February 27, 2017

July 11, 2012

Are You Watching the Communion Without Baptism Resolution?

If you aren’t, you should.  The House of Deputies rejected an amendment and passed the following today:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.

Since the majority of our readers actually KNEW what was in the ESV, you probably understood the meaning of the last sentence.  Another pretense resolution.  “Pastoral Sensitivity” sounds a whole lot like “Generous Pastoral Response.”  I do not have confirmation but was told the amendment that failed was to remove the last sentence.  The vote was by orders.  The final tally as reported at T-19 was

Lay     85 Yes, No 16, Divided 9
Clergy 70 Yes, No 24, Divided 16

Words matter.  You might want to take this opportunity to send your bishop an email.  Make sure you mark it as Urgent.  High Priority.

Kendall has two excellent threads on this.

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I’m shocked that there’s gambling here in Casablanca.

Seriously, after suddenly cracking open a Bible to see it mentions “homosexuality” we somehow expect these chowder-heads to care about the Sacraments?  Outside of quoting the “respect the dignity of every person” line in zombie-like fashion from the “Baptismal Covenant,” have they bothered to read the BCP either to understand why things are done in certain order according to certain forms?

There’s no greater evidence that these guys are totally making it up according to their whims and fancies.  They’re here to increase their own emotional self-satisfaction to show how generous they are and superior to others.

[1] Posted by Bill2 on 7-11-2012 at 09:23 PM · [top]

The last sentance pretty much swamps any attempt to enforce ortodoxy.  From here on out it all opnion.

[2] Posted by Nikolaus on 7-11-2012 at 09:23 PM · [top]

I am almost relieved that this nonsense has ceased to matter in our grand scheme of things, since we are pretty much out of TEO.  I’m just hoping that there’s a nearby ACNA church plant soon, since Dear Hubby doesn’t plan to recross the Tiber, and MSLC isn’t his cup of tea.

[3] Posted by elanor on 7-11-2012 at 09:29 PM · [top]


Resolved.  the United States Government concurring, that legal tender is the accepted and normative way for her citizens to purchase goods and services.  We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there are those exercises of good faith that are expressed with crayons and notebook paper. 


Resolved, the sundry Laws of Thermodynamics concurring, that energy does not appear Ex Nihilo.  We also acknowledgethat in various local contexts, there are those instances where perpetual motion machines work in perpetuity and if you lift up on your belt, you can fly. 


Resolved, children are produced by the sexual union between a man and a woman.  We ..

[4] Posted by J Eppinga on 7-11-2012 at 09:42 PM · [top]

Reminds me of the story, likely apocryphal, WC Fields being discovered reading a Bible on his deathbed by a young lad.  The kid inquired as to what Fields was doing.  “Lookin’ for loopholes, kid, lookin’ for loopholes.”

[5] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-11-2012 at 10:04 PM · [top]

Just think of the damage done here if this makes it past the HoB.  They’ve eviscerated Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion by this resolution. 

They’ve blown up “marriage” by authorizing SSBs and further damaged the credibility of Holy Orders by allowing both unrepentant sinners and now the sexually confused by normalizing “transgenderism.” 

And of course implicit in all this is the fact that there’s no real sin anymore except “homophobia” or being a Republican so Confession is pretty much a dead letter.

How did Holy Unction escape the destructive reach of these clowns?

[6] Posted by Bill2 on 7-11-2012 at 10:11 PM · [top]

This should be the last straw…but will it?

[7] Posted by All-Is-True on 7-11-2012 at 10:16 PM · [top]

I am reluctantly forced to agree with All-Is-True: It is yet possible for these people to come up with something worse.  I can’t think what that may be, but their talent at doing this is undeniable.

[8] Posted by MichaelA on 7-11-2012 at 10:30 PM · [top]

Give them time, Bill2, give them time.

[9] Posted by MichaelA on 7-11-2012 at 10:31 PM · [top]

I’m waiting for the resolution allowing a generous pastoral response authorizing parishes to set up altars to Baal.

[10] Posted by billqs on 7-11-2012 at 11:11 PM · [top]

This motion is actually a bit of a problem for TEC.  Having based their theology for Same Sex everything on Baptism being admission to all sacraments, it is difficult to then turn around and say Baptism isn’t necessary to participate in Sacraments.  At least not this year.

