Quid bonum episcoporum?

Quid bonum episcoporum?

Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 04:55:56 -0800
From: Daniel A. Beck dalexbeck@YAHOO.COM

The ABC writes:

It is assumed that at the end of a week-long consultation, we shall produce an authoritative answer to the searching questions of faith and morals which are currently challenging the Communion. That is unrealistic. Perhaps I need to remind everyone that the Primates Meeting is consultative.

Authoritative? It is not only 'unrealistic,' but dead wrong. There is a very dangerous movement afoot in our communion to resurrect the conciliar movement, where bishops met and laid down the law. We should thank our lucky stars for being blest in this country with a church constitution where authority exists only when all the church, including its lay people, are voting.

The ABC again:

I hope that those bishops who have, by actions they have permitted in their dioceses appeared to reject the [Lambeth sexuality] resolution, will recognise the substantial difficulties they have raised for many of their colleagues around the world.

Permitted?!? There he goes again. I find the ABC one of the most paternalistic and condescending voices in the communion. That may be the way bishops function in Merry Olde England, but in this country the laity are entitled to a voice about Lambeth. I think that the ABC needs to be reminded that for two centuries England refused to supply this colony with local episcopal oversight, and as a result, when the revolution came, there was a large part of the Anglican church here which doubted the need of bishops at all.

I constantly am revisiting the issue of episcopacy. What is the good of bishops? Quid bonus episcoporum? What is their useful function among us? There is real and very dangerous tug of war over the issue. I suspect that the new dye on the purple shirts must have some hallucinogenic property, generating some dangerous, illusory notions in the brains of bishops. Some obviously think of themselves possessed of almost despotic powers over clergy and laity, some think that they have unique and authoritative insights into God, and many think that a gathering of bishops represent the entirety of the church. Wrong, wrong, three times wrong.

Dan Beck
Atlanta GA

Neque enim praesentior spiritus noster est ubi animat quam ubi amat.


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