Thursday, May 03, 2007

Comments On The Present Unpleasantness

I nicked this from Jesus' General ages ago!
If one was one of those "Anglicans" who get all their information from Titus 1:9 and StandFirm, one might be misled into believing that True Anglicans™ are simply enraptured with the Archbishop of Nigeria and his New, Improved Donatism™. These folks seem to believe that Christians south of the equator are falling all over themselves for the new, pure, Donatist Anglicanism of the Good Folks in Nigeria, Other Parts of Africa, and South America. My friend Padre Xico lives in Brasil, which would geographically be in the Global South (for those of you with a Northern Hemisphere preference, and you should be ashamed of yourselves), but the members of the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil aren't buying what the Hard-core bishops in Africa or the Most Blessed Primates of the Global South are selling, as is obvious when one reads this (I couldn't get a link set-up):At a Mugabe's feets... As was not enough the biblical fundamentalism conservative and its sad consequences within Anglican Communion, my eyes did not want to believe in what bishops' from Central Africa stated on the Zimbabwe context, in a Pastoral Letter. In that document, practically the Anglican Church puts herself kneeling in front of a dictator. Everybody have knowledge about what Mugabe is doing against his political objectors. The daily violations of human rights and power maintenance by violent and intimidate ways are so evident to the public opinion around the world. The groups that support him in power are so unscrupulous. The fear is the language used agains who defies the President. While organizations and governments are trying to pressure Mugabe to leave the Anglicans bishops argue in favor of an intangible harmony in the current circumstances. Expressing an rhetorical nationalism, they condemned the West for cause the suffering of Zimbabwean people. The document makes no reference to the persecuted under authoritarian regime. Any word is written in favor of the political transparence and the intimidation during the electoral process in course. In the place of a prophetic address we see a fragile speech on the peace that ignores injustice. The alliance between Mugabe and the Bishop Kunonga – Diocese of Harare - is very well known in Zimbabwe. This kind of submission is so embarrassing for the Anglican Church. Our Church in Zimbabwe needs to reaffirm the Gospel commitment with Justice and the Human Rights. No theological reasons can support a blind obedience to an Dictator. As Church we need to answer the calling to exercise prophetic role in the world. We can not agree with the use of indiscriminate power by anyone. When I read the letter, the first feeling was that it is not a pastoral in any way. To see twelve bishops without any courageous reference in favor of Justice and freedom make me ashamed.

It seems that the more rational folks in Virginia aren't buying it either, according to this article. Father Jake has been very clear today that what the Most Blessed Primates of the Global South have been trying to accomplish is nothing less than theft.

Donatism is a heresy because of its Pharisaic nature, the idea that the validity of the Sacraments depends upon the purity of the officiant, and the belief that God can be put in a box, governed by laws and interpretations of scripture. But God is so much larger than our ideas and our understandings of scripture and our concepts of purity. Much like the magicians of the first three centuries of the Common Era, the neo-donatists think that they can control God and the heavenly hosts. A shocking as this may be to the neo-donatists, I, too, read the Bible everyday, and as far as I can tell, it's Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Incarnation, who will be doing the judging on el Última Día, not the Archbishop of Nigeria, not +Minns, ++Katherine, not +++Rowan Cantaur, not me, not you, not your mom, and not ++Venables. The truth is, none of us get to decide who is in or out of the Reign of God, and I'm really tired of hearing how I'm not a True Anglican™. Let's quit arguing and start working to bring about God's Reign. No one here in Panamá, as far as I can tell, is worried about the stuff that has ++Akinola and his minions nor the stuff that has TEC worked up. Here in IARCA we are working for the understanding of Anglicanism in a Central American context, and the Global Center is more interested in the survival of our understanding of the Good News in an Anglican context than sexual and political purity.

Tomorrow I will be officiating at the funeral of a friend, a fellow Episcopalian and musician, and right now I really don't give a flying f*** what the bishops of the entire Anglican Communion think. They should be concentrating on the Gospel and not on power. I'm tired of this Christian-Maoist crap.

Here Endeth the Rant.

This post has had several visit by the Alter Guild


Judith said...

A most excellent rant! It's gratifying to know that the "Global South" is not a monolithic Big Pete fan club, and that there are good people in the church there who see his load of b______t for what it is. No one knows how all this will come out, but the basic commonsense of most people gives me hope!

Jane R said...

I just can't stand the time and energy we (we/they/whoever) are wasting on this garbage (pronounced garbaaahj) when people are starving for food and for hope -- and yes, for justice and for God. Have we lost all sense of proportion? (I say we because we are all at risk of getting tangled up in nonsense and forgetting God's poor and oppressed. Don't get me rantin' now.)

I saw that article from Falls Church today too (and posted it) --a friend sent it on earlier-- and am properly appalled. But I won't rant, Padre M. has done very well at it and I am almost done grading papers (maybe two more hours) and listening to online Beatles songs to help liven up the night.

P.S. Try not to use "Pharisaical" to mean "nasty and hypocritical" -- the Pharisees were actually closest to Jesus' positions on any number of matters among all of the 1st century Jewish groups. (Both Jewish and Christian scholars of the New Testament, Christian origins, and early Rabbinic Judaism will confirm this.) The nastiness about them in the Gospels is from a generation or two after Jesus when early Jewish Christians were having their family disputes.

Speaking of rants...

Saint Pat said...

It is attempted theft. And they wanted the Episcopal Church to refrain from any actions while they looted.

toujoursdan said...

Alter Guild???

What are they altering? ;-)

Padre Mickey said...

The Alter Guild edits posts which may contain offensive material or rash statements, or even the occasional typo or spelling mistake.

I suppose you don't NEED an Alter Guild!

Padre Mickey said...

Err, Jane, I um, knowl that stuff about the Pharisees but I was ranting, so it was more stream of unconsiousness.

John said...

Who's the musician who died, Padre?

Padre Mickey said...

Padre, it was Hermon Morgan, a good friend of me and Walter Smith. He was a member of St. Paul's. Herman and Walter and I all sang bass together in Lori's choirs. He also sang with the All Male Extravaganza (God, I love that name! I told them all it means something else back in Berkeley!). We had a fine send-off! Revdas Maizee and Glenda were with me.

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