An Idea: What if I get a faithless TEC bishop to excommunicate me?

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Liturgyworks, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Of late the great Anglican churches have been infested with bishops and priests who are notorious evil livers, and who are excommunicate according to the Book of Common Prayer they took an oath to uphold. It therefore falls to the Anglicans of this site, with the assistance of allies from like minded denominations such as the Orthodox and LCMS, to expose these bishops and priests. I might consider rejoining the Episcopal Church, publically documenting the ways in which the clergy are notorious evil livers, and daring the Church to excommunicate me. That could be fun. Being excommunicated by someone akin to John Shelby Spong or Gene Robinson or James Pike or Bishop Bruno of Los Angeles, or Catharine Jefferts-Schiorri, for believing in traditional Anglicanism ought to be worth something. The trick would be to scrupulously avoid the violation of any canons or rubrics.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That could be cool. You would have to lay low for a few years though. And it may demand a kind of Jesuitical equivocation or outright bearing false witness. You’d need to look, morally, whether it’s ever possible to do that, even against the enemies of the faith.
     
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  3. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Episcopalians ask so few questions, which is why I think it could work. If you attend Communion three times they count you a member. So the trick I think would be to lay low in a sympathetic, conservative parish in a conservative diocese, like say, St. Luke’s in Baton Rouge, where the rector is a friend of mine and via his blog creedal christian fought the powers that be for years including the woman canoness at the Seattle cathedral who decided to profess the Shahadah and become a Muslim, the Buddhist bishop elect, as well as heretics who got away with it, like Katharine Jefferts-Schiorri and John Shelby Spong, and the late Fr. Boucher who denounced the use of creeds in the liturgy* and quoted the Gnostic Gospel of Mary in support of his position. :wallbash: I would obviously not involve my friend Fr. Brian Owens, because I wouldn’t put it past the Episcopal leadership on Madison Ave. Or wherever they are in NYC to vindictively threaten his pension; indeed he stopped commenting on ECUSA problems a few years ago which makes me fear he was already silenced. :disgust:

    * The initial conference on Imagining the New BCP following the last General Convention where they decided to do a new BCP and hymnal (previously, they had decided not to, to avoid a repeat of the trauma caused in 1979, but I guess more good bishops reached the retirement age and were replaced by modernist neo-Gnostic heretics since then). :sick:

    If I migjt pontificate on a closely related point: :preach:

    The retirement age of 65 is a huge and avoidable constraint on the Western churches which have it. In the East, episcopal appointments are for life, and many priests also serve as long as they can. A Syriac Orthodox bishop is buried in his episcopal throne fully vested in an underfloor tomb or mausoleum usually in the altar of his cathedral, behind a wall separating the mauseoleum from the Holy Table (thus, the clergy vest in his presence, but it is properly sealed as we generally do not embalm, amd the laity cannot even see it). Embalming is usually avoided, but not prohibited like voluntary cremation* both because it is seen as violence to the body and in the event sainthood is later suspected so that the actual corruption of the remains can be ascertained. I was surprised the Romans canonized or are canonizing John Henry Newman considering the total decomposition in his case.

    *Involuntary cremation due to law, as in Japan, or to control an infectious disease like ebola, is fine, but someone who refuses the financial assistance and cheap coffins of the Eastern churches and opts to be cremated will be denied a funeral, like suicides who are not mentally ill. They can only have Trisagion Prayers said for them. This is because the body is viewed as a sacred icon of God which should be treated with extreme reverence.

    I was horrified, and this contributed to my decision to leave St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, by the presence of Columbaria; I was unaware of it until my friend the vicar gave me a grand tour one Sunday. No churchyard, but a Columbarium. And the rites of St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, with their Shinto add ons, do not even envisage the possibility of a body being accomodated without having been cremated prior to the service. :sweating: :no:
     
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    This whole cremation thing really burns you up, eh? :laugh:

    :cheers:
     
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  5. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    :rofl:
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    I don't think you've thought this thing through. Cremation is your last shot at having a :cool: smoking hot body!!
     