[11] Posted by Ed McNeill on 7-11-2012 at 11:19 PM · [top]

1 Corinthians 11:27-30 (NIV)

So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.  For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.  That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

A non-Christian cannot be expected to discern the body of Christ.  By inviting them to the table, are we not inviting them to judgment, and inviting ourselves to judgment?  I believe the Holy Spirit spoke through Paul to warn us.
I may get censored by SF moderators for saying this.  You know how Episcopalians always brag about how we don’t park our brains at the door?  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Their understanding of reality is limited only to what they perceive with their natural senses, even though there is ample evidence in Holy Scripture and in science (string theory and superstring theory) to the contrary. 
Just because we cannot perceive the link between unworthily receiving Communion and illness does not mean the link does not exist.  We Episcopalians are so arrogant and narcissistic, if we can’t perceive it, then it surely cannot be.  We are the center of the universe.  We know all. 
Just the opposite is true.  We are so limited in our perceptions.  (String theory claims, like, eleven or more dimensions.)  Episcopalians do check their brains at the door because EPISCOPALIANS ARE STUPID.  They have no humility and no fear of God and, therefore, no hope for a future.

[12] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 7-12-2012 at 05:09 AM · [top]

The Open Table policy would actually serve as an outward and visible sign of what they are already doing anyway. The TEC has welcomed blatant sin and frank perversion into every part of the life of the Church, so why not join themselves to that sin and unbelief officially, in a weekly act of Unholy Communion?

[13] Posted by Cynthia Gee(AKA CJ/goldndog) on 7-12-2012 at 06:22 AM · [top]

“So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”

Unfortunately, St. Paul doesn’t give us any specifics on the person who consecrates the bread and cup unworthily and then hands them around to whoever is standing about.

Nor does St. Paul give us specifics on what happens to a bishop who promotes such practices (although I think St.John Chrysostom and Dante have something to say about that).

I don’t know how long I am going to be able to continue posting on SF because I will not be able to stay within the stayer/leaver policy.  While I can support +Mark Lawrence and SC or the few remaining CP dioceses, there is no way in good conscience I could tell anyone it is OK to stay in any of the Michigan dioceses, or most others in the Midwest.

[14] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 06:39 AM · [top]

Jackie, thanks for posting this.  I was a little worried with all the attention being given SSBs and also the departure of most of the SC deputation yesterday that this would get lost.

As anyone who reads the comment threads at T19 will readily discern, this is an issue I’m passionate about and I think this is the most telling break by TEC with Christian orthodoxy yet.

Sadly, I predict the bishops will pass this, it may be close, but I am quite confident it will pass.

[15] Posted by Karen B. on 7-12-2012 at 06:57 AM · [top]

So where does this lead TEC? If the prior mantra was access to all the sacraments for all the baptized, does this mean that the unbaptized will have access to all the sacraments? Failure to discern the body was a major issue before this resolution since TEC has ignored the mind of the rest of the Anglican Communion.

[16] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-12-2012 at 07:04 AM · [top]

Jill, I totally agree  with everything you wrote in#12.

However,  telling these people about this rule or that or citing scripture (which they don’t believe in anyway) will NEVER be understood by such people as being binding on them. I will never understand how some of these people think that making another resolution to get around what is already plainly stated in the Canons will make any difference. [Of course if the pastoral sensitivity of a priest includes inquiring about that person’s faith and wanting to tell them the Good News if they have not heard it before, well that just won’t be tolerated.] If they really want to scrap the canon that is already there then the resolution needs to be exactly that- delete it and be done with it. Here is the current canon:

CANON I.17.7 No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church.

Simple enough. Really want communion of the unbaptized as the norm then scrap the canon. Change it to read:

Any person who wants to receive communion in this Church shall not be denied under any circumstance.

That would at least be honest change to which there could be actual objection. But this not changing it but allowing to go on at the local level as a “pastoral response”  to be “inclusive” (as Bishop Lawrence would say to be “indiscriminately inclusive”) of all people is just dishonesty.

This sort of behavior really does show how lawless these people really are. Telling these people to follow the rules is useless as they will continue to do what they want.  Since an intervention by the Anglican equivalent of a “Super Nanny” is unlikely/non-existent, the best thing to do would be to ignore them.  Why do these people even want to be part of a group that has rules just to blatantly disregard them and break them whenever the feel “the spirit” or that their own prayers have told them that this is what should be done? These people need to be honest with themselves and just not even bother using the terms, Christian, Episcopal, or Anglican to describe themselves and allow Christians to continue doing our Lord’s work here.

