over the age of ten.

For you (we) clergy: know that you are valued by the truly liberal in TEC, but not necessarily by the progressives who are taking the reins now. Expect to be shut out of clergy searches in parishes and missions where one can make a living (those will be steered to members of the progressive party); any kind of real power in the diocese such as COM, Council, and Standing Committee will be packed with progressives who are padding their resumes. You will not be thrown out– you will be starved out.

So, check out the options: Protestant, Orthodox (including Western Rite in the Antiochian Church), Roman Catholic (including Anglican Use), and of course ACNA.

Mrs. Lawrence
July 16, 2009

“You will not be thrown out– you will be starved out.”

And until you starve, you will be allowed to reside -almost comfortably- in a theological ghetto.

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 16, 2009

Californian: “I have great sympathy for you that feel called to jump ship — I’m a priest and I haven’t had a clear word from our Lord whether to stay or go, or where to go.”

What in your mind would constitute a “clear word from our Lord”? And would you test this “clear word” against Scripture, the Word of God? And what guidance do you see in Scripture with regards to the circumstances you find yourself in?

And may I assume that you aren’t a priest in +Schofield’s diocese?

Oscewicee
July 16, 2009

At the risk of igniting WWIII, I think it really does come down to Romophobia — or the Anything But Catholicism (ABC) Syndrome.

It couldn’t be conscience or anything like that, could it? I have great respect for the Catholic Church, I really do. I have great respect for the current pope and the previous one – I think both have been a blessing to Christianity. I have no phobia about Catholicism – I have serious reservations. But I also have a copy of the Catholic catechism, which I will be studying prayerfully. Equally, I have books about Orthodox belief to study as well. There are real reasons for hesitating in such a choice. If the Catholic church were in a shambles (God forbid) would you immediately jump to, oh, the Anglican Communion? Or would you not also have some hurdles to consider and, perhaps, not be able to get over them?

Mark Windsor
July 16, 2009

If you want a convenient point of departure for WWIII, then I submit this one:

I disagree with several points of Catholic doctrine.

Care to elaborate?

Mark Windsor
July 16, 2009

A divorce in his youth would probably keep
him from being received in the Latin Church

Sorry, but this is something that shouldn’t be left alone. First off, if you’re friend would seriously consider Catholicism, then he owes it to himself to actually look into the situation with the previous marriage. The simple fact is that it might not be as big an obstacle as you might think. It might even be possible to reconcile a previous divorce with a later marriage, but it’s going to depend on the situation.

Why do we have so many annulments in the US? Because so few people understand sacramental marriage, even amongst Catholics. Our education has been so pathetic for the past 40 years that it’s certainly worth talking to someone at a parish, or checking with a canon lawyer.

And even with that…

Even if an annulment isn’t possible, that may only mean that they don’t partake of communion once they’re received into the Church.

It is, without doubt, something they should look into.

Mark Windsor
July 16, 2009

Oscewicee,

I have no phobia about Catholicism – I have serious reservations. But I also have a copy of the Catholic catechism, which I will be studying prayerfully.

You have to keep one thing in mind. We get what diane called the ABC Syndrome all the time. We’re told how un-Scriptural we are, or how deep other peoples reservations are. But when you ask a couple of simple questions, it becomes clear in fairly short order that they really don’t know anything about what Catholicism actually teaches. It’s the very rare case that someone has actually picked up a copy of the Catechism. As a result, we might tend to get a bit…jumpy…at times.

Mrs. Lawrence
July 16, 2009

By all means. Newt Gingrich being accepted fully into the Roman Catholic Church should be a source of hope for the divorced.

Oscewicee
July 16, 2009

Understood, Mark.

Californian
July 16, 2009

What constitutes a “word form the Lord”? Forgive me, I guess I’m trying to speak like my charismatic/evangelical brothers and sisters. For me it might be a 2×4 upside the head or it might come in the form of a bishop saying “Come on over.”

I have no doubt God is already speaking to me and to other Anglicans through the Scripture, liturgy, the totality of Holy Tradition, and every papal encyclical issued in the years I’ve been a Christian. Oh, and the repellent braying of Balaam’s ass that I hear from on high in TEC. For me and many, many others it is the love for our parishes and our Episcopalian brothers and sisters that keeps us in the organization that is trashing what is holy.

BTW, I’m not in San Joaquin.

Laura R.
July 16, 2009

Oscewicee (and others): I recommend Thomas Howard’s story of his own journey from Evangelicalism to Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. He is a former college professor and writes a simple, elegant narrative, very much to the point. The title is Lead, Kindly Light.

Sasha
July 16, 2009

I have to confirm Mark Windsor regarding how much Scripture truly IS within the Romanist fold: it is a LOT more than one might initially think!!!

Time and time again as things progress, I’ve found that some matters one might dismiss out of ignorance, once studied, do at least have a Scriptural basis that wouldn’t be out of place in a sane, careful Biblical context!!

Theologically, I’d say that it’s very much a ‘doldrums’ time for me – perhaps a period of rest even if half-dead seeming. Much to work upon, yet how truly my spirit is fighting to hang on to the old and resistant to what one has misunderstood for decades. [It seems like one of those times where the soul has to repose and trust God willy-nilly and wait for the outcome of events and thought-processes...]