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  7. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    I am comfortable with my appearance, so with all due respect, my repose shall be in this manner (albeit without premature self-inhumation; that would be a bit Edgar Allen Poe).
    :gnight:
     
  8. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    By the way, the Jesuitical equivocation you refer to my friend is called “Casuistry”, and I catch sneaky Romish apologists at it all the time on another forum. What is more, I have seen arguments that, for example, in his approval of the Assyrian Liturgy of Addai and Mari, which lacks an Institution Narrative per se, Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger, of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, previously known as the Holy Office and before that as the Inquisition, did engage in casuistry. In 2000!

    :signinquisition:
     
  9. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    I'm not sure, it sounds underhanded. After all, if the branch is cut off from the vine it will wither and die. Looks to me that they have cut themselves off.
    Might want to let the vinedresser handle it.
     
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  10. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    Not denying, though, it might be fun.
     
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  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Indeed. One obviously would not do anything rude, like disrupting a worship service. Rather one would have to get the bishop to excommunicate oneself for acts which are according to Orthodox and Anglican theological and hamartiological principles, entirely blameless.

    In the Orthodox Church, the faithful, led by just one bishop, St. Mark of Ephesus, resisted and thwarted the Council of Florence, which would have reunited us with Rome under Roman terms and Papal subordination, at the cost of Turkocratia, which inevitably resulted from the lack of Western military assistance to stop the Ottomans who were by that time halfway across Asia Minor. This is why the defections of Episcopalian bishops seem to me promising. The event however also serves to provide guidance on what you can and cannot do to protest a foul bishop of heretical intent. Which is to say, we do not obstruct their liturgies or heckle them otherwise.

    Probably the best way to do it would be to join at a not-especially-horrible parish, then transfer my membership to someplace like St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco, and then follow canonical procedure to accuse the rector of heresy, particularly if I could get the rector on record as saying something like the late Fr. Boucher’s attack on the Creed with the Gnostic Gospel of Mary cited for support, and in the process of making the accusation dare the bishop to excommunicate myself and any likeminded laity if he fails to depose the priest as required by the Oath of Conformity, the canons, et cetera. And attempt to get the event broadly publicized. #episcopalianinquisition
     
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  12. PDL

    PDL Member Anglican

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    I suspect this is a joke; otherwise, it is a very suspect thing to do.
     
  13. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    It was not a joke, but you do raise a valid point subject to some analysis. If I could think of a morally unobjectionable way to do this, to pressure the ECUSA into doing the right thing, rather than excommunicating me, I would do it. But I should be clear; after some reflection I think it would be potentially wrong to deliberately provoke an Episcopalian bishop in order to attempt to expose them; you are correct in that the Book of Job, with some reflection, suggests to me that such a scenario, especially if done with entrapment in mind, would be indeed “very suspect.” I had considered it in the first page, but then I realized that attempting to bait a bishop who most members on this forum would consider to be in a state of severe theological error, into conducting an heresiarchical action, would e equivalent to tempting a bishop to sin, so I have decided not to do that.

    There is however something very suspect in some of the dioceses of the ECUSA. I think if a way to expose these problems could be worked out, with a view to pressuring the bishops into asserting more Christianity, and by the way, I should note I like the current Presiding Bishop more than his predecessor (but why the Episcopal Church can’t simply have one or more Archbishops or Metropolitans in accordance with the Anglican and Apostolic tradition, I can’t imagine. There are still a view doctrinally somewhat traditionalist bishops left in the Episcopal Church, for example, the Bishop of Baton Rouge, and I suspect others might potentially respond to what one might call “loving concern.”

    For example, setting aside for a moment the blasphemous crucifix depicting our Lord as female in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, the nightmarish Halloween parties, filled with Satanic imagery, which they tend to have there, perhaps might be something the bishop could be challenged on. Now, this is not to say all such parties would be inherently bad; my mother has a fond memory of her father and the other members of the United Methodist parish into which I was baptized as an infant, having family-friendly Halloween parties in the late 1950s up through the mid 1960s.

