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Elder’s Fisk of Bp. Briedenthal’s 2009 DSO Convention Address – (Part V of V) – Conclusions

13 November 2009

And now we arrive at the same place where we started.  We knew it was going to happen.  There was “dialogue,” and “all voices were heard,” and the voices talked about what would inevitably happen, and then it happened. 

Fr. Bailey is right.  The differences that he and I have with this initiative are profound.  One side believes SSB’s to be a matter that is dangerous to salvation and certainly blasphemy, and the other believes it to be a matter of justice. 

I’d say that difference of opinion is as profound as they come. 

The question remains for all of us (pro and against), where do we go from here?  Obviously, we can’t sit down at the table for an infinite period of time, indaba ad nauseum, and expect to come to a consensus during that infinite period of time.  Indeed, Bp. Briedenthal sounds like, at least in his address, he has his sights set on other, more practical, matters that face the diocese. 

Time for me to put one of my cards on the table:  I believe traditionalists ought to stay in the diocese.  This may come as a shock to many on both sides of the fence, but there you have it. 

On the other hand, I don’t think that it is wise to ask people on both sides to work together on projects where our difference of opinion rears its ugly head.  Take the Alban Institute for example – I have no interest in an organization that builds up churches, that does not have Jesus Christ and Him crucified hard-wired into its mission statement.  I would not and will not support therefore, any initiative that came out of working with the Alban Institute. 

Education, evangelism and discipleship are other areas where, unfortunately, “we” cannot work together.  Or, perhaps someone could enlighten me as to how it is possible to teach that all homosexuality is both condemned as sin, and can be holy in some instances? 

Yeah .. I thought so. 

Well, maybe there is a way forward for both of us, Your Grace.  Maybe you and I will simply have to respect the profundity of our differences, before anything else.  And part of that respect will be realized in our mutual acknowledgement that being together is not the same as working together.  I believe there are many other ways that the profundity ought to be respected, but for now at least, I will leave it at that. 

Finally, I was criticized for saying this before, but I stand by my statement:

May God bless you, Bp. Briedenthal.

– Elder

PS – I began my fisk with the first few stanzas of this blog’s mascot-poem, The Walrus and the Carpenter.  I was going to end with the last stanza, where all the oysters are consumed, thus ending the “conversation.”  I haven’t.  Partly, excerpting got lost in the shuffle as I was writing the fisk;  and partly, I just don’t feel like a victim. 

It seemed inappropriate, and (paradoxically) I don’t think it fits this sad set of circumstances.  Hence, it was left out.

  1. 13 November 2009 at 9:54 PM

    EO, I appreciate your efforts to bring what is happening in DSO to light. Do you happen to know how laypeople are reacting across the diocese. Is there a buzz about his, or have so many conservatives left that it is now no big deal? I haven’t seen much reaction online. At the TEC parishes I attended, there would certainly at least be lively discussion about this, and a few people would be mad as can be.

  2. Elder Oyster
    13 November 2009 at 10:20 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the encouragement.

    We haven’t really had time to bounce it off one another in my own parish. I am not aware of the situation in other parishes (something my policy of anonymity doesn’t help, no doubt), something I hope to rectify in the coming weeks and months.

    I sort of knew that it was coming, even before the focus group meeting, but hearing the announcement was agonizing nevertheless. It left me speechless; I’m guessing it left others that way too.

    There is hope in that, I think.

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