One thing I WILL say: while there yet may be some issues to worry about – excessive devotion to the saints and the Virgin Mary (something shared with Orthodoxy), indulgences and Papal authority (though one fully understands how the idea of ‘infallibility’ is carefully restricted solely to matters of morality or the faith – NOTHING ELSE!!!) – most certainly Catholicism has proven to have a much better track record on faithfulness to Our Lord and His Precepts than one might like to think!!! [Even on what's one of the most contentious topics - transubstantiation - the fact remains that Christ DID speak those exact words upon which that doctrine is based upon. One or two minor refinements regarding what happpens if the Sacrament isn't dealt with as intended might be in place, and all would be otherwise well!]

Even in the Church’s worst days of the Renaissance (the Reformation, sad as it was, nevertheless WAS necessary to jolt the Curia and prelates into acting and becoming real leaders!), the fact remains that so many ardent, genuine Christians always continued to emerge into important rôles in the Roman fold as to deny that it was a Satanic synagogue (as Martin Luther, alas, put it – much of what he had in mind and wrote was leaning towards hyperbole, yet he so cared for the Faith) as far as the faith was and is concerned.

FW Ken
July 16, 2009

Even if an annulment isn’t possible, that may only mean that they don’t partake of communion once they’re received into the Church.

Mark, you are not following the logic to it’s conclusion: if an annulment isn’t possible, the first marriage was valid and the second marriage is adulterous. Why do we accept putting adultery above the Lord? How different is that from the sodomites making their form of fornication the first principle?

I’m just noting that what never gets considered is the possibility of dissolving the second marriage, or, if children are involved, remaining married but forgoing sexual congress.

Sasha
July 16, 2009

FW Ken, one question: what if the other party in such a situation has remarried? Shouldn’t that be a potential reason for an annulment under certain circumstances?

Otherwise, excellent point on your part!!!

Mark Windsor
July 16, 2009

Ken – just to clarify, I wasn’t saying that we put anything above our Lord. I know a couple of people who go to church every Sunday and can’t receive because of past marriages. They spend a lot of time in adoration…

Also, I don’t know that the idea that no one ever considers the foregoing of sexual congress is accurate. In fact, I’ve heard it a couple of times in the past three weeks or so. It does come up from time to time, but how much can you fit into one combox entry?

Mark Windsor
July 16, 2009

Sasha – doesn’t matter. You deal with the marriage before the tribunal, not the potential other marriages of the other party. Alas, I have some experience in my own family on that track with my parents. The tribunal looked at my mother’s situation, regardless of the subsequent situation my father ended up in.

Sasha
July 16, 2009

Thanks so very much, Mark.

A friend of mine (alas, an atheist – in part, apparently, due to the following situation) was born to a couple that then separated and where the mother sought – and received – an annulment, which then cut off the son (my friend) from ALL contact with his father. The mother received sole and total custody. Although he did get to become a very fine gentleman and a decent human being, this seems to have damaged him inside quite severely; especially when he could never seek to reëstablish contact with his biological father (the mother remarried) while he was a child, and subsequently his efforts so to do have completely failed.

[Matters were further complicated by his being moved from Germany to Australia to Canada and the USA, then back to Australia and finally to Canada, which is where he has settled.]

What I need to ask you is if that’s how severe an annulment has to be – that the children from such a marriage be that totally cut off from one of the parents? [It's possible but unlikely that he's exaggerating matters somewhat: he's a very honest, level-minded individual. However, his bitterness against Rome and afterwards ALL Christianity do make me worried and wishing to help him - yet, I'm so totally unable to do a thing regarding it!!! God hasn't granted me any such gifts...]

The young fogey
July 17, 2009

You’re down to two options and only two. You can leave or you can get thrown out.

Yup.

The Neuhaus principle: when orthodoxy becomes optional, inevitably it’s banned.

Or Catholicism as a style choice isn’t Catholicism.

But seriously, who didn’t see this coming?

This story is not news to those who’ve read the history.

In that church the upper (-middle) class has been getting what it wants since the early 1500s.

The Calvinists who used to run it got the wind knocked out of them at the ‘Enlightenment’. Discreet unbelief has been normal there ever since: after all the Methodists were driven out.

But it was still a church haunted by Catholicism so the old Caroline high churchmen and then the Anglo-Catholics came along claiming this was the true nature of the thing.

It obviously wasn’t.

What will happen?

My guesses based on some other people’s:

The Anglican Communion will eventually split up but so what? Both right and left commune all baptised Christians. It won’t affect most moderate layfolk so of course they won’t care. So one side’s bishops don’t get to meet the Queen officially every 10 years. Big deal.

After about 10-15 more years of hemming and hawing at silly general conventions and synods I think Episcopalian money will win out over Third World numbers despite the Evangelicals in England like Bishop Nazir-Ali.

England will have its women bishops in about five years and it’ll be a rerun of the 1990s: a few Anglo-Catholics will become RC but most will stay, with most becoming ‘Affirming Catholics’ (roughly equivalent to Episcopal clergy’s churchmanship) but also a few ritualist congregationalists soldiering on. The only difference: Pope Benedict the great or his successor will create RC national parishes for convert Anglo-Catholics in England.

‘One more thing and I’m out of here!’ or ‘I would have gone last Tuesday week had not my partner objected’.

ACNA will crack up along high- and low-church lines but will still exist as a little non-Anglican denomination. The Episcopalians will win the buildings in court and the old American Anglo-Catholic dioceses’ people will be divided among the Continuum and the Orthodox (including the Antiochian Western Rite, nicely re-creating 1950s American Anglo-Catholicism). American ACism unlike English is non-papal.

The Episcopalians will dip below a million members (conversions away plus the Episcopalians mostly don’t have kids) but won’t go out of business.

