Saturday, March 3, 2007

Letter to Bishop Schori: Not a Time to be Quiet on Gay Issues | The Purple Pew News

In a letter to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Rev. Frank J. Alagna responds to her Tanzania briefing at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City on February 23rd.

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1 comment:

sbw said...

"On another note, what would ever lead you to believe that you can have it
both ways, as your recent comments would have us understand. That you
can maintain communion with churches who reject the human right sand
sacramental dignity of the gay and lesbian members: lay, priestly and
episcopal of our church, and at the same time maintain communion with
these very members and all those Episcopalians who share a bond of affection
with them? Ecclesially, how can you propose to maintain communion
with churches who do not respect the canonical boundaries four
church and, at the same time maintain the integrity of our Episcopal
household of faith?"?

God help us all. "how can you propose to maintain communion....?" The same way Christ did. "He loved the Hell out of them," to use an old Franciscan brother's line on just this subject. We are called not to have affection, but share in the love we ALL have been given, and that love is not our own. The sun, the rain, the water of Baptism, the Blood of Christ, the Spirit of Life, fall on all flesh, fall on the just and the unjust.

Just because one's brother is a bigoted, cruel, spouse-beating, redneck pig who hates you and would crucify you and will have no part or even acknowledging your sharing the same flesh and blood, yet all are invited, and few are chosen, to "love as Christ loved us, and gave himself for us" as we were, "while we were yet in sin," which we have faith that that it is "the way of life and peace." There is just no other way. Let them throw us out, "though He slay me, yet will I love Him") yet we shall love them. There is no other way. "Christ has many admirers but few followers." As Simone Weil reminds us in her essay Human Personality, Antigone says to Creon:

"Nevertheless the other world demands equal laws." To which Creon answers, "There can be no equal sharing between a brave man and a traitor," and she has only the absurd reply: "Who knows whether this holds in the other world."
Creon's comment is perfectly reasonable : "A foe is never a friend, not even in death." And the little simpleton can only reply" I was born to share not hate, but love."
To which Creon, ever more reasonable : "Pass, then, to the other world and if thou must love, love those who dwell there."
And, truly, this was the right place for her. For the unwritten law which this little girl obeyed had nothing whatsoever in common with rights, or with the natural; it was the same love, extreme and absurd , which led Christ to the Cross. [emphasis mine]

We are citizens of, and live in, this other world, here; now; ("they are not of this world just as I am not of this world" [indeed, see all of John 15]) "you have died and our life is hid with Christ in God." That is the Good News to herald from the housetops even as they kill the herald.

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we [and your whole Church], walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Not that I personally can, but I want to learn to live in this other world, here now; I want the Church who is sent to be faithful witnesses to the Presence of that other world, to teach me how, and I hope those who do will teach me, that I might find such a life and such a peace here, and now. "We boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the affections which you are enduring." Bless you. Your "blood-brother" in Christ,

Joel Watson