As for Jacki’s last recommendation to tell our bishop, won’t bother. I already know what he thinks. Besides won’t matter a bit in my diocese (SC).

[17] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-12-2012 at 07:11 AM · [top]

” It is yet possible for these people to come up with something worse. “

Now, if they REALLY want to pack ‘em in and make a pile of green, they could always re-introduce temple prostitutes ... The groundwork has been laid (pardon the expression).

They wouldn’t be called “prostitutes” of course… Have to think up a good episcopal title such as “Intimate Relationship Ministers” ... and they could come in all ‘flavors’ and ages.

Just think of the potential!

Committee for “reimagining” TEC in the 21st century, take note.  This idea is on the house.

[18] Posted by Aardvark on 7-12-2012 at 07:17 AM · [top]

People, PLEASE remember Johnson’s Law of Episcopal Dynamics before posting anything else like #18.  Given the recent acceleration of Episcopal Dynamics, one assumes that the first “pastoral sensitivity” along the lines Aardvark suggests to be adopted no later than 2018.

[19] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 07:42 AM · [top]

#17, SCbcl, I agree.  The resolution is dishonest. 
God gave us rules to protect us.  This, however, is deeper than following rules.  The Episcopal Church is hellbent on denying anything that it cannot perceive with five senses.  What is our faith without the supernatural—miracles, heaven and hell, the fall and the atonement?  It is nothing but a mess of pottage.

[20] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 7-12-2012 at 07:42 AM · [top]

SC Blue Cat Lady- don’t forget that TEC also needs to revise the BCP and the Constitution in order to be honest about what they are doing.  In point of fact, you could now depose every cleric who voted for it since they voted to violate the canons, violate the rubrics of the BCP and violate the constitution (correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it recognizes the authority of the first 4 Councils of the Church).

What they accomplished was another revision of the prayer book without the required 2 conventions and, later today, without the required super-majority of bishops.

They also abandoned the communion of the church, excommunicated themselves from the ancient Church, excommunicated themselves from all members of the Anglican Communion (or any other church they were in communion with) who hold to the first 4 councils of the Church, or Real Presence, or a catholic understanding of Church order and Sacraments.  And threatened the soul of every participant in one of their sacrilegious services with damnation.  Amazing what they managed to do with one sentence, isn’t it?

But other than that, since no one needs to be baptized to be among the “communicants in good standing,” the bishop can now appoint unbaptized people to the various leadership positions in the diocese.  That will no doubt be a big plus going forward, since I am guessing there will be a big outflow of people who are baptized as a result of this resolution.

[21] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 07:55 AM · [top]

No one should be surprised at this.

TEo practices result oriented theology.  The end-point is already determined.  They just need some random, jumbled justifications that sound theology-like.

Their politics, culture, emotions, and genitalia tell them where they need to be at the end of the day.  They may find a tangential bread crumb trail of specious arguments for their position, that doesn’t even amount to a fig leaf, but so what?  They win and they feel good about themselves.  Isn’t that why you go to GC anyways?  So you can feel really good about yourself?

[22] Posted by Bill2 on 7-12-2012 at 07:59 AM · [top]

Given all the other apostasies and heresies promulgated since the 1980s that have come to full fruition here at GC12, I have a hard time justifying a response other than tired resignation at this.

I sort of expect the bishops to turn it down on a close vote this time because it pretty well erodes their necessity to do anything other than ordain clergy, but it will come up again in GC15 and pass with a solid majority in both houses.  Any takers?  I’ve got a plug-nickel with your name on it.

[23] Posted by Bill2 on 7-12-2012 at 08:21 AM · [top]

#12 Jill,

I agree. The majority however apparently does not believe in judgement either.

[24] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 7-12-2012 at 08:22 AM · [top]

Bill2, I think they will pass it today. This convention is all about burning all the bridges. Why would they leave this one standing?

[25] Posted by oscewicee on 7-12-2012 at 08:30 AM · [top]

Let Transparecy Reign!

[26] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 7-12-2012 at 08:47 AM · [top]

Did I read right - did they whack off the last sentence before approving it and sending it to HoD? what happens now?