And I think in the medium term they won’t go unitarian… yet. Their young are a lot like Rowan Williams not Jack Spong: credally orthodox and almost Catholic, sacramental and really spiritual… but like all Protestants believing in a fallible thus fungible church so women priests, gay weddings and intercommunion with the non-episcopal.

So in about 25-50 years, after the boomers are dead, you’ll see a credal, formulary and liturgical back-to-basics movement… but with no infallible church to depend on, with no foundation but its holders’ opinion, that’ll collapse in about 100 years and it will indeed become high-church liturgical unitarian universalism.

As an Anglo-Catholic teen-ager who took his experience at face value it seemed like my world was being taken away from me right then and there. But now, in my 40s, I think I get it.

Clown Celebrant
July 17, 2009

I wonder what the next big Episcopal cause will be? Uh, never mind.

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 17, 2009

Young Fogey, you paint a lovely picture of hope and encouragement there for Anglicans and Episcopalians to hold on to.

The Bovina Bloviator
July 17, 2009

As an Anglo-Catholic teen-ager who took his experience at face value it seemed like my world was being taken away from me right then and there.

YF, I was just out of my teens but otherwise that describes my experience exactly.

Clown Celebrant, remember Johnson’s Law then let your imagination run wild.

FW Ken
July 17, 2009

Mark, of course I don’t think you mean that we should put anything before the Lord and I take your word that some people consider continence in an irregular marriage. I’ve just never heard that possibility put forth in discussions. The fact of a legal marriage always seems to trump considerations of whether it’s a sacramentally valid marriage.

Chris M
July 17, 2009

Paula, as a Catholic convert from TEC whose family remains in TEC, I may be able to offer some small explanation as to why some folks remain..

I live in Orlando and the local TEC Bishop is John Howe. He’s a good man and has done a very good job insulating his flock from the maelstrom. One of the unfortunate side effects of this insulation is that the flock feels like it won’t ever touch them. So the aging congregations feel like they can live out the rest of their days in the comfort of the churches they’ve grown up in, or lived in for many years.

When your entire life has revolved around a parish family, it’s nearly impossible to leave it. Almost as hard as it would be to divorce your REAL family. I was only 25 when I came into the Catholic Church, so I didn’t have the 50+ years in one place that my (rather Catholic minded) mother or grandparents had. I find it hard to fault them for staying in a parish that is, by Anglican terms, orthodox, and remains safe (for now) under +Howe’s protection.

Mrs. Lawrence
July 17, 2009

If someone is interesting in pursuing the Catholic Church but believes the Church will not accept them because they are divorced or married to a divorced person, (most respectfully) they really ought not to listen to any of us Catholics in the comment boxes. They need to find a solid priest and explain to them their individual situations.

The priest will have a good idea if they can try for an annulment. Or he can find out from someone who really does know. Also he can easily explain exactly what an annulment means in Church terms of children born of annulled marriages.

Christ is our hope and the Catholic Church is very understanding and mature -spiritually as well as intellectually- regarding serious and grave matters.

Mark Windsor
July 17, 2009

What I need to ask you is if that’s how severe an annulment has to be – that the children from such a marriage be that totally cut off from one of the parents? [It's possible but unlikely that he's exaggerating matters somewhat: he's a very honest, level-minded individual. However, his bitterness against Rome and afterwards ALL Christianity do make me worried and wishing to help him - yet, I'm so totally unable to do a thing regarding it!!! God hasn't granted me any such gifts...]

We may have to do this privately by e-mail, but here’s the very short version.

An annulment is actually a very simple thing (though there can be great complications in getting one). It does one thing and one thing only.

An annulment simply says that a sacramental marriage did not exist. In your friend’s case, for whatever reason, the Church declared that the parent’s first marriage was not sacramental. (Remember, if a sacramental marriage did existed, then “what God has joined together let no man put asunder” is in full force.)

Very simply, an annulment only speaks to the sacramentality of the previous marriage. It does nothing more than that. There are no rules of conduct after the annulment is granted.

Nowhere in the code of canon law will you find a statement that requires the removal of one parent after an annulment. Your friend may well be telling you the truth, but were the estranged parents equally truthful with him?

Dr. Mabuse
July 17, 2009

Sasha – I think your friend is very angry, and is liberally throwing his anger and blame onto the Catholic Church, which failed to miraculously “fix” his broken childhood. His tale is frankly fantastic. As Mark says, the role of an annulment tribunal is to rule on the validity of a marriage. They have absolutely no authority to distribute custody or visitation – that is all decided solely by the civil authorities. We don’t live under a Catholic version of sharia. Your friend sounds angry that the church didn’t rescue him when he was a helpless child, even though there was absolutely nothing they could do. It was his parents who divorced and broke up his family – the Church doesn’t go around plucking up “unworthy” families and ordering the members scattered abroad and forbidden to see each other. That was his parents’ doing, with the help of lawyers and courts. Maybe blaming the Church is the only way he can preserve some shred of regard for his parents, and it wouldn’t be surprising that he desperately hangs on to the little that is left of his family, but someone that overwrought and emotionally damaged can’t be relied upon to tell or even recognize the facts.

Sasha
July 17, 2009

Thank you so very much both, Mr. Mark Windsor and Dr. Mabuse!

Yes, there’s no doubt that my friend has not a little bit of anger and bitterness in his heart, even if he’s in better self-control about it in some ways compared to what I’d be given our respective natures.

Most certainly his at-times militant atheism has been something I’ve had to watch, particularly when we’re together conversing or making music together (he’s a bass-baritone singer who, in my church-music days, was a very GREAT help!!!!). It’s obvious that dwelling on that subject would bring our friendship to a swift end!! [To that end I've tried to be careful about subject choice.]

