Admiral of Morality: Progressive Episcopalians express concerns over "visitor" plan

Friday, September 28, 2007

Progressive Episcopalians express concerns over "visitor" plan

The Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh, who have played an important role in alerting the Church to plans by their diocesan to further divide their diocese from the wider church, have expressed concerns that the episcopal visitor plan endorsed by the House of Bishops might further isolate loyal Episcopalians in the dioceses implementing it.

The episcopal visitor plan is designed with the English "flying bishop" model in mind. Under it, bishops acceptable to both some dioceses and the national church, under the authority of the national church, assume some duties normally the prerogative of ++Katharine and other bishops. Other church officers, conceivably, might have their duties delegated as well.

Since the episcopal visitor plan would likely replace ++Katharine at consecrations and other visits, and perhaps otherwise direct what duties other national officers could and could not perform in some dioceses, the Progressive Episcopalians are concerned that they would be further isolated from the mainstream church.

"Of particular concern to PEP," the Pittsburgh Episcopalians wrote, "is the fact that the episcopal visitors plan makes no provision for connecting to the wider Episcopal Church loyal Episcopalians in dioceses (such as Pittsburgh) that have requested “alternative primatial oversight.”

“Many of us celebrated the election of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori,” explained PEP board member and blogger Dr. Lionel Deimel. “Should our bishop accept an episcopal visitor, those of us who have been most vocal in support of our church would be isolated from it and subject to even less respect within our diocese than we are now.”

Other Episcopalians in other dioceses with leadership hostile to the Church have expressed similar concerns, and have expressed a clear need to remain connected to the wider church.

The Episcopal Forum of South Carolina, has requested "immediate intervention" in their diocese by the national church, in order to maintain the diocese's historic episcopate and canonical institutions. In November, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson will meet with the Forum during their convention.

Anderson and ++Katharine have travelled to other dioceses whose leadership is at odds with the national church in order, partly, to maintain the connections with loyal Episcopalians there.

Obviously this work will have to continue, and no doubt be strengthened.

The Progressive Episcopalians were otherwise supportive of the bishops' work in New Orleans.

"We pray that the Anglican Communion will see this answer as a conscientious attempt to address concerns raised by our sister churches in the Communion," they said.

The full statement can be viewed here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Admiral --

It’s often said that the revisionists have a low view of the authority of Scripture, which is true, but it’s more difficult to debate Scriptural interpretations than it is to expose problems in the area of pure logic.

What really offends certain Episcopalians about someone like Archbishop Akinola is that he affirms the falsity of someone else's viewpoint. It seems to them like the reasonable (and Episcopal) thing to avoid affirming that some viewpoint is simply wrong. They suppose that truth is subjective and, in taking this position, their claiming a dispensation for themselves they they’re refusing to any other view.

You don't have to affirm the authority of Scripture to see the logical problem here. Socrates exploded the fallacy of subjectivity for all time with the following question in the Theaetetus. Ponder his logic: "Since he grants that the opinions of all men are true, then would he not be conceding that his own opinion is false, if he grants that the opinion of those who think he is in error is true?"

We can acknowledge that perceptions may differ, but as Aristotle said in the Metaphysics: "Perception is surely not of itself, but there is something else besides the perception and that is necessarily prior to the perception."

This matter of objectivity versus subjectivity pertains also to issues of morality. C. S. Lewis put it this way: “We are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong. People may be sometimes mistaken about them, just as people get their sums wrong, but they are not a matter of mere taste and opinion any more than the multiplication table.”

We may not know even approximately the nature of the moral requirement in a given instance, and we must remain humble about that, but that doesn’t prove the nonexistence of the moral order. The danger all around us now is that people are forsaking any notion of objectivity in the moral area – even though there is unrecognized unanimity about morality in many areas. Rape isn’t moral wrong just because almost every thinks it is wrong but because, as Lewis said, there is a “real Right and Wrong.” It’s just as real as the multiplication table and the law of gravity. If there is something wrong, there has to be a right that is being violated.

If you’re talking with a revisionist or someone who isn’t sure, see whether this issue of subjectivity is lurking. You’ll probably find that they’ve never been presented with the ancient logic of how subjectivity refutes itself.

9/29/2007 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger The AoM said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/01/2007 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger The AoM said...

I don't follow your comment's connection to this issue.

10/01/2007 08:15:00 AM  

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