Friday, May 02, 2008

Church of England Newspaper Reports on the Papal Snub of the Episcopal Church leadership

BB NOTE: One does wonder how the Presiding Bishop can continue to believe and say that all is well. Just this week she predicted that the Episcopal Church innovations that have caused such division not only in TEC and the Anglican Communion, but within the global Christian church would be the norm in her lifetime. And she doesn't even have the time of day for the Pope.

Via e-mail


In a pointed critique of the Episcopal Church, Pope Benedict XVI told participants at an ecumenical prayer service in New York that the decision of some ecclesial communities to place their perceived prophetic witness above all else, weakened the body of Christ.

Speaking at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan on April 18 during his five day tour of the US, Benedict did not single out the Episcopal Church by name, but in circumspect terms criticized its innovations of doctrine and discipline. Traditional church protocol was also upended as the Episcopal Church’s representative to the gathering, New York Bishop Mark Sisk, was presented last to the pope from the group of over a dozen Orthodox and Protestant leaders.

The papal snub of the Episcopal Church’s national leadership began at a White House reception hosted by President George W. Bush. The Bishop of Dallas, the Rt. Rev. James Stanton—a leader of the conservative wing of the Episcopal Church—was invited to the reception. However, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was not.

Bishop Schori, who was visiting Palm Beach and Miami during the Washington phase of the tour, declined to attend the April 18 ecumenical gathering in New York, citing a prior commitment to dedicate a diocesan building in Utah. In her stead, the Bishop of New York and her deputy for ecumenical relations, the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, attended the New York event.

Following the consecration of Gene Robinson, the “gay” bishop of New Hampshire, the future pope startled the Anglican world by making a public intervention in the American church’s battle over homosexuality. The then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent a letter of greeting to conservative Anglicans gathered in Dallas to protest the Robinson consecration, writing to assure them of his “heartfelt prayers.”

“The lives of these saints show us how in the Church of Christ there is a unity in truth and a communion of grace which transcend the borders of any nation. With this in mind, I pray in particular that God’s will may be done by all those who seek that unity in the truth, the gift of Christ himself,” he told the predominantly evangelical gathering.

In his New York speech last week, Benedict lamented the decision of some Christian communities to depart from traditional teaching “at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel.”

“Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices are sometimes changed within communities by so-called ‘prophetic actions’ that are based” on beliefs “not always consonant” with Scripture or Tradition.

Some had abandoned “the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of ‘local options’,” he said noting that the “relativistic approach” to faith was leading to the fragmentation of the church and a diminution of its witness to the world.

“A clear, convincing testimony to the salvation wrought for us in Christ Jesus has to be based upon the notion of normative apostolic teaching,” the Pope said, and not upon the fashions and fads of the moment.

16 comments:

Rolin said...

Perhaps the PB was forwarned about the dual snub from the Pope and the President, and used this as a pretext for her "prior commitments" that kept her from a meeting with the Pope. As I mentioned somewhere else, couldn't happen to a nicer gal.

Anonymous said...

So, +Stanton was invited to the White House, but not KJS. Very interesting. Hadn't seen that tidbit before. Thanks, bb.

I still have my doubts that KJS was actually ever invited to the ecumenical service in the first place. Where's the evidence of that, really, other than 815's say-so? I harbor an unproven suspicion that she was privately told she was persona non grata and invited to absent herself from the proceedings.

Lone Star

George Conger said...

My article can be found on page 7 of the May 2 issue of The Church of England Newspaper. A copy of the text can be found at my archive:
http://geoconger.wordpress.com/2008/05/02/popes-visit-to-the-us-seen-as-snub-for-the-episcopal-church-cen-50208-p-7/

Rick Arllen said...

Wow! Who would have thought a small heretic sect that musters fewer than 800,000 weekly church attendees out of a national population of more than 300 million and is losing nearly 1,000 members each week could possibly have the gall to be upset at being ignored by the spiritual leader of billions of Christians around the world. It is incredible that rampant new-age gnosticism can be coupled enthusiastically with raging narcissism, but here it is for all to see at 815 Second Ave, NY, NY.

Edward of Baltimore said...

Pope Benedict XVI told participants at an ecumenical prayer service in New York that the decision of some ecclesial communities to place their perceived prophetic witness above all else, weakened the body of Christ.

