14 July 2012

On becoming a heretic

Excellent take-down of that WaPo story on dissident catechists who refused to sign a fidelity oath in the Diocese of Arlington.

One observation that had me cheering:

[. . .] Based on years of reading Post coverage of the many doctrinal battles between liberal and conservative Episcopalians, it appears that it absolutely crucial for conservative Episcopalians to obey their liberal bishops (and everyone heads to secular courts if they cannot work things out), but it isn’t terribly important for liberal Catholics to obey their conservative bishops, even when those bishops are acting in obedience to that Bishop of Rome guy. 

During my many years as a Episcopagan--yes, that's how I identified myself--, I argued that it was crucial for traditionalists in the Episcopal Church to obey the revisionist decisions of the democratically elected General Convention.  

The Holy Spirit was always Do Something New and we couldn't allow obstinate worshipers of nostalgia to prevent us from Moving Forward.  The very idea that 20th century Christians would look backwards for inspiration was abhorrent.  

Every decision of the GC that opened up the church to Our Future, every vote that brought us closer to the Wonders of Full Inclusion made me tingle all over! 

It wasn't until I heard that the Great Process of Revision was leading us to discussions about scraping the Book of Common Prayer in favor of a three-ring binder that I began to question the Wisdom of Permanent Theological Revolution.  

When I sheepishly pointed out to my fellow revolutionaries that the Great Process endangered the one thing that all of us--revisionists and traditionalists--revered, the BCP, I was told that the BCP is oppressive, exclusive, narrow, and a tool of racism/sexism/homophobia.  Not only must we revise the BCP, we must destroy it to serve the Permanent Revolution!  

My friends in the Church, the ones who had preached disobedience to authority and the glories of diversity, difference, and full-inclusion, shut me down and beat me with demands for silence. I learned that diversity and difference really means "diversity and difference that agrees with our agenda."

That's when I put on my swimsuit and came across the Tiber.  And on this side of the river, I found more than a few Episcopagans disguised as Catholics.  They did little to actually hide themselves and behaved exactly like my former friends.  

They rail against institutional authority while using their institutional authority to shut down opposition. They decry the abuse of power while abusing their own power.  They cast themselves as The Oppressed while happily opposing anyone who disagreed with them.  And they snark against the shadowy workings of Old Men in Rome while working in the shadows as a clique all their own.

Thankfully, the Roman Catholic Church isn't run like a parliament, so their revolutionary fervor rarely causes much long-term damage.

Follow HancAquam and visit the Kindle Wish List and the Books & Things Wish List

Click on St. Martin and donate to the Dominicans! ----->


  1. YES!!!! I used to be an Episcopalian, too, and swam the Tiber for different reasons, but I'm all too familiar with the "difference and diversity" agenda. My Feminists for Life literature used to get ripped off company bulletin boards, but anything about gay/lesbian activities was sacred. (Not slamming the LGBT crowd.)

    This isn't a homily, right? Because there's no scripture cited. Just wondering.

    1. Oh no, not a homily! I wouldn't use this tone in a homily. . .well, not anymore at least.

      It's just a rant.

    2. Father,

      I think this tone does need to be used in a homily or two to wake the people up.

    3. Ioannes, are you trying to get me in trouble? I think so. ;-)