    But the important point should then be stressed, that the United Methodist church (which was from the Methodist Episcopal Church rather than the majority of the semi-Wesleyan Evangelical United Brethren who merged with the former some decades ago), did not have the kind of disturbing imagery we see at the Episcopal Cathedral, and even more importantly, the party and all such things took place in the parish hall, not the nave (known as the “sanctuary” in the terminology of the local Methodists and IIRC several other Protestant churches; this conduct would be considered a desecration*). I think a gentle, almost Mr. Rogers type argument along the lines that continuing to hold these dark, horrific events in the same space where children are ministered to, and in the case of a cathedral church open to the public daily, a place which many people visit in order to pray, some of whom might be dealing with a personal crisis or other issue, sends the wrong message entirely. It could also be pointed out from an ecumenical perspective and a pastoral care perspective, that the parties in question might find this all to be deeply offensive, whether they were Anglicans or not.

    And there is another case of an Episcopal Church that might be doing something even worse which I am considering.

    I love Anglicanism and I feel strongly that if I can help the Anglican Communion preserve what the great beauty of their faith, I should do so.



    * The Methodist parish in question, around the time of the MEC-EUB merger, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, did experience two desecrations, the first of which being when the church was rented out to a film company during the week; the film turned out to be a horror film and the sequences shot therein were of the sort of thing a horror film would shoot in a church given access thereto, e.g. Satanic material.

    The second incident involved vandalism of the nave, apse and altar.

    In both cases, interestingly, the minister held special reconsecratory prayers once the mess was cleared up.

    Both incidents occurred around the time when there was substantial genuine interest in this, both in its atheistic and occult/theistic forms due to the counter cultural movement and the fascination some hippies had with occult religions, in contrast to the panic in the 1980s, which might be considered justifiable actually post-Jonestown and in light of the continuing popularity of New Age religions; I am not entirely sure I accept the idea that the outbreak of concern over Satanism in the 1980s was merely a moral panic. It might look that way in the retrospective light of nihilistic Nineties Post Modernism and the increasing joke the New Age became, with new religious ideas now consisting of intentional and obvious satire like the Cult of the Sub-Genius, Festivus and so on.
     
  14. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We have to recognize that the gorgeous Episcopalian buildings, like any other building, are expensive, and have financial value.

    A Church does not run for free. With staff, payroll taxes, property taxes, various projects, to run a Church or any kind of organization costs money; for something like the Episcopal Church it costs a great deal of money.

    The move for recapturing our Episcopalian architectural patrimony is pretty simple:
    1. The Episcopal Church is collapsing at the rate of a diocese every single year. They are already only at 2 million people total. There are more people with stroke than there are Episcopalians. They are losing a diocese every year, and they're all gray and 60+. In literally 20 years, there will not be an Episcopal Church in this country.
    2. As they are doing this, we grow and grow and grow ACNA, we develop financial institutes, we start new businesses, and develop big pockets.
    3. As the Episcopal Church continues going bankrupt, they start selling their buildings. We start buying them (without step 2 this is impossible).
    4. In the year 2040, ACNA now owns all of the old Episcopalian buildings, and moves to rename itself 'The Episcopal Church'. Fait accompli.
     
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  15. PDL

    PDL Member Anglican

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    First, I am confused. You say you are an 'Orthodox Christian'. By this moniker I have inferred you belong to an Eastern Orthodox Church. After all other non-Anglicans participate in this forum. Perhaps my inference has been wrong and you mean you are a right-believing Christian.

    If my inference proves wrong and the latter above applies I am still not certain how you would achieve anything by excommunication. I have two related questions. The first is this. Do the TEC have excommunication? My second one is what could one possibly do to be excommunicated from the TEC?

    I have no idea what, if anything, would restore orthodoxy to the TEC. I suspect that it is beyond restoration. If the remainder of the Anglican Communion were orthodox we could perhaps hope for the TEC's excommunication from the Anglican Communion. However, it seems to me that the heterodoxy and liberalism found in parts of Australia, in Canada, in England, in Ireland, in Scotland and in Wales means that the TEC will not be expelled and simply considered a normal part of the Communion.
     
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  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Indeed, why should an Oriental Orthodox person give one whit about being excommunicated from TEC? :dunno:

    For example, I was raised in the RCC, but I don't believe in their authority. So I wouldn't care in the least if they wanted to excommunicate me. They could do that every day of the week and twice on Sunday; 'makes no never-mind to me.'
     
