BRINGING CHAOS OUT OF ORDER: THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS
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Mon Oct 6 19:07:35 EDT 2003
BRINGING CHAOS OUT OF ORDER: THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS
By David W. Virtue
The average person believes that chaos theory proves that the universe
is inherently confounding, and that they should blame mindless
butterflies for their ruined roofing. For once, "they" are completely
The average Episcopalian believes that chaos theory proves that the
Episcopal Church is fatally ill, and that the church is inherently run
by fools, and that they should blame revisionist bishops for its ruined
condition. For once, "they" are completely accurate.
Suppose then you were a Hell bound fool. And suppose you were a
revisionist Episcopal Bishop. But I repeat myself.
This past week demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that not only
is the Episcopal Church a living witness to chaos theory, but the
Anglican Communion itself is now caught up in the same frenzied cycle
of self-destruction, obedient more to Murphy's Law, than to Holy
Consider what has happened.
The ongoing fallout of the Gene Robinson confirmation is turning into a
Saturday night massacre.
Two world primates got it in the ear from two Roman Catholic leaders -
one a bishop and the other from the pope himself.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Frank Griswold was told
point blank and bluntly that he was not welcome at a Roman Catholic
parish in St. Augustine, Florida to co-consecrate the new orthodox
ECUSA bishop of Florida one John Howard, because of his [Griswold's]
views on homosexuality. Stay away said Catholic Bishop Victor Galeone
to Griswold in clear, blunt language. If you come you can't come to
this parish. And how did Griswold respond, he said, "I'm coming ready
Florida Bishop Jecko is looking for another site for the consecration.
This is without question the most humiliating public rebuff of an
Episcopal leader by a bishop from another church in modern ECUSA
history. No Episcopal leader has ever been so rebuffed, not even the
ultra-liberal Ed 'no outcasts' Browning got that treatment.
Griswold loves to dress up like a Roman Catholic prelate and pretend to
everyone he is orthodox, while embracing decidedly secular views on
sexuality. But not even the Presiding Bishop's own dissenters in the
House of Bishops have been as bold as that Catholic bishop. They are
polite to a fault. They stood up in the House of Bishops at GC2003,
made a statement condemning Robinson's election then walked out after
the PB said coffee break. No one wanted to offend the Pluriform One by
actually walking out in front of him. So it took a Roman Catholic
bishop to brain him with his own miter and to tell him he is not wanted
in one of his parishes.
It is well and good that that Roman Catholic bishop has stood up to an
Episcopal Bishop as a false teacher, but what is really needed is for
Episcopal bishops and priests to stand up to Episcopal bishops as false
teachers, just as Fr. David Moyer did to Charles Bennison. Griswold
should be told he is not welcome at the ceremony.
It seems to demonstrate that Griswold having failed to deter Bennison
is now becoming like him - a man who insists on coming to "minister"
where he is not wanted, said a colleague.
And there was an occasion, not long after he became Presiding Bishop
that he was seen in mufti going to a Roman Catholic parish in Manhattan
to receive communion while passing several Episcopal parishes to do so.
And this is in defiance of Roman Catholic teaching on whom may, or may
not, take Holy Communion. Griswold certainly knew that. He knows what
the Catholic Church believes. Who are we kidding?
And then the Archbishop of Canterbury got an earful from the Pope
himself this week when he went to visit the Roman Pontiff. In a report
out of the Vatican the pope warned Dr. Williams, in very blunt language
that the acceptance of openly gay clergy members by many Anglicans
presented "new and serious difficulties" in relations between the two
But John Paul went further. He actually warned Williams of a breach
between the two churches and said, "These difficulties are not all of a
merely disciplinary nature, some extend to essential matters of faith
Now that's telling it like it is.
Archbishop Williams responded by saying that the Vatican's concern
weighed heavily on him as he looked towards an emergency meeting of the
Anglican Communion's leaders in London later this month.
Who knows, perhaps Williams deliberately wanted to hear that message
from the Pope so he could say to some of his fellow liberal primates
and liberal clerics in the Church of England, "see there are
consequences to Robinson's election. Don't proceed."
If Williams did in fact engineer this move it is brilliant. Maybe he's
more politically savvy than we have hitherto realized.
And then the third thing to happen this week was the news that the
Anglican Church's very own leading Svengali, one Canon John Peterson,
Secretary General of the Anglican Communion had been quietly
engineering the upcoming Primates meeting to deflect criticism from
Primates like Peter Akinola (Nigeria) towards Peterson's paymaster and
pal Frank Griswold and possibly Canadian Primate Michael Peers.
Revelations this week that Peterson had been trying to control and spin
this upcoming meeting of the Primates is devastating but not entirely
new. It falls into the category of "be sure your sins will find you
out." And they did. Big time.
Peterson is a past master at these kinds of tactics, and he raises
millions of dollars from liberal and revisionist Western bishops to
undermine the biblically orthodox bishops of the Global South.
He performed the same duplicitous dog and pony show for Griswold at the
Kanuga meeting of Primates in March of 2001 when I was there.
As one primate wrote Virtuosity, "It has not just been what happened in
Kanuga, though that was where the pressure was most apparent. In my
experience it really has been consistently his way of working. This
affected his relationship with the primates. Those who were unhappy
with his bias distanced themselves from him. For his part he has worked
through the liberal sympathizers. This has played off in terms of
venues of meetings, agendas, and who has been asked to speak on what."
