My Blog List

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Who You Calling Uncivil?

There's a bit of row among the commentators at titusonenine (so what else is new?) over the efforts of an Anglo-Catholic parish in the Diocese of Newark, a liberal one (pardon the redundancy), Grace Church, to persuade "disaffected" Romans to swim the Stour, cross Hadrian's Wall or whatever the metaphor when Romans become Anglicans. Those Grace Church defines as disaffected would be

Roman Catholics whose spiritual lives are grounded in the Mass and in the sacraments [yet] nevertheless, unable to concur with the Vatican’s position on issues such as the role of women in the church, contraception, remarriage of divorced person (sic), homosexual relationships, or abortion. They have become increasingly disaffected as the hierarchy’s response to dissent has grown more strident and authoritarian +%)))))))))*&^!!!!!!!!!!%$((((((90^&*Rs848A7Q0A0 500v#)%*#%(#)($*)#(*ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


Oops! Sorry, I dozed off and my head smashed into the keyboard (what is it about progressive prose that makes for such a splendid soporific? The text, I suppose). Well, in any event, I wish Grace Church lots of luck, she certainly could use increased numbers in her pews (a stagnant 125--not too good for a church in the largest city in New Jersey) but I'm afraid the well of disaffected Romans is nearly dry; the ones who might actually have come over did so way, way back when they realized to their dismay Paul VI wasn't as cuddly as John XXIII. But I digress.

On Canon Harmon's blog, some are accusing others of taking pot shots at poor old Grace Church and deploring the lack of civility. And you know what? They're right. The present and widening divisions in the Episcopal Church are the cause of increasing nastiness among the disputants and that is indeed something to deplore. I think, however, the reappraisers need to understand something: that however angry the reasserters may seem, most of them are experiencing an emotion far more intense, sorrow; the sorrow of witnessing the usurpation of a beloved institution by a driven band of baby boomers whose religion and mores were informed during the Summer of "Love" in 1967. Through a skillful admixture of sneering, patronizing and bullying they have taken over the Episcopal Church and not only have they made it clear the party line must be followed but there will be hell to pay for those who try to get out. The only sorrow I can sense coming from 815 Second Avenue is, regardless of the threats, increasing numbers are refusing to buy the product and are leaving anyway. So what exquisite irony that Grace Church accuses the Roman Church's "response to dissent" as growing "more strident and authoritarian!" Really? Rome's views on the issues so dear to the New Religionists have seemed remarkably consistent over the years and I haven't detected any increase in the volume coming that way. Might that stridency and authoritarianism Grace Church complains of be coming from another source?

No comments: