Whither the Whiskey-pals?
As usual, events are outpacing the institution. Whatever will be will be. 815 can’t stop it no matter how fast it spins.
Gay issues slowly erode Episcopal membership
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Episcopalians aren’t making a mass exodus from their church, but dioceses across the country are doing a slow bleed as members realize that a much-anticipated report released six weeks ago has no teeth and that the denomination’s ordination of a homosexual bishop will go unpunished.
The Windsor Report, which sought to resolve the Anglican Communion’s crisis over authority and homosexuality, criticizes same-sex blessings in U.S. and Canadian churches and the ordination last year of Bishop V. Gene Robinson.
But the report also reprimands Third World bishops who have crossed diocesean lines to help marooned conservative parishes.
Within a few days of the report’s release Oct. 18 in London, two Episcopal parishes in Washington state joined the Anglican Diocese of Recife, Brazil.
Other Episcopalians have departed for the Anglican Mission in America, a breakaway group allied with the Anglican bishop of Rwanda. This makes it part of the 70 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, bypassing the communion’s U.S. affiliate, the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church.
The Anglican Mission in America (AMIA), based in Pawleys Island, S.C., has created 22 congregations since January. Ten of them include Episcopal clergy who have fled the denomination, along with a “substantial” number of Episcopal congregants, according to AMIA Executive Director Tim Smith.
“We’re busy,” Mr. Smith said. “Phone calls, letters, e-mails, personal visits.”
In its almost five-year history, AMIA has consecrated five new bishops and amassed 72 churches encompassing 15,000 members. Colorado has the most congregations at 12, followed by Florida with nine.
AMIA spokesman Jay Greener says Episcopalians seem to be “in shock.” [read the whole thing]