Thursday, May 21, 2009

A sad situation

I commented before about my concerns regarding going though what everyone does with a fine tooth comb to find errors and reasons to not consent to elections. Frankly I think this is one of the times when the information highway does not serve us well.

James made a great post about the Bishop-elect Forrester:

Forrester's real problem
via The Three Legged Stool by James on 5/20/09

It is rather clear that the Rev'd Kevin Thew Forrester will not be given the necessary consents to become the bishop of Northern Michigan. Fr. Forrester was canonically and properly elected by the delegates. There seems to be some "question" regarding his theology.

I believe there is something much more sinister involved in this denial of consent. I've had my suspicions for quite a while but today's announcement by the Rt. Rev'd Barry Beisner has confirmed my hypothesis.

Beisner, a thrice married man has announced that Forrester's theology is simply too out of the ordinary for Beisner to give consent. I really find this tragically funny.

I remember the time in TEC when the announcement that a priest had separated from his wife was accompanied by a letter of resignation to the vestry/bishop's committee. Divorced priests were simply unacceptable even when the "wronged party" in that divorce. Yet here is Beisner, with two divorces to his credit, stating he cannot, in good conscience, consent to a man whose theology Beisner questions.

As far as I'm concerned, that judgment is hypocritical. Beisner said,

As I have said, many issues have been raised; I will name only one: Kevin’s revision of our liturgy of Holy Baptism.

Beisner had no problems rewriting Jesus' teaching on marriage - one spouse for life - as he has three living spouses. He also had no problem revising the marriage liturgy that plainly states: "Til death do us part." But, that revision was beneficial to Beisner. Like all theological hypocrites, it is the log in the other person's eye that must be the focus of discussion. "We aren't talking about me, thank you very much; we are talking about you. And, I find your position unacceptable."

I see the entire consent process in this instance as fallout from Lambeth 2008. Just as the GLBT community was and continues to be sacrificed for the sake of "unity," Forrester is the latest sacrificial victim to be offered to the puritans so that they just might, miraculously, change their spots and stay in the Communion.

Standing committees, guided by bishops who still have that warm, fuzzy feeling they acquired at the tea party, are unwilling to stand up and do the right thing. They are afraid to do anything that will antagonize the puritan party in the Anglican Communion.

In a few words, we cannot do anything that might piss off the fundamentalists who aren't going to stay regardless of what we do.

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know that I am a theological conservative. Give me the 1928 BCP or the Anglican Missal any day.

Although I disagree with Forrester on the nature of baptism, Northern Michigan chose the best qualified candidate for their diocese, and we should respect that. If TEC can consent to a theological conservative who will, mark my words, lead his diocese into that non-existent ecclesial community headed by and led by a gaggle of deposed bishops, then TEC can dang well give consent to a loyal child who holds theological differences not shared by a majority of the members of TEC.

But, there, like the 1950s threat of nuclear bombs, is Lambeth and Rowan urging everyone not to make waves -- everyone that is, except the puritan mob who have no desire to be part of the Communion unless they get the deed thereto.

Shame on Beisner and shame on those bishops and standing committees who have capitulated to the puritans. The message is clear, "Not all are welcome in this church and we ain't just talking about gays and lesbians, neither. We're talking about anyone who might piss off the Puritans."

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