If you a regular reader of my Anglican posts, you probably don’t need an introduction to the woes of the Anglican Communion generally and The Episcopal Church specifically. In fact, it seems almost like flogging a dead horse to go over it all again. But this open letter from Jason Ballard to the General Convention encapsulates the issues so beautifully, it’s certainly worth a read:
We are barely able to get one in three of our baptized members to communion on any given Sunday (probably lower if you took out Easter and Christmas), and yet we are going to consider making communion available to those who have never been baptized in contravention of nearly two millennia of unbroken, uninterrupted Church teaching. We, apparently, can’t even get our baptized membership to take the Eucharist more seriously than soccer, spring break, fishing, and football!
In a so-called spirit of hospitality, clergy in almost every diocese flaunt the canons of this Church and their ordination vows by offering communion to the unbaptized. The bishops are either ignorant of the conditions in their own diocese, unwilling to do anything to bring integrity and order to the parishes, or are sympathetic to this disregard for the established and agreed upon regulations by which we order our common life. Any of those three would be a tragedy, and we’ve probably got all three going on in some measure.
Also, World Magazine has this interesting piece about The Falls Church and the other breakaway parishes in Virginia who have been ordered out of their property:
The Virginia courts awarded six other Anglican church properties to TEC, and three of them have no Episcopal congregation left to use the properties. The diocese may sell some of the properties, said Henry Burt, chief of staff for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, but he said it would not sell The Falls Church or another historic property, Truro Church, for which the diocese has no congregation. Truro’s Anglican congregation is still meeting there, under an agreement with the diocese requiring that the Anglicans pay for the upkeep.
TEC has sold some other properties it has won in court over the last few years, but Jefferts Schori has forbidden selling property to Anglicans. In a recent interview with NPR, she described the Anglican congregations as “competitors.” (Her spokesperson said she wasn’t available for an interview for this article.) “I’ve had two principles throughout this,” Jefferts Schori said. “One, that the church receive a reasonable approximation of fair market value for assets that are disposed of; and, second, that we not be in the business of setting up competitors that want to either destroy or replace the Episcopal Church.” She hasn’t enforced these two principles in all cases: In 2010 the Diocese of Central New York sold a property it won from an Anglican congregation to a Muslim awareness center for well below market value.
Is it time for her to go yet?