The big irony is that he nevertheless loves religious classical music (even more than I!) – be it the orchestral Masses, Requiems et al of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven or Schubert, or the Renaissance polyphony of Victoria, Byrd, Palestrina or Lassus – it’s stuff he adores!!!

I’ll also take at this point part of the blame for not being anywhere near as worthy of a Christian as yours truly needs to be in order to have half a chance of NOT converting him but rather being a half-decent Christian witness that could help his frame of mind – perhaps – be possibly more receptive to God’s Grace… [And it doesn't matter be his anger against Rome, the Easterners or the Protestants: it started with Rome and then spread against ALL Christianity, period!!]

Paula Loughlin
July 17, 2009

Chris M, My in laws are in the Diocese of Central Florida and are also blessed with a wonderful pastor in the person of Father John Leibler. So I do understand what you are saying. But I think this also allows them to delude themselves because they are able to isolate and fortify themselves against the blatant apostasy of TEO.

And I do wonder about what the future will bring. I have no doubts that the next Bishop will be more of an 815 team player.

Chris M
July 17, 2009

Paula,

Exactly my point! Since Bishop Howe and most of the clergy have insulated the laity of Central Florida against the worst parts of the National Church’s silliness, they feel like it will never touch them.. but John Howe can’t reign as diocesan Bishop forever, and unfortunately, I think you’re right. 815 will never EVER let anyone in that mold become their Bishop. I’d say they’ll get someone like +Howard…

diane with small d
July 18, 2009

Peter C, forgive me, but you have illustrated my point. People reject Rome not because of what she really believes but because of what they think she believes. Archbishop Sheen made this very point, much better than I, many years ago.

Re the Filioque: Brilliant minds in your own communion do not regard this as a Church-dividing issue. (David Hart springs to mind.) To tell the truth, the only Orthodox I ever encounter who get their knickers in a twist over the Filioque are converts. On the Internet. Never in Real Life. Perhaps that’s just my experience. Over the years, my dealings with Internet Orthodox have left me shell-shocked and with a very bad taste in my mouth. (NOT saying that this is true of Orthodox on this forum.) In Real Life, by contrast, my experiences have been very pleasant. But then, our local Orthodox are Greek, and they seem more relaxed about everything anyway. :-) Opa!

diane with small d
July 18, 2009

Oops, I’m caught in the moderation loop. Was this because my previous comment was too incendiary? Mea culpa! (OK, I’m paranoid, LOL.)

diane in nc with a small d
July 18, 2009

Chris M — do you know anything about the situation in Tampa-Saint Pete? An old college chum of mine is rector of a parish in Tampa (Saint Mark’s). If you go to the St Mark’s website, you don’t get the slightest indication that anything is going on in TEC beyond youth group laser tag, Vacation Bible School, and wiffle ball. It all seems utterly innocuous and rather appealing, frankly. There’s even a pretty forthright emphasis on Jesus. And not one scintilla of a suspicion of a sign that the rest of the communion is cracking up. Very strange.

diane in nc with a small d
July 18, 2009

Peter C, forgive me, but you have illustrated my point. People reject Rome not because of what she really believes but because of what they think she believes. Archbishop Sheen made this very point, much better than I, many years ago.

Re the Filioque: Brilliant minds in your own communion do not regard this as a Church-dividing issue. (David Hart springs to mind.) To tell the truth, the only Orthodox I ever encounter who get their knickers in a twist over the Filioque are converts. On the Internet. Never in Real Life. Perhaps that’s just my experience. Over the years, my dealings with Internet Orthodox have left me shell-shocked and with a very bad taste in my mouth. (NOT saying that this is true of Orthodox on this forum.) In Real Life, by contrast, my experiences have been very pleasant. But then, our local Orthodox are Greek, and they seem more relaxed about everything anyway. :-) Opa!

Chris M
July 18, 2009

diane,

I don’t know too much about Tampa/St Pete since it’s in the Diocese of SW Florida. I’ve heard mixed opinions about Bishop Smith.. Hmm.. a glance at the diocesan website shows he just received two Catholic Priests as Episcopal Priests.. I guess he’s less prone to gushing to the media than Leo Frade..

Dr. Mabuse
July 18, 2009

Sasha, don’t underestimate the value of just being present as a good, decent Christian for this sort of angry atheist. Sometimes that’s just what’s needed to keep them from falling into the “I’ve seen it all and I know it all” attitude when it comes to Christianity. They may have a cliched idea of Christians, that we accuse and yell and threaten hellfire and damnation to anyone who doesn’t follow the same path we do, and just demonstrating that that isn’t so helps forces them to realize and think about the exceptions.

If you want to see how effective this can be, check out this video from last year: http://christianskepticism.blogspot.com/2008/12/penn-from-penn-teller-christians-should.html Penn Jillette is what anyone would consider a MILITANT atheist, and he was quite touched by a good man who cared enough to treat him respectfully and give him a New Testament. You never know just what will get past the defences, and when – I guess that’s the Holy Spirit’s work – but it’s good to be already on the scene, doing your part, in case the moment comes when you can be useful.

Mark Windsor
July 19, 2009

Sasha – Sometimes it’s best to take the advice of St. Francis. Preach the gospel every day, and when absolutely necessary, use words. As St. Paul said, there are many jobs in the Body of Christ. Not all of us are called to evangelize.