"Kanuga was certainly managed in ECUSA's revisionist interests. You
know about the security: no extras admitted except of course for staff
from New York. Discussion on the sexuality issue was restricted to an
evening session," said the source.
What happened was this. Primates were kept in rooms without phone
contact with each other. Primates could not reach each other because no
one knew which room each was staying in. There were no names or numbers
on the doors so Primates could not reach or talk to each to each other,
and the time was totally filled up so as not to allow Primates to have
any personal time to talk over the possible discipline of Frank
Griswold. It was brilliant, masterful and pure deception, something
Peterson is a master tactician at.
Tactics aimed at controlling and stifling the conservatives have been
operative at nearly every Primates meeting since the Lambeth conference
of 1998. Tales of these manipulations have talked about for years, now
we have written proof in what Dr. Paul Zahl saw.
Griswold's spin only hinted at what went on. He wrote at Kanuga, "We
have engaged in honest conversation, and prayerful reflection together.
We have spoken of what it means to become a communion, recognizing that
we are on the way."
Honest conversation? Rubbish and lies. If there had been, we would not
be having an emergency meeting of the Primates in two weeks. As far as
"recognizing we are on the way" goes, we are certainly on the way, but
to schism and fragmentation, and Griswold (and Robinson) is the primary
reason that we are.
Griswold made no bones about the fact that he openly voted for
Robinson's confirmation at GC2003 when he could have done otherwise.
He could have abstained like two other bishops did, and as he did on
the sexuality resolution at Lambeth. He knew full well that the votes
in the HOB would still have given the edge to Robinson without his
vote, and the House of Deputies was a shoo-in for Robinson. What does
that say about where his heart truly lies? Does it require
interpretation? Indeed not.
The truth is that liberal tolerance of homosexuals in the Western
portion of the Anglican Communion is just paganism wrapped up in feel
your pain apologetics. Dr Gordon Wenham, a British Professor of Old
Testament said in Blackpool recently that evangelicals should not be
intimidated by "the charge of being old-fashioned". "It is the so-
called liberals who are really taking us back to the Dark Ages," he
said. Indeed they are.
And to cap off the week we saw decisive actions taken at Special
Conventions in the Dioceses of South Carolina, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth,
Albany, and Central Florida that passed by overwhelming margins strong
resolutions disassociating themselves from the potentially divisive
decisions of the ECUSA's recent General Convention.
Four of the dioceses called for the direct intervention of the Anglican
Primates, as well for the provision of Episcopal oversight and care
across existing Diocesan boundaries for orthodox parishes located in
dioceses supportive of the actions of General Convention. These four
dioceses also declared that through its actions the Episcopal Church
had "exceeded its authority" and "departed" from its Constitution.
Three of the dioceses expressed their intent to direct funding only to
entities that "uphold the historic Faith and Order" of the Church.
As well, the Albany Special Convention passed, by a large margin, a
resolution directing the Diocese to send a "fact finding" team to the
AAC's "A Place to Stand Conference" in Dallas. The Diocese of South
Carolina overwhelmingly approved resolutions expressing "profound
disappointment with the failed leadership" of Presiding Bishop Griswold
and denouncing reported attempts by the Episcopal Church to financially
intimidate Anglican leaders in the Global South.
"Mainstream Anglican dioceses are sending a loud and clear signal to
both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion that the actions
of General Convention are thoroughly unbiblical, unconstitutional and
totally unacceptable," said the Rev. Canon David C. Anderson, AAC
President. "These are diverse dioceses, representing both north and
south, and their actions signal an unprecedented aligning of mainstream
Anglicans in the Episcopal Church."
And the AAC reports that it continues to witness a broad and growing
mobilization of mainstream Anglicans in the Episcopal Church:
They have received over 13,000 signatures of the "Statement of
Repudiation and Disassociation from the Actions of General Convention"
with additional signatures being received every day.
Some 11,000 people from nearly every diocese in the Episcopal Church
have filled out the AAC's Online Survey on Responses to General
Convention. 67% of all respondents indicated that they are unhappy with
the actions of Convention.
A rapidly growing number of Episcopal parishes and individuals are
redirecting funds away from their dioceses and/or the national church.
Nearly 60% of respondents to the AAC survey have either redirected or
designated their financial giving away from their diocese and/or the
national church - or are considering doing so. 41% of those responding
said their parishes have taken financial action or are considering the
possibility. Supporting these statistics is the fact that the AAC has
received a significant increase in funding since General Convention.
Nearly 65% of respondents to the AAC survey said that their parishes
have held meetings devoted to the discussion of General Convention's
actions, and appropriate responses, while the attendance list for the
"A Place to Stand" gathering has just topped 2500 with the number of
registrants keeps climbing daily.
"We are witnessing something unprecedented, even miraculous," said
Canon Anderson. "Mainstream Anglicans in the Episcopal Church are
mobilizing, and they are doing so across the Church, not just in
"God is causing us to be aligned, to come together, and we are
determined to take whatever steps are necessary to insure that we are
able to remain within the Anglican family. We are in an incredible
What all this says is that the days of liberal lies and spin has gone
forever. No longer will things be done in a corner, and in secret. The
duplicitous actions of monsters like Peterson; the voting behavior of
bishops like Griswold; the hateful and bullying tactics of revisionist
bishops like Charles Bennison (Pennsylvania) and Michael Ingham (New
Westminster) against orthodox priests will be shouted from the
housetops; spread across the Internet, their sins and iniquities
exposed forever to the church and to the world.
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