Thursday, November 16, 2006

Brood of Vipers

We here at The Continuum, myself particularly, have been taken to task this week for daring to question the orthodoxy of the new presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori. (I refer you to two threads here: 'Schori is Not a Christian' and 'Welcome to Anthony Paul Smith').

For having done so, we have been accused of being throw-backs, buffaloes and reactionaries, labeled sarcastically as true believers and charged with speaking sexist and racist bullshit.

We have also been labeled as a brood of vipers. I like that one, because it is at least biblical.

For anyone who spends more than five minutes in the Anglican blogosphere, it is obvious that there is nothing that has been said here that has not been said elsewhere. Moreover, it is being said not just by us "throw-back" continuers, but my members of Schori's own church and by others in the wider Anglican Communion.

Just today, courtesy of Brad Drell, an active and deeply concerned Episcopalian, I found a link to the following.

Perhaps, to borrow the terminology referred to in that piece, I have been too polemic, something I am prepared to consider. So, for the sake of balance, I commend to you this more irenic approach.


ACC Member said...

Obviously, we Continuing Anglicans are not the only ones asking questions about "Bishop" Schori. In addition to this post there are numerous similar articles in Episcopal publications. The London newspapers aren't giving exatcly glowing reports either.

poetreader said...

I'm unable to read the link, getting two separate pages superimposed, so I can't comment on that content. However, I can comment on the flurry of activity mentioned. As I see it, this blog has been comparatively mild, and has stuck to discussing substantive issues. Apparently it is not possible to hold these opinions without geting blasted angrily by those who have decided we are not entitled to speak. Anyone who will not admit that on the two issues involved (ordination of women and Christ as THE way) we are speaking what the Church has spoken for centuries is writing his own history regardless of the facts. We are in the mainstream of history. Others are entitled to challenge this mainstream, but the burden of proof is on them. I would contend that, if they prove themselves correct, they will also have proven that the Holy Catholic Church is a myth, and that Christianity itself is as much a made-up system as Theosophy. I don't think any of us are prepared to see that as a possibility. Believing, as we do, in the continuity of a Church bought and paid for by the Cross, we hold firmly to what it has always taught. How, precisely does that merit our being cursed at and insulted as we have been? Does the hurling of four-letter words clinch an argument?
Ms. Schori is perfectly free to advance what ideas and practices she may choose, as are Anthony and his friends, but we cannot allow them to insist that we regard their ideas as legitimate. We don't, and, inasmuch as eternal destinies may depend upon these ideas, we cannot keep silence about them.
Albion, don't let yourself be cowed by the fierceness of the shouting. That's just what they'd like to accomplish.

On another matter, the use of quotes around "Bishop". If Ms. Schori were claiming the title in the sense that it is used in many Protestant churches, without asserting Apostolic succession on the Catholic sense, I would have no hesitation in calling her that. However, if she claims to be something that traditional Catholic theology says she simply cannot be, then I can't use the title in a way that appears to recognize what can't be.


Warwickensis said...

I could never see the point in profanities. They're a rather inadequate set of adjectives since they tell us nothing about what they are describing unless it's part of a human being.

Surely if one is going to require the use of invective, then something like this would be more instructive, descriptive and give a clearer direction from one's detractor.

Albion Land said...


Thanks for your wonderful link. Perhaps my daughter, who is doing an A Level in literature, may reconsider her disdain for Shakespeare.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Disdain for Shakespeare? I hope this is a phase.

ACC Member said...

"Profanity is the effort of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully." This is a quote I was taught as a child. It kind of sums everything up.

Anonymous said...

For those who don't know, Ship of Fools has a random Biblical Curse Generator, perhaps for the benefit of young folk who've developed a disdain for holy scripture (or for old folk who love it):

On another point, I once heard of a young person reading a lesson who became tongue-tied and came out with 'Bride of Voopers!' I'm still trying to discover who Voopers was.

Anonymous said...

interesting...very interesting

ACC Member said...

EPISCOPAL "U2-CHARIST" ARE OFFERED BY EPISCOPAL CHURCHES ACROSS COUNTRY This was the headline in our daily paper today on the Religion page. It tells of a priestess, Paige Blair, who began this at All Saints' Episcopal Church in New Jersey, displaying U2's lyrics on a screen over the Altar! She has since consulted with 150 Episcopal Churches to teach them how to do it. One of the songs she calls a "Hymn", for example is entitled "Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crshed Car". The Rev. Daryl Fenton of the Anglican Communion Network (supposedly a Traditional, conservative Organization) said: "The U2 Eucharist is simply another form of music to celebrate the Lord's Supper and bring people into the presence of God through Worship." The only thought that comes to mind for me is "Lord, Have Mercy Upon Us." As far as I'm concerned this is blasphemy.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get too upset about being insulted by a crew of grad students trying to slap a veneer of Christian orthodoxy over their tired liberal ideologies inherited from dippy/hippie undergrad profs as some kind of post hoc validation.

I visit their site from time to time to browse, more because they have more time to stumble across things that might interest me, than a gainfully employed person would be able to muster.

Inevitably I'm told to F-off after I raise a question to their fauxthordoxy.


Albion Land said...


Thanks for your comment, but no one here is upset. In fact, I am hopeful that a dialogue has begun that may bear wonderful fruit.

Anonymous said...

Don't dismiss Anthony Paul Smith and his university friends. God has a wonderful way of turning such passionate young intellectuals into future writers and apologists for HIS Kingdom.

This young man is asking some interesting questions, such as: Can God be defined? He notes that Nietzsche wrote that, "only that which has no history can be defined." I'd remind him that Nietzsche could as well have said, “only that without spirit (geist) can be defined,” but this would make his own argument paradoxical. Of course, the greatest paradox is the Incarnation by which God enters time and makes history.

Anthony Paul Smith also wrote, “If I'm 'kantian' it's only because at some point I thought through Kant and experienced the power of his system of thought, not because I subscribe to his views.”

Anyone who thinks through Kant and experiences the "power of his system of thought" must not be dismissed. Engaged, yes! Dismissed, never.