[27] Posted by oscewicee on 7-12-2012 at 08:58 AM · [top]

25- I think they MUST pass it (from their point of view).  If they don’t, conservative members of their diocese can file charges against the clergy deputies who voted in favor, along with every bishop and priest anywhere else in TEC who engages in it.  Plus, if they don’t pass it, several of the more conservative bishops would have free rein to actually do something about the revisionists infiltrating their dioceses (as to why they haven’t already, well, you’d have to ask them). That assumes there are any actual conservatives left in TEC, outside of SC, willing to actually do something.

It’s not that I would expect any of those charges to result in an actual trial, but it would make for some real definition between conservatives and revisionists when it got into the papers that 64% of the convention clergy delegates had charges filed against them, it would make clear to folks in the pews what these fools are up to, and it will tie up the intake officer of every diocese just answering the mail.

[28] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 09:01 AM · [top]

When I checked gc77 on Twitter awhile ago, someone was reporting that the bishops had removed the last sentence and passed it. Can the HoD override that? If it’s true?

[29] Posted by oscewicee on 7-12-2012 at 09:09 AM · [top]

If passing SSB’s, eliminating Baptism as a condition of taking Communion, and pushing transgendered folk TEC isn’t kicked out of the Anglican Communion, then what behavior WILL kick them out?

I am still waiting on the reaction from the African Bishops….

[30] Posted by B. Hunter on 7-12-2012 at 09:39 AM · [top]

According to: http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/resolutions
Yes, at the moment ... the last sentence has been removed.

[31] Posted by martin5 on 7-12-2012 at 10:13 AM · [top]

Thank you, martin5. I know that TEC often stands on its head to undo what it did a few minutes ago, so ... still watching.

[32] Posted by oscewicee on 7-12-2012 at 10:31 AM · [top]

B. Hunter writes:
“If passing SSB’s, eliminating Baptism as a condition of taking Communion, and pushing transgendered folk TEC isn’t kicked out of the Anglican Communion, then what behavior WILL kick them out?”

In humble reply, I will venture an answer:
The only thing which can get them kicked out would be if they were to stop funding the ACC and ABC’s tea parties.  Since that’s not going to happen, there is NOTHING which would get them kicked out of the “communion”.  After all, the way the structures have been engineered, the Primates have been sidelined and those in power within the other instruments are secretly (or perhaps not so secretly) in favor of what TEc is doing.

Like you, I am placing my hopes on the GAFCON primates to realize that we no longer have a single communion, but two.  An orthodox one, whose members will agree to conform to some form of covenant, and another which follows the TEc lead into apostasy and irrelevancy. My hope is that the GAFCON primates will formalize that realization by creating a separate and independent communion.  But I won’t hold my breath for that either.  The ability of senior clergy to rationalize away the need to act is formidable.

Still, one may hope.  Ah… The dreams of youth…

[33] Posted by Aardvark on 7-12-2012 at 10:31 AM · [top]

Did they cut funding to the ACC yesterday?

[34] Posted by oscewicee on 7-12-2012 at 10:48 AM · [top]

GOOD NEWS: The HOB struck out the acknowledgement of being “sensitive”, violating the canons, and allowing people to eat in an unworthy manner.

Apparently the house as a whole eviscerated the resolution, and no one rose to support it. It appears that either the HOD will have to pass the resolution as it stands now: an affirmation of ancient and universal norms, or do nothing and fail in their quest to muck about with CWOB!

Thank God for our bishops!

[35] Posted by Fr. David M. Faulkner on 7-12-2012 at 11:11 AM · [top]

34- I think they are continuing their policies of the last several years- they cut the nominal contributions to the communion, then arrange for “private money” from various non-for-profits that support gay and other agendas to fund those specific ACO programs that help TEC spread its heresies around the world. 

This way, the determination on what gets funding stay with 815 and their allies, rather than the ACC or even the ACO.

[36] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 11:21 AM · [top]

I should have known, TJ.

[37] Posted by oscewicee on 7-12-2012 at 11:27 AM · [top]

LOL- Orthodox LF.  They just voted to continue to allow 60 or more dioceses to continue CWOB.  If they intended to do anything about it, they would have to depose those 60 bishops (although, granted, all or almost all of the 60 are included in the 111 that abandoned the communion of the Church earlier in the week).  Just keeping the money pouring in from people like you.  It is not an affirmation, just an observation of what the norm is.  The bishops realized that the monetary cost would be too high to leave the wording as it was, that’s all.  The vast majority already allow it. It is probably safe to say that if you are not in a CP diocese, it is going on where you are every Sunday.