Mark Windsor
July 19, 2009

diane – you reminded me of something. The only bad-taste-in-my-mouth experience I’ve ever had with a Greek Orthodox was really odd. When she found out I was Roman Catholic, she got all red in the face and started on about how I was personally responsible for the sack of Constantinople. She caught me so off guard that I finally said, “I swear, I was in Malta at the time…”, and ran away.

Sasha
July 19, 2009

Dear Mark:

I know what you mean regarding the Easterners holding Rome responsible for the Sack of Constantinople in 1204 – a similar problem occurred with my father when he and I debated on history many years ago.

[He - also a militant atheist and even a Marxist, although no lover of Ljéñin and the rest of those Communists - thinks that had that thing not occurred, the Byzantine Greeks could have more effectively fought off the Ottoman Turks and not finally succumbed to them in 1453 (conveniently forgetting how his beloved Carj {Tsar} Dúshan was prepared to go conquer that city in the 14th century when instead he - Dúshan - died!). However, Will Durant truly put it in Volume 6 of his "History of Civilisation: The Reformation" as follows: "No nation so fully deserved to fall as the Byzantine" - which galls him because he thinks that that way Serbia and the rest of South-Eastern Europe would never have fallen under the Turkish thumb for 500 and more years...] It’s most unjustified to keep holding on to such a grudge for over 800 years, especially against the Romanist Church: truly they were NOT responsible for that miserable affair – the Venetians are to blame!!!! THEY, on that Fourth Crusade, were out to help themselves and nobody else – and they did the same thing to the Dalmatian town of Zadar before doing as much to Constantinople! Furthermore, the Church made it plain that they didn’t want Venice to do anything to the Greeks, even threatening excommunication upon those who did. [They of course ignored it...]

[To be honest, regarding reparations and the rest of that stuff, Eastern Orthodoxy would do better to press its case with the Italian government, NOT the Catholic Church!]

To boot, the late Pope John-Paul II directly and personally apologised to the Athenian Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox for any rôle the Roman church had in that sack, which that archbishop applauded (the images thereof were shown on television and the Internet)! Of course and most lamentably, other Greeks in Athens and other parts of Greece had – and have! – NO forgiveness but just want to continue their bigotry out of habit. The same applies to the Russians (whom I particularly feel bitter with!) and other Easterners – yet another reason why I don’t feel at home in Eastern Orthodoxy (the other two being their abhorrence of instrumental music in church plus their definitely-excessive veneration of Mary and the saints!!)!!

Otherwise, many thanks to you and Dr. Mabuse for your advice regarding my friend. I only wish that yours truly was way better as a Christian: that I’ve not been able to hide my rage and bitterness at those who’ve hurt me regarding my beloved organ-practise base can only testify against me and lower my friend’s respect for me, I strongly fear!!!…

William Tighe
July 19, 2009

Sasha,

I don’t agree with the Durants on Byzantium: they show a deep and ignorant dislike of Byzantine Civilization on every occasion that they mention it.

That said:

1. it was the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert in 1071 (and the nearly 20 years of chaos and weak emperors that ensued) that opened up Anatolia to Turkish penetration;

2. by the time of the First Crusade (1098) the Turks had overrun all of Anatolia, save for isolated Byzantine outposts such as Trebizond, Sinope, Cyzicus and the like; and it was the defeats that the Crusaders inflicted on the Turks on the way to the Holy Land that enabled the Byzantines to stage a remarkable recovery, such that by the premature end of the reign of John Comnenos in 1143 they had effectively recovered the western half of Anatolia and the whole coastal region from the eastern end of the Black Sea to Tarsus in the NE corner of the Mediterranean;

3. it was the able but “flighty” emperor, Manuel Comnenus (1143-1180) who, in his pursuit of territorial expansion in the Balkans against Serbs and Hungarians, and in the far SE against the Crusader state of Antioch, halted his two predecessors’ policy of applying slow but steady relentless pressure against the Turks; he also alienated the Venetians without any corresponding gain. This enabled the Seljuk Turks to recuperate and consolidate, and when Manuel launched a war against them in 1176 they were able to inflict a shattering defeat on the Byzantines at Myriocephalon in that year, which turned out to be as calamitous in its sequel as Manzikert.

4. Manuel’s death was followed in 1183 by the successful usurpation of the throne in 1183 by his brother Andronicus, on an anti-Latin “platform:” when his forced entered Constantinople there was a vast massacre of Latin residents, in which 80,000 or more perished, including some close kin of the future Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo (ca. 1110-1205), the man who was later to “divert” the Fourth Crusade to Venice. Andronicus subsequently had Manuel’s French widow and their young son murdered.

5. Andronicus’s overthrow and murder in 1185 by the two Angelus brothers (who subsequently fell out with each other) was followed by a dramatic increase in taxes, to try to pay off the hostilities with Venice which had been sparked by the 1183 massacres. These heavy taxes, in turn, caused the successful Bulgarian revolt of 1185, which took away a substantial proportion of Byzantine territory in the Balkans, and also prevented the Byzantine’s from doing anything to attempt to counter the Turkish advances into western Anatolia which had begun after Myriocephalon in 1176.

