This post has a couple of updates on items of note I have written about recently…
Fr David Simmons has put out a great endorsement of the Revd Frank Logue for President of the House of Deputies whom he has known for 14 years. He writes, “Frank offers a formidable intellect, a pastoral heart, a listening ear and a real can-do spirit to the House. Considering the challenges that are being laid down by the Committee on Structure, I believe Frank is eminently qualified to lead the house during this time of great transition.”
Dr Derek Olsen put up a post today about the movement at General Convention. He especially focuses on Holy Women, Holy Men and Communion Regardless of Baptism. Of the second he writes, “Nobody wants to see a communion rail lock-down; that’s just silly. What needs to be avoided, though, is any sense that Baptism is somehow optional. If we invite any and all to the Eucharist then we have precisely made Baptism optional. That’s not a pastoral practice, that’s deliberately turning our backs on the theology of the Prayer Book and the consistent witness of the Church up until the late 20th century.”
He adds, “What I would love to see in any discussion of pastoral discretion with regard to CWOB is the word ‘individual.’ The message that the resolution would send, then, is to say that pastoral discretion may be warranted in specific individual and unusual circumstances. A general call to any and all is not pastoral—nor is it evangelism; rather, it salves the consciences of those who want to see themselves as inclusive, but who don’t want to do the work of setting healthy boundaries and inviting all comers within those boundaries through the proper protocols (i.e., Baptism with water in the name of the Triune God).”
Church Structure Updates
Fr David Sibley posted a draft of the omnibus resolution on church structure. This sounds dull but represents potential for a renewed focus on evangelism, mission, and ministry. Of particular note is this, that the gathering to consider structure “shall include from each diocese a bishop, a lay deputy, a clergy deputy, and a person under 40.” Thanks to those such as the Revd Canon Amy Real Coultas, the Church will include these younger voices in any deliberations about our future structure.
On a New Oxford Movement
Not long ago, I put together a piece on the need for a New Oxford Movement. It has gotten some great responses and we have begun generating ideas for how to bring this to life. Among the responses is one that I thought particularly worth noting as the author raises several great points to consider. Perhaps my favorite section is this,
”What I’m specifically reacting against here is whatever the hell it is that makes people think that when I say “anglo-catholic” what I really mean is that I like smells and bells. On the one hand it’s a reduction of “catholic” to subjective aesthetic preference — “Oh, you just like high liturgy” — and it’s not even connected to theology or ecclesiology on the other. And anglo-catholics buy right into this with so many petty discussions about the intricacies of liturgy and robes and how many times to shake a thurible. Not that high liturgy is bad, obviously, or that low church is actually praiseworthy, but it’s such an incredibly narrow vision of the catholic. Also think of certain austere monastic orders that live a simple life and perform simple prayers and liturgies. We would never suggest they “aren’t catholic.”
It is well worth the full read and comment!