Friday, January 15, 2016

I'd rather be just than popular...

The meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion in Canterbury has 'suspended' the Episcopal Church for 3 years. What that means is vague and not yet nailed down--but it is a result of the Primates bending to the will of the Anglicans in the southern hemisphere who are (for many reasons) opposed to same sex marriage and gay clergy.

The Episcopal Church is the sacrificial lamb to keep the Communion together. The Anglicans of Africa and other parts of the southern hemisphere had threatened to leave the world-wide communion over the actions of the Episcopal Church and the Church of Canada because those two of the Provinces of the Anglican Church are far ahead of the rest of Communion on issues of sexuality.

No need to wring your hands and say 'Lordy, Lordy, what are we to do?"

We will keep on 'doing' what we do in spite of this 'suspension'. We are still part of the Anglican Communion--we'll have voice but no 'vote'. We have been disenfranchised. Second class citizens in the rarefied air of the Anglican Communion.

A majority of Anglicans in the world are in Africa. Majority rules. I get it. I was never enthralled by the Anglican Communion to begin with--and I'd rather be 'just' than popular.

You notice I said 'just' and not 'right'. Let the rest of the world-wide church worry about what's 'right'. A majority of Anglicans believe deeply that they are 'right' and the Episcopal Church is 'wrong' about homo-sexuality. So be it. I'd rather be 'just' than 'right' as well.

The Episcopal Church has extended the sacraments of marriage and ordination to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. That is 'just' and as it should be. No 'second class' Episcopalians.

So, since we refuse to assign 'second class' status to any Episcopalian, I'm more than willing to be 'second class' Anglicans!

The actions of the Primates is understandable given the social mores of the African Anglicans. We may have to lead from the outside for now--fully including all Christians while some of the rest of the Communion still dwells in a place where homosexuality is not only rejected but is illegal.

Pray for the GLBTQ folks in those countries where they are not just excluded, but sometimes persecuted. Pray for the Anglican Communion. Pray for the Episcopal Church and give thanks that we have found the love and courage to be inclusive in the face of the world-wide Church's resistance to justice.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.