And the HoD doesn’t have to do anything, or maybe they will just kick it to committee for next GC, when the Prayer Book revisions for gay marriage, etc, are introduced, and they can do it right.

[38] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 11:29 AM · [top]

LOL, tjmcmahon.  If the bishops just did what OrthodoxLF reported in #35, that’s not “voting to continue to allow 60 or more dioceses to continue CWOB.”  That’s voting down the resolution that would have been an official acknowledgment that it’s “pastorally sensitive” to give communion to the unbaptized.

Am I missing something?  Or did they do what you said?

[39] Posted by Charles on 7-12-2012 at 11:40 AM · [top]

Re #17:

Why do these people even want to be part of a group that has rules just to blatantly disregard them and break them whenever the feel “the spirit” or that their own prayers have told them that this is what should be done?

That’s just the point. They could go off to the UCC or the Metropolitan Community Churches, but that wouldn’t allow them to be edgy and prophetic and transgressive. They are part of the Episcopal Church precisely so they can spit in the face of the rules and claim to be fighting The Man and occasionally yell, “help, help, I’m being repressed! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!” This is all about what gives them a cheap thrill, and allows them to relive their days as 60s rebels. Of course, given that they now run TEC, there’s also an element of self-delusion involved in all that, but even something as pathetic as this resolution gives them to opportunity to party with one another and gabble on about how they stuck it to The System.

[40] Posted by David Fischler on 7-12-2012 at 11:54 AM · [top]

Charles- They voted for a resolution that does absolutely nothing at all.  It merely states what everyone knows- baptism is normative.  They could not even get out the word “required”.

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms
that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy
Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and
baptize all peoples.

They have said baptism is the “usual and accepted standard”, they did NOT say, other practices are not also acceptable.  It is a declaration of the obvious.  As I have said, anyone who actually believes they did something today needs to immediately file charges against all their own clergy deputies who voted in favor of the Deputies original version, and any bishop who voted to keep the deputies language.  And see what the bishop and his intake officer do with those charges.

[41] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 11:55 AM · [top]

tjmcmahon- “Just keeping the money pouring in from people like you. “

-Forgive me, tjmcmahon, but I don’t believe we’ve met. Let me tell you about “people like me.” I am a priest of the Diocese of Dallas, and “people like me” already don’t give a cent to General Convention. I have no idea what kind of person you are, so I’ll refrain from guessing how “people like you” behave. You’re entitled to your opinion, but please don’t assume that you know the people to whom and about whom you speak, because you don’t.

While deposing 60 bishops is not going to happen (though I certainly agree that CWOB should never be permitted anywhere, ever), I hope you can see that there is some ground between an endorsement of CWOB and all out Title IV war.

As for me, while there’s much to be upset about this go around at GC, I’m thankful that the HOB has not jumped off a cliff with regard to the universal communion discipline of the Church: Baptism first, then communion.

I’m not naive enough to think that CWOB isn’t happening, but for those of us still in TEC, even small victories give us a shot in the arm to continue the work God has for us to do.

[42] Posted by Fr. David M. Faulkner on 7-12-2012 at 11:56 AM · [top]

And I think you mean “ancient and normative,” which is stronger than “usual and accepted.”

[43] Posted by Fr. David M. Faulkner on 7-12-2012 at 11:58 AM · [top]

OrthodoxLF, I agree 100%.  I just heard from the ground in Indy that the HoD doesn’t have time to take this back up (unless the Committee on Dispatch randomly brings it up which they probably won’t), meaning the resolution is essentially dead.

I’m thankful that the bishops didn’t pass what I consider to be heresy (authorizing CWOB or acknowledging that it’s “pastorally sensitive” to commune the unbaptized) and I second what was said in an earlier comment: “Thank God for our Bishops!”

[44] Posted by Charles on 7-12-2012 at 11:59 AM · [top]

Charles—Thanks for the update! I was hoping HOD wouldn’t get around to it this afternoon. Essentially dead is good news.

