Archive for the 'Articles' Category

Same Sex Marriage and Infant Baptism

Written by:
Thursday, May 7th, 2015

A controversy has erupted in the Diocese of Central Florida over an apparent request by the dean of the cathedral to postpone the infant baptism of a same sex couple. This led to Facebook and blog postings, general outrage and immediate calls for charges under Title IV. All this before the facts were known.

Given the lack of knowledge of all the relevant facts in this instance it is not appropriate for reasonable people to comment on this particular case, let alone encourage legal proceedings founded on ignorance of the facts. We will not address this case here. However, the question of baptizing infants of same sex couples raises theological issues deserving comment.

read more...

May 07 2015 | Articles

What Then Shall We Do? A Note on the upcoming General Convention of the Episcopal Church

Written by:
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

There are times in the life of individuals, institutions and communities when they are faced with questions for which received wisdom has no ready answers. As loyal members and Priests of The Episcopal Church (TEC), we find ourselves in precisely this position. As our General Convention approaches, changes are afoot within TEC that either have or soon will alter the worship, common life, governance and identity of our church in ways that render all of them in fundamental ways unrecognizable as continuations of what went before. There are forms of change that constitute evolution and there are forms that result from revolution—the elimination of what went before and the establishment of a new thing. It is this latter form of change that appears to be in process, and we find ourselves without an obvious way to respond. Our purpose in the following is to indicate the nature of these revolutionary changes, the dubious means now being deployed to bring them about and the extraordinary challenges they present to Priests like ourselves who have argued over a significant span of time that neither departure for another church nor schism provide an adequate Christian response to the deformation of the church in which God has placed us. The changes of which we speak can be usefully summarized under three headings—Constitution, The Book of Common Prayer and Mission.

read more...

April 29 2015 | Articles

Misrepresenting ACI’s Concerns About The Constitutionality of Supplemental Liturgical Material

Written by:
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Last week we published an analysis of proposals to have this General Convention authorize supplemental liturgies that would be neither part of the Book of Common Prayer nor a proposed revision of it. Based on the detailed text of Article X of TEC’s Constitution, we concluded that General Convention does not have this authority and […]

read more...

April 21 2015 | Articles

The Episcopal Church and the New Episcopal Church

Written by:
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

In 2013 an “Ecclesiology Committee of the House of Bishops” produced something they called “A Primer on the Government of the Episcopal Church and its underlying theology.” We have evaluated the document in detail at the Anglican Communion Institute website. Recently the document appeared again, this time at a House of Bishops meeting in North Carolina (See the weblog of Bishop Dan Martins).What is the purpose of trying to secure a place for this understanding of TEC’s polity at this point in time?

read more...

April 14 2015 | Articles

Called To Serve The Lord: An Address To Some Clergy From The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

Written by:
Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

This is a hard time in the life of our church. It’s easy to spend most of our time obsessing about all that has gone wrong. However, the subject I have been asked to address, “Called to Serve”, points in a different direction. It points away from our discontent and toward a vision of a reformed and renewed church—a church identified by a commitment to service. “Called to Serve” has branding potential for a renewed and reformed church, but the potential will not be realized unless two words are added to the proposed brand name. Let’s not talk about “called to serve”. Let’s talk about “called to serve the Lord.” If we want to brand ourselves in a way that calls us toward a vision of a new day let us be known as servants of the Lord.

read more...

March 10 2015 | Articles

The Marriage Taskforce and the Balkan Solution

Written by:
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

In what follows I do not intend to respond to the Taskforce on Marriage’s theological papers. The papers deserve such a response, but not here. Rather, I wish to respond to the Taskforce Report on basis of its canonical proposal and its implied approach to the Church’s decision-making, both of which I believe are seriously deficient and potentially harmful to our church’s common life and future witness. I will argue that the Taskforce not only avoids the deep disagreement within the church over the matter of marriage, but stokes that disagreement. And I will conclude that General Convention should reject the Taskforce’s proposal, and do so on the basis of seeking a more generalized and negotiated “peace” within the church.

read more...

February 11 2015 | Articles

Christian Marriage and Civil Marriage: A Legal Perspective On The Marriage Pledge

Written by:
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

My ACI colleagues Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz have recently published a “Marriage Pledge” in the journal First Things in which they undertake to refrain from serving as agents of the state in marriage by, e.g., signing government-provided marriage certificates. Couples will be asked to contract civil marriage separately from “weddings that seek to establish a Christian marriage in accord with the principles articulated and lived out from the beginning of the Church’s life.” Their reasoning is that as civil marriage has been progressively redefined it no longer coincides with the Christian understanding of marriage: “to continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage.”

read more...

November 25 2014 | Articles

The Ethics of Sex, Marriage, and the Family

Written by:
Saturday, September 20th, 2014

download the original version of this article here (pdf) Rightly Handling the Word of Truth: Scripture, Canon, and Creed A Theological Conference of the North American Lutheran Church, The Citadel, 21-22 July, Charleston, SC “The Ethics of Sex, Marriage, and the Family” C. Seitz Personal Remarks When Carl Braaten emailed me to participate in this […]

read more...

September 20 2014 | Articles

Divisions Deepen in Pilling

Written by:
Saturday, December 7th, 2013

The Church of England House of Bishops’ Working Group on Human Sexuality, chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling, published its report (“the Pilling Report”) on November 28, in advance of discussion by the House of Bishops in December and the whole College of Bishops in January (see this TLC report by John Martin). It is, as Lambeth Palace tweeted, a report to not of the Church of England but it will set the agenda for future discussions and so its content, rationale, and significance are important. They can be summed up by exploring nine areas (building on the analysis I offered earlier this year here).

read more...

December 07 2013 | Articles

Polity “Primer”: ACI Response

Written by:
Friday, November 29th, 2013

An “Ecclesiology Committee” committee advising the House of Bishops has released a “Primer” on polity prepared with the assistance of various consultants identified at the end of the document. The identity of those preparing this document—most have participated as counsel or witnesses or have been listed as potential witnesses in the various lawsuits—makes obvious that the primary purpose of this document is its perceived usefulness in litigation. ACI principals have also appeared as witnesses in this litigation. This is our response to the claims asserted in this Primer.

read more...

November 29 2013 | Articles

Next »