Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Hierarchy!

consequence of TEC's deposition of the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan---surely overlooked in the "prayerful" rush to judgment---is to confirm that The Episcopal Church is not a hierarchical organization.

How did that happen? I shall explain.

TEC is now forced to regard the see of Pittsburgh as vacant. And who can fill the vacant see? The Presiding Bishop? No. The House of Bishops? No. The House of Deputies? No. General Convention? No. The Executive Council? No. (I shall call all of these together "the usual suspects.")

Answer: Only the clergy and parishioners of the Diocese of Pittsburgh can.

That's some hierarchy. Were this the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope or a Cardinal would have a new bishop in the office on Monday.

Or consider this: who has the power to call a diocesan convention in Pittsburgh, now that there is no diocesan? Any of the usual suspects? No.

Answer: Only the Standing Committee of the Diocese, acting as the Ecclesiastical Authority when there is no bishop, can call a diocesan convention.

Again, that's some hierarchy.

Now consider the plight of the plaintiffs in the Calvary Church lawsuit. They no longer have a defendant---the "Bishop of Pittsburgh" is no more. Brought about by their own doing. What they have left are the Trustees of the Diocese, as well as some (but only some) of the members of the Standing Committee (who in fact are no longer on the Standing Committee!). So they cannot obtain any order from the court that would be effective to cause the diocese to do anything, until they cause the new members of the Standing Committee to be substituted in as defendants. Will a court be sympathetic to plaintiffs who have brought about the situation that requires them to ask for leave to bring in new parties? If it were my court, I would tell them that I am no referee, and that they should stop playing games.

I would also tell them that if their Church is as "hierarchical" as they say it is, they should simply bring in the next rank up in the hierarchy---and who would that be?

As I say, that's some hierarchy.

AKMA reminds us that it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Aside: For those so inclined, there is even an entire Pirate Eucharist [Excerpt from the Credo:
. . .
Far us and far arr salvation
he opened the hatch o’ heav’n
and dropped into the hold:
by the pow’r o’ the Holy Ghost
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made a swabbie.
Fer arr sake he was keel-hauled by that scurvy dog,
Pontius Pilate;
and was sent t’ Davy Jones’ locker. . . .]
complete with a "Pirate Gloria" which you can download from this page and listen to, if you have Windows Media Player. Or, if you're in Sacramento, you can go to an actual Pirate Eucharist service this evening at 5:45 p.m. at Trinity Cathedral. But I digress.)

So I would think that the response of those in TEC who are running this farce, when they find out that they have just demonstrated with their actions the utter lack of any hierarchy in their structure, would be in keeping with the occasion:



  1. RE: the Pirate Eucharist

    According to the Episcopal Cafe, even the Archbishop of Canterbury celebrated one of those Pirate Eucharists:

    The Lead can reveal that today - just hours before he jets off for America in what could be a turning point in the future of the Anglican Communion - the Archbishop of Canterbury will meet with a rag-tag group of renegades, scoundrels and peglegs in the bosum of Lambeth Palace. The meeting will conclude with a "Pirate" Eucharist led by the Archbishop. The list of invitees was written in invisible ink.

    A spokesman for Dr. Williams said: “It should come as no surprise that t' Archbishop be meetin' pastorally with scurvy swabs. Such encounters extend starboard across t' range o' civil and uncivil society. Few o' these encounters ever reach t' public domain. That be as it should be.”

    Do you believe that story's true, too? Are you really that gullible, or just that eager to believe the worst of your brothers and sisters?

  2. BillyD, I am afraid you lost me with your questions in the last paragraph. I never saw the story you quote from; I never said anything anywhere about the ABC celebrating such a Eucharist; and I certainly did not give a reference to the Pirate Mass in order to evidence my willingness "to believe the worst of my brothers and sisters."

    It was September 19, and I simply pointed out what AKMA had reminded us all of---that it was "International Talk Like a Pirate Day." I gave further links for those who were interested.

    I do not know what you are complaining about, and so I cannot engage your comment in the slightest. If the shoe fits, I suggest you wear it.

  3. Sigh.

    You posted that there was an actual Pirate Eucharist at Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento, and linked to their calendar to confirm the allegation. Putting the Pirate Eucharist in the calendar is obviously a joke - a joke in bad taste, but a joke just the same, and taken from a series of novels written by an Episcopal priest.

    I pointed out that the Episcopal Cafe ran a similar joke about the ABC, and asked if you were as taken in by it as you were by the Sacramento Pirate Eucharist.

    If you really believe that Trinity Cathedral hosted a Pirate Eucharist, you are (a) extremely gullible or (b) extremely willing to believe the worst of Episcopalians.

  4. BillyD, no reason to sigh, and no reason to think anyone's been gulled.

    There actually was a "Pirate Eucharist" celebrated at 5:45 pm on September 19 in Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento---not only was it in their diocesan calendar, but they advertised it in the local Sacramento newspaper (I can send you a copy of the ad by email if you want). It would be pretty poor community relations to pull people in by an ad and then tell them "it was all a joke", wouldn't you agree?

    I invite any of my readers in the Sacramento area who have more first-hand evidence to set BillyD straight.

  5. I owe you an apology, Mr. Curmudgeon. You weren't being evil-minded -- I was being naive. After leaving your site I found the blog of the dean of Trinity Cathedral. I don't know what text they actually used for it, but there was definitely a "Pirate Eucharist" there on Friday. Please forgive me.

  6. BillyD, it was gracious of you to leave that comment, may God bless you. Apology accepted.