Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Anatomy of a Breakup

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Over the last few years we've witnessed the breakdown of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). The saga unfolded with the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop (who left his wife and family to live with a man). The nation was shocked! Before the eyes of America, the nation's oldest church (predating the American Revolution) was openly condoning, blessing and rewarding a homosexual adulterer with a promotion. What followed was chaos. Since then we've seen the complete disintegration of the ECUSA, culminating in the election of an apostate bishopess to the head of the denomination. The breakdown is complete. Now we enter the breakup....

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - Two of the most prominent and largest Episcopal parishes in Virginia voted overwhelmingly Sunday to leave The Episcopal Church and join fellow Anglican conservatives forming a rival denomination in the U.S.

Truro Church in Fairfax and The Falls Church in Falls Church plan to place themselves under the leadership of Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, who has called the growing acceptance of gay relationships a "satanic attack" on the church.

Truro rector Martyn Minns was consecrated a bishop by the Church of Nigeria earlier this year to lead Akinola's Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

"This has been our spiritual home, so separating is very hard," Minns said at a news conference announcing the parishes' decision. "There's also the promise of a new day. A burden is being lifted. There are new possibilities breaking through."...

read full story here

What many of my Catholic readers may not realize is that what they're witnessing is the end of a story, not the beginning of it. You see the troubles of the Episcopal Church (ECUSA) have been brewing for at least three decades. It all began in the 1970s, with an updated revision to the Episcopal 'Book of Common Prayer,' which regulates the liturgical norms in the denomination. Around the same time came the ordination of women priests (priestesses). This event became the Episcopalian equivalent of Vatican II -- with one exception -- no pope existed to regulate the changes. As a result, Liberalism took over the denomination.

It wasn't long after priestesses were ordained, that homosexual men entered the Episcopal priesthood as well. (Just as they did in the US Catholic Church.) The only difference between the Episcopalians and their Catholic counterparts is the fact that Liberalism faced no obstacles in the ECUSA, whereas it kept hitting a brick wall with the Vatican.

So herein lies the lesson for Catholics. LIBERALISM DESTROYS CHRISTIANITY! The ECUSA serves as an object lesson for the US Catholic Church. There, but by the grace of God, go us. Liberalism has already hurt the US Catholic Church in serious ways, but even in the wake of the sex-abuse/cover-up scandal of 2003, we have been spared the majority of damage. Our Church remains intact. There is no significant threat of schism. We enjoy both the support and correction of the pope. Our Church now leads the way in the protection of minors from sexual predators. Contrast that with the total breakdown and breakup of the ECUSA, and we begin to see the fruit of unbridled Liberalism.

The lesson for Catholics and Episcopalians alike; "if it ain't broken, don't fix it!" Religions (like Catholicism) are the way they are for a reason. They've developed and evolved over the course of thousands of years to serve a necessity in civilization. They work because they serve as an anchor of unchanging stability in the tumultuous times of political upheavals and societal change. When you turn the Church into a social-political experiment, you not only undermine tradition, but you effectively unhinge the very purpose of the religion itself -- creating institutional chaos. Such was the case for both the ECUSA and the US Catholic Church. The US Catholic Church will survive this trial, the ECUSA will not. What will eventually replace the ECUSA will be a new form of conservative American Anglicanism -- perhaps the 'Anglican Church of America?' In time the ECUSA will dwindle down to the size of a micro-denomination, serving only those 'Christians' who refuse to hear the moral truth of Christianity. The US Catholic Church, however, will flourish again soon, and it won't be because of Liberalism. Rather, it will be the product of a growing movement of orthodoxy and traditionalism within the Church. In the end, Conservative Catholicism will prevail. The lesson for Catholics is "don't go the way of the Episcopalians." Look where it's gotten them. It's time for Catholics to get back to the moral and traditional roots of our Christian faith.