Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Episcopal church wheezing to its grave.

I wish I could say only that I wasted this morning. Sadly, I suspect I did something worse - I contributed my tithe and time to the death of the Anglican/Episcopal spirit in America. I went to an Episcopal church service.

I sat through a sermon that could have been written by the Bush administration. It was mealy-mouthed, scapegoated weak targets, and supported mainstream liberal social policies. It was also political, and no different from what I could read in the New York Times - except that as a sermon I am not allowed to criticise it.

The Priest scapegoated (for the umpteenth time) those who think "Rite I" is the only way. Nobody thinks that - nobody. All of us however have our loves and our preferences. I am well-known in my church as someone who loves the old Rite I litergy. I am the last one left - yet somehow he thinks I am responsible for the Episcopal churches failure.

I had a charming discussion with one of our liberal women the other day - she told me about the problem of patriarchy, and male attitudes towards women in church. Well the problem is that there are no men left in our church. At any service women outnumber men 2 to 1. On the vestry, power is entirely in the hands of women. Our vestry chairman is a woman. If I leave would she stop blaming men for her problem? Not likely.

6 weeks ago I asked our priest this question - the Nicene Creed in the 1928 BCP says (the virgin) was "made incarnate by the Holy Spirit" but in the 1979 BCP they changed that to "made incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit." Why? He has not answered me. Perhaps today's sermon was his admonition to me not to ask questions like that.

That's tolerance - as defined by the modern Episcopal church.


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