This statement is laughable. Didn't we not too long ago hear from the Vatican that the RC church was the "one true church" and all the others were less than that? I can't imagine why the pope attended this service in the first place, unless he just wanted everyone to see his pretty red shoes.

Kevin said...

Edward -- there is no contradiction.

The Vatican still believes they are the successor to Peter, that the EO are in error but no reason not to be in full communion with them, but these ecclesiastical communities still retrain enough for Salvation of the souls. Thus they have made a declination that you obviously either do not recognize or understand. As for his motivation, that's also simple, despite your personal attack, he does view him self as the successor to Peter, thus he'd be motivated to persuade folks back into 'the fold. '

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is that every 'reasserter' group in American denominations think that the Pope was speaking to their wayward leaders.

<>< Ron Troup

Lapinbizarre said...

In the words of Robert Runcie, "According to Rome, I'm a layman". The Roman Church "snubs" the Anglican Communion every day. Nothing new, and who gives a d-mn? The irrelevance of the Bishop of Rome is a pillar of the Elizabethan Settlement.

I had not, until just now, checked the C of E Newspaper piece, but I suspected, when I first read of it, that it might have come from Mr. Conger. Wasn't mistaken, was I?

Edward of Baltimore said...

Kevin, I suppose it's that I do not recognize the Vatican's declination, as you put it. I too believe in the Apostolic succession, and that TEC is a part of that inheritance. It is not necessary for the pope to bring me into his fold.

As for attacking the pope? I made a crack about his shoes! Hardly what I'd call a personal attack. Particularly on this blog. Insulting the leadership of my church is the order of the day on this blog. Indeed, it seems Mary imagines she brings the form to the level of high art.

Iggy said...

Really - why would Episcopalians give a crap about what the Pope says? He considers ALL Anglican orders null and void. ALL of them, not just the PB. That includes the conservative Anglicans who are now kissing his Prada. He is also the ideological heir of those who burned Cranmer, Lattimer and Ridley.

And as for his shoes, yes, the decision of this Pope to reverse what Paul VI did and return to tiaras and royal vestments, like a secular king, is a disgrace to Jesus. As Francis of Assisi said, St. Peter can no longer say "Silver and Gold have I none." But he can also no longer say, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

Anonymous said...

RE: "Really - why would Episcopalians give a crap about what the Pope says?"

Well, revisionists wouldn't care about the Pope, of course, because it appears that he actually believes the gospel.

But conservatives care quite a bit despite recognizing that there are many things we don't agree with the Pope on. Why? Well, because even a Roman Catholic pope has more in common with conservative Episcopalians than our fearless national church leaders.

As a staunch and quite happy Protestant, I recognize that I have far more commonality with Pope Benedict than Pope Jefferts Schori.

Of course, that's no longer a surprise, even for progressive activist Episcopalians, after the past four years.

Sarah

Anonymous said...

PS: Were the pope progressive in his theology, of course, progressive activist Episcopalians would be falling all over him.

So one cannot discount simple bitterness as the cause of "ignoring" the pope. ; > )


Sarah

Kevin said...

RE:"I made a crack about his shoes! Hardly what I'd call a personal attack. Particularly on this blog."

If I recall, the last time your PB worn very colorful mitre, it was BB who was annoyed at all the comments because she desired the discussion about the post (my comment was she should not post such a distracting photo).

Kevin said...

"Insulting the leadership of my church is the order of the day on this blog"

Your church? That speaks volumes!! I'm not sure you have any grasp on Apostolic succession with that one.

Lapinbizarre said...

"Well, revisionists wouldn't care about the Pope, of course, because it appears that he actually believes the gospel." Well, we know he's big on "Tu es petrus", at any rate. The only recorded time Our Lord cracked a funny and look at the consequences! Guess we should be thankful humor was not a big thing with Himself.

teddymak said...

Persona Non Grata? Cool. And she stayed away on account of that? Xtra Cool. If we tell Her Grace The Archbishop Of The United States And Other Far Flung Dominions she is Persona Non Grata in, say, Fort Worth, think she would butt out?

If there was ever a Person who deserves to be Non Grata it's this awkward nightmare.