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  17. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Indeed so, however, you would need to buy through a holding company as vindictive Episcopalian bishops have been refusing to sell to traditionalist Anglicans. On that point also I would propose a coordinated purchasing process between ACNA and other continuing Anglicans, because there are many of us who, for example, would prefer use of the 1928 BCP and no priestesses; and at the risk of sounding like an Episcopalian, there is room at the table for all of us, because everyone appreciates the value of the work of the ACNA, except for the ECUSA.

    Also, some of the Orthodox churches - especially Oriental Orthodox churches (Copts, Syriacs, Armenians, Ethiopians), the Assyrian Church of the East, and in the EO realm, the Antiochian Orthodox, ROCOR, the OCA, the UOCNA, the Serbians, and ACROD, are growing, whereas a few, mainly GOARCh (the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which I am saddened to say is somewhat spiritually unhealthy) are shrinking; a joint purchasing entity could perhaps be formed with these churches. While totally unsuitable for traditional Anglican use, several of the newer, uglier churches the ECUSA has built in recent years (and had to sell to the megachurches in some cases, for example, the aesthetically dubious former cathedral of West Michigan (which has since been sold to a non-denominational megachurch, much to the dismay of one of the female canons who actually admired its brutalist architecture and who published a book in memory of it, entitled The Sacred Castle), could potentially be easier to adapt for Orthodox use due to their open floor plans, and I would hope the Anglicans would not want them, given that they represent in a visual nutshell the broken aspect of the Episcopal Church.

    In Chico, California, for example, the beautiful old Belle Epoque Episcopal Church in downtown became a Chinese restaurant of ill-repute before being rescued by the Anglican Province of Christ the King; like Esau, the ECUSA congregation traded their architectural patrimony for a bowl of architectural porridge, at best; an ungainly, abstract, visually inelegant structure which, unlike the old church, is located far away from the university campus which is the center of the town.

    Fortunately however the structure wound up back in the hands of traditional Anglicans, and is now packed every Sunday. But only because of providence which allowed the Anglicans to reacquire the church in the mid 1990s when the Chinese restaurant which had occupied it folded. In general, the trend has been for the ECUSA to vindictively refuse to sell its churches to traditional Anglicans; a joint purchasing entity which in turn might also own a commercial real-estate venture could bypass that problem. For Orthodox use, while a beautiful exterior is nice, the interior is slightly more important, and in my opinion it is wrong to put an iconostasis across the interior of a historic Western church which historically might have had a rood screen or communion rail, and some historic Western churches retrofitted in this manner in Europe are not especially awe-inspiring. Thus, the ugly modern churches could be refurbished for Orthodox use and the exquisite churches of Victorian, Edwardian, Gothic Revival or Neoclassical provenance, that are solidly Western, would be restored to the use of traditional Anglican jurisdictions such as the ACNA, the Anglican Province of Christ the King, the ACC, and so on. And these groups can then convene a synod with the goal being to reunify into a new Episcopal Church.
     
  18. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    I am Orthodox, but I have let it be known that because of my love for Anglicanism I am available to assist the cause of traditional Anglicanism as needed. And it occurred to me that one amusing way to do this would be to attempt to get an Episcopalian to excommunicate me for reasons that are not congruent with Anglican doctrine. For example, by agitating against the moral corruption in an Episcopal diocese or the contradiction between the current praxis of the Episcopal Church and what is described in the doctrinal expositions contained in the liturgy and catechism of the 1979 BCP to which Episcopal bishops have sworn an oath of conformity.
     
  19. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    In general its a good idea to be in communion with good churches, hence my desire for communion to be implemented between traditional Anglicans and the Orthodox, and to be anathema to those who have gone down a bad path.

    And I would find it very exceptionally amusing if the Episcopalians excommunicated me “bell, book and candle,” like Richard Burton in Becket.

    You would have to really tick them off to do that. Perhaps a sufficiently stinging criticism of Amoris Laetitia. It very nearly got poor Raymond Cardinal Burke excommunicated and sent to the Papal Dungeons.

    :torch::torch:

    Actually I think the last time Rome anathematized anyone was in the 19th century, involving the Italian revolution and Vatican I. :tiphat:
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 2:51 PM
  20. PDL

    PDL Member Anglican

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    Then you cannot be excommunicated from the TEC. To be excommunicated one first has to be in communion.
     
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