June 30, 2007

A Sea of Bishops

Anglican Mainstream now reports a near-dozen bishops or bishops-in-waiting ready to serve the self-styled orthodox among the apostate Episcopalians.

I realize we are a small-e episcopal church, and bishops have an important role to play. But what kind of episcopal oversight is actually needed or wanted by these various parishes and parts of parishes scattered across the United States and consisting of nationally identified congregations (owing some form of allegiance to their homeland) and reasserter Americans? Most parishes I've known (and I've known a good number over the years) are quite happy to see their bishop once a year for confirmations, or at cathedral events in the rare case of an ordination, so the clamoring for prelates seems a bit disproportional.

I'm similarly confused by the calls for alternative primatial oversight. As most of our conservative dioceses have been able to manage having as little as possible to do with our past two primates, their sudden need for an alternative stand-in also rings a bit hollow... or convenient.

In the daily office cycle just now we are reading about the clamor of the Israelites for a king to rule over them, which God takes as a personal slight. He gives them what they ask for, but, as with the meat of the desert wanderings, they would soon grow sick of that leadership.

Tobias Haller BSG


Marshall Scott said...

Arguably, much of the effort, erudite discussion notwithstanding, has been about getting Daddy's attention and approval, preferably at the expense of other children. It seems to me to be of a piece that those who would support moving meaningful authority in to the hands of a smaller and smaller group of bishops primi inter pares would also feel it important to have more bishops of their own.

We have all affirmed the office of the bishop as a symbol of unity. These are those who wish to establish a new unity, with some in and some out. A new unity requires new bishops.

Anonymous said...

Them bishops wanna serve God's people? I've got this here soup kitchen, and I've even got a couple of purple aprons hangin' about.

R said...

I have posted a suggested shopping list for these new bishops.

Sometimes a bit of humor is all the charity we can afford.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, I'm sure all these bishops ("bishops" so-called?) were YEARS in the planning and making...

...yet on the other, I can't help but feel that the rash of 'em, announced AFTER the ABC announced that neither Martyn Minns, nor the AMIA bishops, would be invited to Lambeth, amounts to a HUGE "F*ck you!" to Rowan Cantuar.

But how will Rowan Cantuar see it?

Chris Jones said...

Fr Haller,

Not so long ago, you were insisting to me that only teachings addressed in the Creed could be "doctrine," properly so called. I am surprised, therefore, to find you referring to your conservative opponents as the self-styled orthodox among the apostate Episcopalians.

Surely you do not mean to suggest that these conservatives do not deserve the title "orthodox" as measured by the Nicene Creed. Or do you? Similarly, they can perhaps be described as "schismatic" in terms of the polity of the Episcopal Church. But to describe them as "apostate" is to accuse them of abandoning their faith in the Son of God altogether.

I hardly think that that is fair.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Chris Jones,
You've misunderstood me rather a bit here. I am using "self-styled" in the literal sense, that is, to refer to those who call themselves "orthodox" -- whether they are or not is not for me to say -- and who complain they are surrounded by "apostate Episcopalians" -- those such as myself, who are not, I believe, actually apostate, but have been branded as such by the self-branded "orthodox." In short, I was speaking of the labels casually thrown about here by the those who favor such things -- and I question how accurate they are. (By "orthodox" for example, they mean far more than the Nicene Creed!)

Paul (A.) said...

And the Epistle for today is from Galatians 5: "Now the works of the flesh are . . . enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions."

Everything old is new again.

MarkBrunson said...

I can see future conversations, now:

"We're making a new bishop!"

"Oh! Not that old party trick!"