07 December 2008

Anglican Astronauts

My friend Jim Richardson has a very helpful post today about the continuing "Days of Our Anglican Lives" that is the melodrama of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Read it HERE.

My favorite quote:
"just because a group of disaffected former Episcopalians wish to call themselves “Anglican” does not make them Anglican any more than it makes them astronauts..."

I have posted an excerpt below. I think Jim summarizes some aspects of our current situation quite well. Thanks Jim!

~ Rev. Peter M. Carey

First, let me offer a bit of factual perspective: There are four dioceses which have declared their secession from the Episcopal Church – four out of 110 dioceses. The four that have gone are small. How many people do they represent? Judging by total reported attendance, the breakaway dioceses boast, at best, about 20,000 people, and that is assuming everyone in all four dioceses have left the Episcopal Church, which they have not.

To put that in perspective, the total attendance for the Episcopal Church is about 804,000, so the breakaways represent a bit more than 2 percent. In terms of membership, we are at about 2.15 million, and the breakaway churches have about 49,000 members (again assuming all 49,000 are seceding, which they are not). To put it another way, the total communicants of the Diocese of Virginia is considerably larger than the four breakways dioceses combined. Again, do the math – they may be loud, but the breakaways aren’t large.

Many churches within the breakaway dioceses have declared they will remain in the Episcopal Church regardless of what their bishops and diocesan conventions do. The Cathedral for the Diocese of Quincy, in Peoria, Illinois, voted to remain in the Episcopal Church. The Diocese of San Joaquin, in the Central Valley of California, has 19 of its churches – nearly half – staying with the Episcopal Church.
Next, let me offer a few observations about all of this:

The breakaway bishops agree on one thing: they don’t want gay people in the church. Beyond that, they are already finding it difficult to find common agreement, much as they label what they are doing as a “common cause.”

There are already schisms within the schismatics. Bishop Jack Iker of Fort Worth, who has for years been vocally against the ordination of women, has already said he is in a state of “impaired communion” with another of the breakaway dioceses because that bishop is ordaining women.

And just because a group of disaffected former Episcopalians wish to call themselves “Anglican” does not make them Anglican any more than it makes them astronauts...

Read the rest HERE.

1 comment:

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Peter, the rural Missouri version of that line of thinking is in the old saw, "Just because you walked in the barn, it doesn't make you a cow."