Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rumors, Sydney, Secrets, Catholics, New York and Segregation

Jim Naughton has a bit to say about those rumors I mentioned yesterday:

...Be wary of leaks that purport to be news, but are actually the interpretation of a single (possibly unnamed) participant. Remember that because a certain piece of information is leaked does not in and of itself make that information significant.

Be wary too of people who claim to know what Rowan Williams is thinking, or understand what he must do.

If this event is similar to previous gatherings, conservative Web sites and publications may have news earlier than those on the left as bishops on the right have a better understanding of the importance of using sympathetic media outlets to a) maintain an atmosphere of crisis, and b) set the agenda for the mainstream press...

The Archbishop of Sydney appears to be ready to launch lay presidency. This is keeping with the Anglican ethos, of course, because the Archbishop says it is.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be celebrating the Eucharist with the Lesbian and Gay Clergy Consultation. Even though this group self-identifies as a "confidential support organization," there seems to be some concern among both progressives and conservatives in regards to the secrecy surrounding this gathering. Make of it what you will.

Susan Russell points us to a "must read" piece by Sr. Joan Chittister in the National Catholic Reporter. Here's the conclusion:

... Conservatives, devoted to what they consider unchanging truth, adopt a mantle of fidelity to the past. Liberals, devoted to exploring the moral dimensions of new questions, see themselves as faithful to the future envisioned by Vatican II. But truth is commitment to what's under the changes and renewal is what's devoted to developing a tradition as well as reshaping it. They are not opposites. They are two faces of the same thing and, if we are all to survive together, we must learn to respect one another until the dawn comes and the light shines.

From where I stand, we need those who can develop a model of faith in times of uncertainty in which the tradition is revered and the prophetic is honored. Unless we want to see ourselves go into either tyranny or anarchy, we better pray for the Anglicans so that they can show us how to do that.

On a personal note, I managed to find a parking place half a block from General yesterday. I got there early enough to purchase my books (6 for one class!) and still had time to begin reading Tarnas' "astrological" treatise. Just weird enough to distract me from life's more irritating details. Then it was time for Evensong.

It has been many years since my last Evensong. The chapel was fairly full, with more than a few competent voices present. The familiar settings for the canticles ran to greet me like old friends. It was heavenly. Once again, just about the time I'm fed up with the Church, I get a taste of what we can be.

The class was interesting. About eight seminarians, and two other priests besides me. The instructor had to "redirect" me during our opening comments. Seems I went off on a tangent. Not being the only one who talks is going to be a new experience. Maybe learning how to "shut up and listen" will be a positive lesson worth the tuition cost in and of itself? I'm sure Demi will think so.

Oh, and everyone had laptops, except me, and the floor was dotted with outlets to plug them in. That really made me feel like an old fart. I don't think I'll be bringing my laptop, though. I can write faster than I can type. Besides, the temptation to surf the blogs, or at least check comments, would just be too strong.

Made it home by 11:00.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be celebrating the Eucharist with the diocesan ECW. This brings to mind Dave Walker's recent cartoon and interesting questions. I've yet to hear a good explanantion for why church folk feel inclined to "segregate the sinful sexes."

And then two meetings in Trenton tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, neither of these meetings will probably be too interested in my newly discovered insights as to how planetary motion influences the human psyche, so I suppose I'd better review more relevant materials during lunch.

J.

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