Friday, April 22, 2005

Bishop Smith gets some good advice

In an earlier post, I expressed wonderment that the Presiding Bishop and his fellow progressives were not begging Bishop Smith of Connecticut to abandon his apparently senseless determination to defrock six priests who had committed the grave sin (in his eyes) of preferring to be obedient to the Anglican Communion rather than to join their bishop in what the Anglican Communion considers his rebellion. Well, it seems that the progressive rank-and-file clergy of Bishop Smith's own diocese have a rather sounder grasp on reality than does their bishop. The New York Times is now reporting that Bishop Smith invited the clergy of the Diocese to gather and encourage him to proceed with his campaign against the Connecticut Six. But things didn't go as the good Bishop intended -- the largely progressive clergy, while certainly not supporting the Connecticut Six's position on homosexuality, nevertheless fervently urged their Bishop to moderation. It seems to me that the progressive clergy of Connecticut deserve a less foolish bishop; they may be as progressive as their bishop, but I don't think anybody can reasonably accuse them of being vindictive.

The key quote, from one of two progressive priests who spoke to the Times: "The overwhelming sentiment was that the hard line was the wrong line to take...It's true you do have the rule book on your side, but what you're not acknowledging is that everyone is talking about how the rule book doesn't work anymore." Exactly, and kudos to the progressive Connecticut clergy for recognizing this fact and for living up to the progressive creed of toleration for differences of opinion.

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