6. The seizure of Constantinople by the Latins in 1204 actually had an initial beneficial effect on Christian fortunes in Anatolia: the establishment of two Byzantine successor-states, one under the Comneni at Trezibond, the other under the Lascarides at Nicaea, both of which (and especially the latter) devoted their strength to stopping the advances of the Turks, and were quite successful at it. Meanwhile, the third Byzantine successor-state, the Despotate of Epirus under the Angeli and the new Bulgarian Empire, engaged in a long competition about which one would be able to recover Constantinople from the Latins. In the event, they exhausted one another, and it was the ambitious Michael Palaiologos of Nicaea (the guardian and eventual supplanter and murderer of the last Lascarid boy-emperor) whose forces unexpectedly recovered Constantinople in 1261

7. the recovery of Constantinople was what sealed the doom of “Hellenism” in Anatolia, as after 1204 the Palaiologian emperors neglected it in favor of trying to recover Greece from the various crusader principalities that had divided it up after 1204, and to fending off attacks from the Epiriots, the Bulgarians and, later, the Serbs. By 1305 the Turks had reached the Aegean and taken the whole coastline there and to the south. The small emirate of the “Osmanli” Turkish family, founded in an odd corner of Bithynia around 1290, began to nibble away at Byzantine territories after defeating a Byzantine army at Bapheus in 1302: they took Brusa in 1326, Nicaea in 1331 and Nikomedia in 1337, and finally ousted the Byzantines wholly from Anatolia by taking Chalcedon/Chrysopolis right across the Bosphorous from Constantinople in 1338. Once the Turks were able to take advantage of an earthquake and cross the Dardanelles to seize the Gallipoli peninsula, and expand outwards from there, the eventual doom of the Byzantine Empire was sealed.

8. the Despotate of Epirus came to an end in 1359; the Empire of Tebizond lasted until 1461, the last of the Byzantine successor-states. Instead of going down in glory like Constantinople in 1453, its Emperor David Comnenus surrendered the city to the Turks. He was initially pensioned off, but two years later he was executed with his sons and his nephew, thus cutting off the family (except for one son who became a Muslim and disappeared from history).

The permanent Greek resentment against the “Latin perfidy” of 1204 is as good a case of “selective memory” as can be found.

Sasha
July 19, 2009

Good points, Dr. Tighe!

By now I’ve come to know well what’s a definite anti-Christian bias on the part of the late Durants. I had thought, however, that they still were relatively impartial concerning historical events and one could therefore “eat the chicken-meat and spit out the bones!” Well well, they were just as human – and consequently flawed and even evil! – as anybody else!

The big point in all this is that the Greek anti-Roman bias is quite unjustified. As to the Russian bias (it was in Russian Orthodoxy that yours truly was baptised, confirmed and given First Communion), that part of the Orthodox Communion not only automatically swallowed that canard, it also added its own anti-Polish (and therefore anti-Romanist) bitterness and phobias.

[Poland in the 16th and 17th centuries was a great empire that did even manage to temporarily occupy Moscow in the "Dark Times" of 1605-1613, installing its own puppet Carj in 1605 upon the death of Borís Godunóv (of Púshkin and Musórgskiy fame): they killed off his son who briefly reigned as Fjeódor II and put the "false Dmítriy" in his place. Two years later, when the Muscovites recovered their capital from Polish dominance, they brutally murdered him and fired his ashes from a cannon in the direction of Poland. However, people couldn't agree on who should be Carj: several rival candidates ascended the throne, only for each to be murdered a short time later. It was in 1613 that finally a people's assembly (Zjémskiy Sobór) agreed upon Mikhaíl Rómanov, who founded the Rómanov dynasty...]

PS., while we’re at it, my father has affected to think that Serbian Orthodoxy has its hands clean of some of the Inquisitorial blood of both the Roman church and also that of Russian Orthodoxy (notably regarding Avvakúm). Not knowing my Serb history as well as he, I can only wonder…

William Tighe
July 19, 2009

I think (my recollection is vague) that the Durants (or at least he-Durant) was a thoroughly lapsed secularist rationalist Catholic, who surprised a lot of people by making a death-bed confession, receiving the Viaticum and dying in the Church.

I thought that the Polish claimant, or aspirant, to the Czardom, was Wladislaw IV (1595-1648), King of Poland 1632-1648, the son of that fascinating melancholic king (a talented goldsmith and painter) Sigismund Vasa (1566-1632), King of Poland 1587-1632 and King of Sweden 1592-1600 (son of Johan III of Sweden, 1568-1592 and ultimately deposed in Sweden by his uncle Karl or Charles IX [d. 1613]). I wish there were a good biography of Sigismund in English; I have one in Swedish, which I can read slowly.

Mark Windsor
July 19, 2009

The Durants, as in Will and Ariel? Is that who we’re talking about? Good gravy! I know I can be slow on the up-keep, but Sasha – read them not again forever!

I made the mistake of using a single citation in an upper division undergrad paper (it wasn’t even a critical citation, as I recall). My professor, who also happened to be my undergrad advisor, said that if I ever used them as a source on another paper he’d boot me out of the department.

Sasha
July 19, 2009

I don’t blame either you or your professor, dear Mark (though I think his threat against you was taking matters a little too severely!): the trouble is that my brother and father so used them as part of their secular make-up (brother an agnostic though tending towards Christianity in terms of morals if not fully on faith as of yet, father an atheist ever since the age of 6, perhaps even 4 – his early childhood was such as to embitter him against Christ and all religion far too early, even though he actually liked the Orthodox liturgy as a youth!) and the books (two complete sets!) were so much there that I could hardly avoid them.

It will take some time and work on my part to fully wean myself away, especially given that there’s still not a little bit of stuff to benefit from the viewpoint of integrated history. To boot, I’d read those books (particularly volumes 2-11) ever since childhood and so much of it entered deep into my unconscious as well as conscious (for certain things yours truly apparently happens to have a quasi-photographic memory). Nevertheless, I can assure you that yours truly knows better than to swallow everything they’ve written (certainly it’s no case of hook, line + sinker anymore!!).

