Thursday, June 22, 2006

Saints for the End of the Episcopal GC

In the Episcopal calendar, today is the Feast of St. Alban.  Alban, refusing to renounce the True Faith under threat of death, was beheaded and became the first martyr of the British Isles in or about A.D. 304.

In the Maronite Calendar, the 22nd of June celebrates St. Eusebius, Archbishop of Samosate.  Eusebius was an opponent of the Arian heresy, which was both popular and powerful in the Eastern empire.  Arianism views Christ as a created being, inferior to the Father and not coeternal.  Eusebius suffered exile under the Arian emperor Valens, and was killed in 379 or 380 by a follower of Arius during the consecration of an orthodox bishop.

For Latin Rite Catholics, today is the Feast of St. Thomas More, martyred by Henry VIII in 1535.   Thomas steadfastly refused to approve of Henry’s divorce or to acquiesce to the establishment of the Church of England.  His faithfulness resulted in the loss of his head.

The conjunction of the feasts of these three saints falls on the day after the closing of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which:
  • Named a woman as Presiding Bishop;

  • A woman who approved Bishop Robinson and who permits gay unions in her diocese;

  • Referred to Jesus Christ as “our mother,” who “gives birth to creation;”

  • Declined the opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ as the way to salvation;

  • Passed non-binding resolutions which failed to address the concerns of the rest of the Anglican Communion as detailed in the Windsor Report.

Ironic?  If a felon is someone who commits a felony, and if a glutton is someone who commits gluttony, then God must be an Iron.

None of this is my problem anymore, but I can’t help watching.  Even when I’m making fun of it, there’s a low-key ache in my heart. There was so much in the Anglican expression of Christianity that was beautiful and true.  It is sad to see it self-destruct in a grinding, disintegrating crash from its own internal contradictions, like a jet engine that’s shed too many fan blades.

For Central Texans who are ready to cry a few tears, wash their hands, and walk away, please see my church suggestions posted previously.  However bad it seems now, know that there are places that will give you sanctuary..