[45] Posted by Fr. David M. Faulkner on 7-12-2012 at 12:01 PM · [top]

Orthodox LF- I apologize for offensive language, you are correct, “people like you” was uncalled for on my part, and as to whether we have met, I doubt we have.

However, again, the resolution does NOT say “Baptism first, then Communion” or uphold any discipline of the church at all.  It just says, “that is the way we have usually done it.”  There is absolutely nothing in their description that can be seen as a requirement, or anything that indicates that other courses of action are even undesirable.  Certainly no address of the ongoing practice.

[46] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 12:03 PM · [top]

billqs @#10 - where have you been the past 10 years?

[47] Posted by Festivus on 7-12-2012 at 12:07 PM · [top]

I gotta say, what the bishops did with the rather sneaky CWOB resolution—which was the HOD essentially saying “it’s okay and now formally recognized that local pastoral CWOB is okay” was good.

I’m pleased.

That doesn’t take away from the fact that the bishops *changed the canons* to force parishes to consider those who exist under the strong delusion that they are the opposite sex. Or that the bishops voted in a provisional rite for proclaiming sex acts between two men or two women to be holy and blessed.

But still—they didn’t formally recognize CWOB as a local “contextualized” pastoral act. And they didn’t vote to install a shrine to Lenin at 815. And they didn’t vote to do a lot of other horrible things.

So that’s something!

[48] Posted by Sarah on 7-12-2012 at 12:16 PM · [top]

#47- I had that in the back of my mind when I made my post…

[49] Posted by billqs on 7-12-2012 at 12:26 PM · [top]

Thanks, tjmcmahon, I really appreciate that.

I like your response, Sarah.

We know GC jumped off of many cliffs, but we can still be happy they didn’t jump off of this particular cliff!

Yes, I would have loved for GC to stop CWOB once and for all, but for today we can be thankful this particular bit of revisionism didn’t make it…and what Sarah said about no shrine to Lenin at 815. :D

[50] Posted by Fr. David M. Faulkner on 7-12-2012 at 12:43 PM · [top]

#49 - my point was you don’t need a resolution. It’s already done in practice and there is no discipline. The generous response is ignoring what is going on. You diocese may not partake, but some sure do! Things done openly and not rebuked become entrenched practices.

[51] Posted by Festivus on 7-12-2012 at 01:15 PM · [top]

The bishops essentially agreed with the HOD resolution.  They did nothing to change the meaning or intention of the HOD resolution. 

By agreeing that Baptism is “normative” they are affirming that there may in fact be exceptions.

I’m surprised no CP bishop rose to speak against it.

[52] Posted by James Manley on 7-12-2012 at 02:05 PM · [top]

#52, Mark Lawrence is not in the HoB.

[53] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-12-2012 at 02:21 PM · [top]

The bishops struck the offensive last sentence; don’t know what these means in terms of running the thing back through the deputies.

[54] Posted by C. Wingate on 7-12-2012 at 02:28 PM · [top]

Here is bit of info from Anglican Ink that might explain what may/will have happened in the HoD.

The Rt. Rev. Clayton Matthews, Bishop for Pastoral Care in the Presiding Bishop’s Office, proposed sending the resolution to the House of Bishops Committee on Theology for further study.  Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori responded that sending it back to the “bowels of the House of Deputies” at this point in the legislative process effectively meant rejecting the resolution as it was unlikely to be put to a vote before the convention closed.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk of New York proposed deleting the last sentence of the resolution – the same amendment brought by Dr. Michell in the House of Deputies.  The Sisk amendment and the resolution were put to the vote and both passed, returning the resolution back to the House of Deputies.

If their schedule permits the deputies will take up the resolution in their afternoon session. If they are unable to vote on the resolution, it has the same effect as if it were defeated.

[55] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-12-2012 at 03:06 PM · [top]

James, the reason no one stood up against it, IMHO, is because this is not a true statement:

By agreeing that Baptism is “normative” they are affirming that there may in fact be exceptions.

Normative, according to Merriam Webster: of, relating to, or determining norms or standards.

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples.

This is pretty darned evangelical…

[56] Posted by Charles on 7-12-2012 at 03:10 PM · [top]

Sorry but “normative” means normal not “Necessary”. They now have the wiggle room to make communion of the unbaptized “normal” and then change it in the next convention…..wink…..wink.