[At this point you'll be interested and pleased to know that a very good late friend of mine, a UCC minister who however was of the old theological school like you and me, well aware of the apostasies and heresies out there (until his death, for over 11 years he was my father-confessor and I was his theological pupil) and also liturgically conscious, said exactly the same thing and encouraged me to go to primary sources, the ones used by the Durants (e.g., Ludwig Pastor for Romanist history)].

Regarding Will Durant’s deathbed confession of faith: I sure hope it was genuine and sincere; otherwise the penalty against him is guaranteed to be that much more severe!!!

Now, concerning the Polish claimant(s) to the Russian throne, Professor Tighe: the Poles nevertheless DID use the false “Dmítriy” (who also married Marína Mníshek) as an intended puppet-Carj (the ‘j’ is meant as a softener of the ‘r’ in addition to serving as a simplified equivalent of the ‘ь’ symbol of the Cyrillic alphabet in my transliteration system). If you doubt me, that part is well documented. To boot, the time-period you’re talking about is later than what that Russian “Dark Times/Time of Troubles” (1605-1613) happens to be. [Wladislaw IV would have been only 10 years old when that period started whereas "Dmítriy" was about double that.]

Who knows – perhaps it may be yours to translate that Swedish biography you mention above. Certainly it wouldn’t hurt.

diane in nc with a small d
July 20, 2009

Whew, Dr. Tighe!! Do you keep all that stuff in your head? You are one amazing dude. I am in awe!

As I think I’ve mentioned, my hubby wrote his doctoral thesis on Basil II and his immediate successors (including his nieces Zoe and Theodora and their husbands, IIRC).

But I doubt my hubby could rattle stuff off like that, LOL!!

diane in nc with a small d
July 20, 2009

the Poles nevertheless DID use the false “Dmítriy” …

Which led, in turn, to one of my favorite operas, LOL!! I have an old (vinyl) album in which Boris Christoff sings THREE count ‘em 3 roles in that opera.

Sasha
July 20, 2009

Yes, diane: I know about Boris Christoff playing the parts of Borís, Pimjén and Varláam – although people have panned him in the 2nd of those rôles, saying that he, a nasty character in real-life, didn’t have the humanity to properly fit the otherworldly, visionary character of the cloistered monk (as opposed to the outcast, wandering friar Varláam).

Given that Khristov (to transliterate the name in line with the original Cyrillic spelling) sang and recorded the rôle in the heavily-altered version by Rímskiy-Kórsakov, I’ve not gotten around to hearing him or that recording. [Yours truly, for once, has been "politically-correct" by going instead with the recordings made of Musórgskiy's original version as (very conservatively and sparingly!!) edited by Pávjel Lámm and David Lloyd-Jones as recorded by Gjórgijev and Rostropóvich (especially the latter {Erato label} - that recording is the one I cherish as the standard!!).]

Truth Unites... and Divides
July 20, 2009

Sasha: “Yes, diane: I know about Boris Christoff playing the parts of …

And I know about a deceased Boris Karloff who played parts in horror movies.

;-)

Sasha
July 20, 2009

Hold it, TU&D! We were talking about a recording diane in NC brought up on this subject thread (I should have made things clearer, mea culpa!), on which Khristov DID record all three rôles (even though he otherwise did mainly – if not exclusively! – the part of Borís in the Musórgskiy opera “Borís Godunóv” as altered by Rímskiy-Kórsakov). [It should be pointed out that Ñikoláy Andrjéjevich altered the work so severely that his version qualifies as a virtually-separate work from Musórgskiy's original, which has finally been restored to its rightful place.]

In fact, the recording is still available (on Amazon.com, the link is http://www.amazon.com/Boris-Godunov-Mussorgsky/dp/B00006I0DL/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1248125407&sr=1-3). Thus, those who’re interested in it can yet get it.

Sasha
July 20, 2009

One more thing: I’m aware that some people speak/write of singers singing rôles, while others speak/write of them playing them (in the sense of acting). The truth is that BOTH are supposed to be done by the same person simultaneously.

Otherwise, we’ve wandered from discussing truly-Christian “Episcopalians”‘ options, to how to help militant atheists whom we know in our lives, to the Fourth Crusade of 1204 and its sacking of Constantinople + Eastern Orthodoxy’s bitterness thereupon, to the merits of a couple of historians, to one or more recordings of the Musórgskiy opera “Borís Godunóv” (which by the way – particularly thanks to its Third Act {set in Poland/Lithuania} where the false “Dimítriy” both woos Marína Mníshek and mobilises his forces to capture the Russian throne – also touches upon the Easterner/Romanist quarrel as far as Russia is concerned!), to the merits and foibles of a certain singer who was one of the great exponents of the title rôle in that same opera. [The last scene of Act Four of the same work also touches upon that at-times murderous conflict.]

[A good friend of mine, a former classical singer of considerable renown and who witnessed Khristov in action and backstage, told me that indeed he was such a "bastard" as to deserve the loathing and contempt of his colleagues when they teamed up to punish him in some way yours truly can't at this point recall - she did tell me he deserved every bit of it...]

