A thoughtful essay

Lionel Deimel of Progressive Episcopalians for Pittsburgh has written another thoughtful piece about the decisions facing our General Convention when it opens in Columbus in less than a week.

He writes:

“Our object, then, despite what the militant traditionalists say, must be to save Anglicanism not to save the Anglican Communion, which we cannot allow to become an object of idolatrous veneration. Recent history suggests that our response in typical Anglican rhetoric—the subtle, nuanced, ambiguous language that has allowed us to, as the traditionalists say, “fudge” so often in the past—will, in the current climate, be misinterpreted, ridiculed, and used to stage new attacks on our church. Perhaps the decision of General Convention will be that this is a chance we must take, but it is not our only option.

We should consider making a more principled, straightforward, and courageous response. We should consider the novel ideal of proclaiming the Gospel as we understand it and defending the approach to theology that most theologians in our church actually use. In simple, clear sentences we could express our sorrow for the hurt that others have experienced and express our sincere desire to remain in communion with all our sister provinces. We could remind others of Bishop Desmond Tutu’s explanation for how we have always maintained communion—“we meet”—and insist that removing the Episcopal Church or its representatives from Communion discussion is hardly characteristic of the Anglican way. Before the Communion creates more rules, we could insist that existing ones be observed. Before we cede authority to others, we could insist that those to whom we have ceded no author-ity refrain from intimidation. And we could declare that that name-calling, misrepresentation, and subversion are unbecoming a Christian and unacceptable in a bishop.

We could, in other words, insist that we have as much right to make claims on the Communion as it does on the Episcopal Church. Most importantly, however, we could declare our commitment to save Anglicanism at all costs and to save the Anglican Communion if at all possible.”

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