[57] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-12-2012 at 03:28 PM · [top]

Charles #56

I’m afraid you’ve been deceived.  The definition you post makes my point.

The position the Bishops took is that Baptism is “related to” the issue of who may receive Communion.

The HOD resolution said exactly the same thing. The people who proposed CWOB said exactly the same thing.  The Bishops agreed with them.

There’s no way to spin this as a victory for the orthodox side.

[58] Posted by James Manley on 7-12-2012 at 03:46 PM · [top]

Those who proposed opening communion to the unbaptized stated about baptism that “baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion.”

The House of Bishops agreed that “baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion.”

I don’t see a difference between those two statements.

[59] Posted by James Manley on 7-12-2012 at 03:51 PM · [top]

Actually, those who proposed opening communion to the unbaptized (I’m thinking the original Eastern Oregon resolution) proposed deleting the existing canon.

What ended up happening is that the bishops upheld baptism as the ancient and normative entry point for Holy Communion and said that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples.

Huge difference.  Thanks be to God.

[60] Posted by Charles on 7-12-2012 at 04:18 PM · [top]

I believe I remember the strategy of the inch at a time folks. They would propose something beyond what they hoped for and then in the face of opposition, walk it back to where they really wanted to go. I believe the operative word here is “normative”. If they wanted to reinforce orthodoxy, they would have said, “Necessary”.

[61] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-12-2012 at 04:55 PM · [top]

Sadly, I think you are correct, Fr. Dale.

[62] Posted by oscewicee on 7-12-2012 at 04:58 PM · [top]

#60 Charles

I don’t see any point in continuing the conversation.  The Bishops affirmed exactly the same words regarding baptism (and Great Commission) that those desiring to extend communion to the unbaptized used.  The TEC HOB has exactly the same understanding of baptism as those who wish to admit the unbaptized to communion.

What ended up happening is that the bishops upheld baptism as the ancient and normative entry point for Holy Communion and said that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples.

What ended up happening is that the Bishops agreed that baptism is not necessary before communion.  Baptism is “ancient” (old-fashioned) and “normative” (somehow “related” in a vague way) in determining who may receive communion. 

If the Bishops meant to say that only the baptized may receive communion, they had every opportunity to say so.  Every opportunity.  And they did not say so.  They refused to say so.  Knowing exactly what the issue is, they refused to address it.

I’m often accused of trying desperately to find the silver lining in the cloud, but there’s just not one here.

[63] Posted by James Manley on 7-12-2012 at 05:00 PM · [top]

Just for the sake of accuracy, Charles is correct that the original resolution was much worse, in that it included wording that would have amended the relevant canon.  However, that wording was heavily amended prior to the vote in the HoD, the current wording adopted, with an additional sentence on pastoral sensitivity.  The latter sentence was struck in true Griswoldian fashion.
The bishops had an obligation to either openly defeat the resolution as written, or substitute the wording of the relevant canon, and they did neither.  “Normative” definitely does NOT mean either necessary or required.  They have altered the doctrine and discipline of the church- whether they altered canons or not, because they have rendered the canon unenforceable.

Worse, perhaps, is that there is no diocesan discretion here.  Any cleric charged under the canon by an orthodox bishop now has a perfect defense- a resolution of the GC.  So, CWOB is now allowed within all of TEC, as long as the “normative” teaching in the parish is baptism first.

[64] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 05:43 PM · [top]

George Conger+ has a very good article on today’s action in the HOB, noting some of the Bishops who spoke out on each side of the debate.


However, unless I missed it in my reading, he said nothing about a vote total, merely “The level of support for C029 when it was presented to the House of Bishops on 12 July 2012 was markedly different. ”  (i.e. compared with its overwhelming passage in the HOD yesterday). 

This leads me to assume it was a voice vote.  Can anyone who was there or who was watching the live stream (if there was one) fill me in? 

[65] Posted by Karen B. on 7-12-2012 at 06:17 PM · [top]

As usual, we agree and you took things to their logical conclusion.

[66] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-12-2012 at 06:20 PM · [top]

#63 and #64 - Sorry to beat an already dead horse, but can’t for the life of me see how this resolution makes the current canon unenforcable.  That being said, I expect (like you) for the status quo to continue and for individual bishops and priests to fudge on their invitation to communion.