Sasha
July 20, 2009

Oops, in comment #94: the phrase regarding Khristov’s performing the part of Borís Godunóv in the Musórgskiy opera should have read (even though he otherwise did mainly – if not exclusively! – the part of Borís in live performances of the Musórgskiy opera “Borís Godunóv” as altered by Rímskiy-Korsakov)

The David Lloyd-Jones edition of the original full-score of Musórgskiy’s immortal opera was published in 1975, so it’s no wonder that all performances and recordings up until then were mainly of the Rímskiy-Kórsakov version. [There are several other versions, including one by Shostakóvich (based upon the original version as initially edited by Pávjel Lámm); however, it's the Rímskiy-Kórsakov version that was the most popular until 1975, and still is well-known to many people. Fortunately, the original version has proven its worth and is gaining its well-deserved respect as well as appropriate popularity.]

diane in nc with a small d
July 20, 2009

Sasha, I know the opera allusion would draw a response from you!! Am I impish, or what? :D

I never knew Khristov-Christoff was a nasty character in real life. Waaaah, that definitely taints my view of him. A friend of mine once told me that he (Christoff) told Herbert von Karajan “no” when the latetr wanted him to play Don Giovanni…he said his voice was suited for Leporello but emphatically NOT for the Don. If this story is true…well, it took courage to turn down von Karajan, so Christoff must have been one tough cookie!

Correct me if I’m wrong — didn’t Mussorgzky add all that Polish stuff (complete with the requisite Evil Jesuit, LOL) because people had complained that there was no female love interest in the opera? (In fact, no women at all to speak of, except in the chorus.)

diane in nc with a small d
July 20, 2009

sorry for typo–should be “latter” of course :)

diane in nc with a small d
July 20, 2009

And “I know” in first sentence should have been “I knew.” I am batting a thousand today! ;)

diane in nc with a small d
July 20, 2009

Sasha, can you recommend recordings of the original version of the opera? THANKS!!

Sasha
July 20, 2009

Hello “diane”:

I know of at least three recordings of the original version of Modjést Pjetróvich Musórgskiy’s “Borís Godunóv”, featuring conductors Claudio Abbado (Berlin Philharmonic on Sony), Valjériy Abisálovich Gjórgijev (Gjergíjev in Ossetian apparently – either way, the label is Philips and it’s the Kiróv-Mariínskiy Opera Company incl. Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Russia) and Mstíslav Ljeopóljdovich Rostropóvich (Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra on Erato – they use the French spelling “Rostropovitch” while we’re at it).

The respective Amazon links are (in the same order):

http://www.amazon.com/Mussorgsky-Kotscherga-Lipovsek-Leiferkus-Langridge/dp/B0000029L4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1248132421&sr=1-1;
http://www.amazon.com/Boris-Godounov-1869-1872-Versions/dp/B00000DI3M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1248132582&sr=1-1;
http://www.amazon.com/Moussorgski-Godounov-Raimondi-Wischnewskaja-Rostropovitch/dp/B000005E6S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1248133001&sr=1-1.

At the time when I decided to get at least one recording 5 years ago, it truly was an extremely difficult decision for me given that all three recordings have 5-star reviews and all the samples sounded excellent); however, yours truly is EXTREMELY GLAD INDEED that he went for the Rostropóvich recording – absolutely no regrets whatsoever!!

Likely the very next-best, and especially given that it features both the initial 1868 version as well as the definitive 1872 version (with the “Polish” Third Act, as you’ve noted), is Gjórgijev on Philips (the real cathedral bells present as part of the stage-equipment in the Mariínskiy Theatre of St. Petersburg as well as Moscow’s Boljshóy just knock the others dead-down, I must say). Afterwards comes that of Abbado on Sony.

[It was the 1868-9 version which, barring a little rôle in Act II for Ksjéñija (Borís's daughter), indeed otherwise has no female rôle at all (though the part of Borís's son Fjeódor is usually sung by a woman} and thus was rejected officially on that basis - the real truth was that others were shocked by the score's - for the time - over-original and "bleak" writing!]

If you have oodles of money, you may well wish to get all three of them; on the other hand, if (like most of the rest of us) you don’t, my top recommendation is Rostropóvich, though Gjórgijev most certainly is an excellent alternative. Ideally, get both those first two; Abbado can come later. [Another possibility is the video-production (also on Philips) of the Gjórgijev production from St. Petersburg...]

Sasha
July 20, 2009

In compensation for the poor chimes Rostropóvich ended up using for the coronation scene, it’s worth noting that the treble Matthew Fish on that same recording does a superb job as Fjeódor (also adds a touch of authenticity to the recording to boot!).

Now, my apologies for the excessive verbosity on my part throughout all this stuff… :-(

Sasha
July 20, 2009

Oops, one more little female rôle I overlooked (in Act II): the Nurse!! Mea culpa…

Otherwise, from what I can tell looking over the original 1868-9 version of Act II (via the OUP full score of David Lloyd-Jones’ edition of the original version of 1975), I’ll dare say that the latter version, although not quite as unconventional in terms of the characters featured there as well as the music – and otherwise very interesting – nevertheless is not a big loss compared to Act II of the 1872 version.

Dr. Mabuse
July 20, 2009

That Rostropovich recording was made to accompany the film version of ‘Boris Godunov’, which I would very much like to see, but it appears to have been suppressed. Some of the director’s decisions produced outraged reactions from Russians, because they thought he was hinting at incest between Boris and Kseniya! Ruggero Raimondi is my favourite bass-baritone, and he’s a terrific actor as well as a fine singer, so I hope to see this some day.

Sasha
July 20, 2009

Dear Dr. Mabuse, the film was panned by quite a few (Western) critics; furthermore, it’s very heavily abridged compared to the opera’s actual material and length (3 hours, 45 minutes). I wouldn’t grieve too much for its loss (its visual director, Andrzey Zulawski, apparently way overfilled it with bedroom/sex scenes) – just go for the Rostropóvich recording. I promise you all that you’ll find it an absolute joy!!!

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