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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Nemesis

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church is working furiously to have Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh deposed before he pulls the diocese out of the the church, in other words, she's trying to fire him before he can quit. Duncan, of the evangelical rather than the catholic branch of the Episcopal Church, recently sent a letter to the presiding bishop, responding to her and some committee's demand he aver he is "fully subject to the doctrine, discipline and worship of [the Episcopal] Church." This he does and offers eight examples to support his affirmation (you can read them here). Perhaps unwittingly, however, Bishop Duncan, in his third example, provides a clue to what led to the undoing of the Episcopal Church, and what will, in all likelihood, lead to the breakup of the Anglican Communion: "I have preached and taught nothing but what faithful Anglicans and mainstream Christians have always preached and taught, with the exception only that I have supported and encouraged the ministry of women in Holy Orders" (emphasis added).

It seems peculiar Bishop Duncan should bring up women's ordination here and I wonder if he does so as if to cry out in protest to the presiding bishop: "Look here: on this matter, so sacred to you to you and your ilk, I am on your side. How dare you come after me!" If that was the bishop's ploy, it will have no effect. Liberals in the Episcopal Church, as do those in politics, have a hoary tradition of extracting all they can out of members of the opposition, then dumping or destroying them once they are no longer needed, or are in the way. Sadly for Bishop Duncan, that "exception" he supports, the ordination of women, is the wedge that created the opening through which countless bizarre innovations have been forced onto the Episcopal Church, rendering it into the Gnostic, cult-worshiping organization it is today; once that sine qua non of Catholicism, the male priesthood, was abrogated, it was inevitable Episcopalian liberals would come to regard most other hallmarks of catholic worship as antiquated and in need of updating or jettisoning.

By all accounts Bishop Duncan is a good and decent man but his and his colleagues' acquiescing so many years ago to the liberal demand for women priests (which he still supports) has come back to haunt him, in a way he could not have imagined in his wildest dreams.

(h/t the MCJ.)

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