Folks like to moan and groan when other folks file official complaints on their bishops (I’m thinking the ones who got deposed).  I have yet to hear about any official complaints being filed about a priest “welcoming all” to the table.  A canon is being openly violated, and there are processes and procedures to bring up charges.  Maybe this has happened but nothing came of it?  I would assume that someone would publish letters submitted, but maybe I’m wrong…

In any case, I’m with you all: baptism first, then communion.  Thankfully, my parish priests (and bishop) follow the canons in their invitation to communion.

[67] Posted by Charles on 7-13-2012 at 07:34 AM · [top]

#64, if I were that bishop, I would tell the cleric that, regardless of how he/she interprets the wording of the resolution, canons still trump resolutions and resolutions ARE NOT BINDING. Then I’d tell them to cut it out.

[68] Posted by Pressing On on 7-13-2012 at 07:46 AM · [top]

tj, I don’t see the bishops’ obligations that way. The canon still stands, after all, so in essence what we got was a justification for it staying in place. The problem, as we all know already from seeing it happen, is that the liberal bishops are going to keep on allowing their priests to advertize communion given to all comers. The only obligation that matters is the obligation to discipline those bishops and after them their clergy, the obligation which was always there and which this resolution does not take away.

[69] Posted by C. Wingate on 7-13-2012 at 08:28 AM · [top]

C Wingate- Then why have no bishops acted upon the “obligation”?

This resolution has changed the definition- baptism is no longer a requirement, it is now normative.

While I am a big fan of canons and constitutions too, the reality is that they are unenforceable, and since the majority of bishops allow CWOB in the face of the canons, the canons themselves are meaningless.  Nobody changed the canons on marriage either, but I think you must admit that SSBs are now officially sanctioned by TEC.

[70] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-13-2012 at 08:41 AM · [top]

The Canons are not important to these people, nor are resolutions, unless they can be used to further their agenda.  Other than that, most priests on the ground basically do whatever they want.  TEC sure isn’t known for making priests tow the company line as regards church canon.

The Bishops don’t monitor whether or not a priest is allowing the non-baptized to share in communion (except maybe in spots). That seems to be the absolute least of their worries on a day to day basis.  This idea that there is any conformity to the following church canon on a consistent basis throughout TEC on this is (or anything else), well ridiculous.  The bishops do whatever they want as regards recognizing or not recognizing church canon.  There is no enforcement.  Unless a bishop gets caught red-handed breaking the secular law, and it is reported on by newspapers, so that the church can’t ignore it.

The Bishops don’t really care enough about CWOB to monitor it, or make a big deal out of it, either way.  Except maybe in South Carolina.  They care only to the extent that they would have to answer hard questions when they got home.  Other than that, just grab a good meal, some good wine while you’re there, and try to ride out the few phone calls you’ll get when you get home from the ortho cranks.  But mainly, the bishops know that there aren’t that many people that really care enough to call anymore.

[71] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 7-13-2012 at 09:09 AM · [top]

In short, if there is NO law enforcement, criminals act accordingly.

[72] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 7-13-2012 at 09:20 AM · [top]

The only way that canons or any laws are enforceable is if the majority of people are willing to submit to them - and one thing that has been clear for several GC’s now is that by and large “obedience” and “submission” are two words that many Episcopalians would like to expunge from the dictionary. I’m pretty sure that they regard them as immoral. Seriously. And that’s sad too, because that means they,  personally, are the only higher authority and the only greater good that they know.

[73] Posted by oscewicee on 7-13-2012 at 09:33 AM · [top]

I agree that little or nothing will change.  Nonetheless, I am glad that this was not codified in the HoB.

[74] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 7-13-2012 at 02:54 PM · [top]

our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples.

I must admit that I’m a bit ammused that the granfaloon of bishops allowed this clause to stay.  Do they realize what this requires of them?  Or perhaps I should wonder what is their interpretation?

[75] Posted by Nikolaus on 7-14-2012 at 11:27 AM · [top]

Nikolaus - what can it mean to them when they are moving toward “baptism optional” - boy, will it let them off the hook if they can do away with baptism now, huh?

[76] Posted by oscewicee on 7-14-2012 at 11:40 AM · [top]

referring back to #75. Does anyone else wonder why the entire two verses weren’t included in this resolution or at least the part after the comma which reads:

“baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. ”

[77] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-14-2012 at 12:47 PM · [top]

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