Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nine Bishops Waiting... hurry, hurry...

I can't remember what year it was, but somewhere back in Jr. High we were assigned "Nine Coaches Waiting" by Mary Stewart as part of our summer reading list. This was the cover of my copy,

I was one who would typically put off reading the assigned books until the last week of summer vacation, and unless a book really gripped me, that week became a high anxiety torture chamber that I knew had to be followed by the required book report and examination by the Chief Inquisitor (the scary English teacher for our next level in school).  

The only grip I ever got on "Nine Coaches Waiting" was the grip of my fist as I threw it across the room every time I read the recurring verse, "Nine coaches waiting, hurry, hurry..." 

Unfortunately my teacher loved the book, and we spent the first week of school dissecting every painful chapter.

I guess more people loved the story and Mary Stewart's style than hated it because it was a best seller. A recent on-line review is making me re-think one or two of the themes that our English teacher wanted us to pick up on as we were reading the book that summer. The reviewer writes,

"And it’s a story about trust and how much or little you can afford of it. The main characters suffer deeply because they find themselves out of their depth and must face decisions that cost them dearly."  

I think that reviewer has identified a theme that can be found in the ongoing disaster novel that is The Episcopal church, especially the latest rounds of "disciplinary actions" taken by TEc's leadership. 

At present, there are nine innocent bishops awaiting "conciliation" for speaking or writing something that goes against the current agenda of the "National" office as regards property disputes. George Conger's report at Anglican Ink tells it all and came in via e-mail to many of us this past week. Here are some excerpts,

Panel recommends "conciliation" between the accused and the Episcopal ChurchArticle | October 22, 2012 - 11:46pm | By George Conger
A Reference Panel has found that a prima facie case of misconduct can be made against nine serving and retired bishops of the Episcopal Church for having endorsed an amicus brief presented to the Texas Supreme Court, or for having given testimony in a trial court proceeding involving the Diocese of Quincy.
The Rt Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, the Rt Rev Maurice M. Benitez, the Rt Rev John W. Howe, the Rt Rev Paul E. Lambert, the Rt Rev William H. Love, the Rt Rev D. Bruce MacPherson, the Rt Rev Daniel H. Martins, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr, and the Rt Rev James M. Stanton have been informed the Reference Panel had reviewed the charges brought against them by the provisional bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy and by lay and clergy accusers.
In an 19 Oct 2012 email Bishop Matthews wrote:"The Reference Panel unanimously decided according to IV. 6.sec.8 that the complaint will proceed with option (c), Conciliation pursuant to Canon IV.10."
One of the nine told Anglican Ink he has yet to be told what it was about his actions that violated the canons. Is it the "issue" or "expressing the issue in court" he said.If it is the issue, the bishop noted the position set forth in their brief was identical to that put forward in 2009 in the Bishops Statement on Polity. If it was stating this belief in court, "what is illegitimate about that," he asked.
One commentator asked "why it is OK for some bishops or dioceses and TEC itself to seek to have the courts interpret the C&Cs, but when others specifically advise the courts that they cannot get embroiled in these issues, it is a canonical offense. 
It is my guess that nobody really understands what "conciliation" in the TEc dictionary really means as this is the first time this will be done on such a scale. The Chief Inquisitor holds all the cards, and the decisions that the nine bishops waiting face could be ones that might cost them dearly. Are they in it too deep? Will those who stick to their guns and not do a "conciliatory tango" with 815 get dealt some real punishment? 

O, think upon the pleasure of 815!

Securèd ease and state! The tableau of same sex blessings,
Ready to spread before the provinces, that e'en now
Beckon to be fed...
Banquets abroad by torchlight! Feasts of the Solstices! All manner of pleasures!
Nine bishops waiting — hurry, hurry —
Ay, to the devil....

No comments:

Post a Comment