Monday, August 07, 2006

Pirates of the Anglican Communion

I’ve just recently discovered UnSaintly Pat's blog. Pat is posting some good stuff! In particular, Pat has begun writing a series of stories that are a “spoof” drawing upon The Pirates of the Caribbean. These will be especially amusing to those of you who (like me) follow the goings-on of the Anglican Communion and the various bloggers and real people engaged in those discussions.

A handful of conservative dioceses (6 or 7 of our 110+) in The Episcopal Church have advanced a profoundly wackadoo notion: that somebody create an amorphous Province X for The Truly Pure Who Really Hate The Episcopal Church. Inspired by that silliness, Unsaintly Pat has begun writing a serialized, fictionalized story. For those following our church’s adventures and misadventures, you’ll recognize familiar characters like Presiding Bishop Griswold, PB-Elect Jefferts Schori, that swashbucklin' Father Jake, and others. Pat even suggests what actors should play each character in this grand adventure, and her "matches" are perfect! I hope you’ll enjoy these installments. Begin with Part 1 of the Pirates of the Anglican Communion here. Then continue Part 2 here and Part 3 here. More installments must be forthcoming, I assume. Thanks for the entertainment, Pat!

Now ... if you have not been reading every press release and "open letter" and communique and report darting to-and-fro since the 2003 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and the attendant brouhaha in the Anglican Communion, you'll need a few words of introduction before appreciating Pat's offerings.

Here's my humble, Cliff's Notes effort to bring you sufficiently up to date.

You need to know that Pittsburgh’s bishop, Robert Duncan, issued an appeal almost as soon as the last Deputy left the Columbus convention center after the 2006 General Convention. He asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to give him and his sensitive diocese something called “alternative primatial oversight” [whatever that means!] and asked for the creation of a non-geographical “Province X” in The Episcopal Church. Apparently, their tender "consciences" need protection from the big, bad Episcopal Church and her Presiding Bishop.

Now, to understand that … you need to understand a couple of other things.

First, within The Episcopal Church, we have nine “provinces.” “Provinces” are regional groupings of dioceses within TEC. (Think New England region, Mid-Atlantic region, Southeast region, etc.) Provinces don’t actually do anything substantive, as far as I can tell. NOBODY paid attention to “provinces of The Episcopal Church” up ‘til June 2006. Think quick! Can you tell me which "province" you're in? I bet not!

But Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh wants somebody -- apparently the Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom he issued his hysterical appeal -- to create a new “Province X” in the United States, to which all the “right-thinking” Episcopalians could belong, to keep themselves pure and undefiled from the other 110+ dioceses of The Episcopal Church. Hello??? There’s no such thing as a non-geographical “province” within TEC! We have created comfy little geographic provinces to get together for whatever-it-is-they-gather-for. The provinces were not created as a means for purists to separate from the supposed "heretics" in their midst. They are not "affinity groups." [The only "affinity group" we have in TEC is the group that gathers around the altar each Sunday!] And the Archbishop's ability to change the Constitutional structure of The Episcopal Church would be what?? The mind boggles. And UnSaintly Pat's mind certainly did ... in a marvelous, entertaining way.

Well … that’s a much longer introduction that I had hoped to offer.

Go there. Read that.

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