"Present yourself in a non-duplicitous way"

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Penitent Blogger has an update on the complaint (noted here a few days ago) by a liberal Episcopal (Episcopal Church, USA) parish's rector about a nearby conservative, continuing Episcopal (United Episcopal Church of North America) parish referring to itself as Episcopal. The liberal rector, Lowell Grisham of St. Paul's Episcopal Church (ECUSA) in Fayetteville, Arkansas, replied to Fr. Leo Michael of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church (UECNA) in Springdale, and said that St. Gabriel's use of the name "Episcopal" was no different than St. Paul's calling itself "Catholic":

Your argument is the same one I might make should I say that the Roman Catholic Church violated the "truth once delivered to the saints" with its pope and other accretions, and that my church is the true Catholic church. So, from now on, I would advertise my church as St. Paul's Catholic Church or even St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church. How false and confusing that would be to Catholics moving into NW Arkansas. It would be dishonest of me.

That would be dishonest, but some might call it even more dishonest for a denomination like the ECUSA to continue to call itself Episcopal when it rejects Anglicanism's doctrinal standards and traditions and seems bound to reinvent itself as Unitarianism with nicer vestments.

You can read Fr. Leo's gracious reply on his blog here.

(Also, I enjoyed Penitent Blogger's ideas for updating notations in the hymnal to encourage livelier singing. Examples include "Twice as fast as you think appropriate," "Not using your inside voice," and "In the voice of Elmer Fudd.")

3 Comments

Dan Paden said:

Southern Baptist to the core, that's what I am. But I've read and appreciated enough material by *real* Anglicans (especially in the Tyndale commentary series) to know that they are a completely different breed of cat from the sort of "Episcopalians" that produce homosexual bishops and solemnize, more-or-less, homosexual marriages. Were I one of those "real" Episcopalians, I'd be incensed at Lowell Grisham's comments. Not that I'd take personal offense, but that I'd be outraged and horrified that Grisham would insist that the name "episcopalian" would now apply only to a church that has so clearly repudiated the some of the most fundamental biblical tenets.

marcy said:

It's kind of silly. After all, there's at least three different Presbyterian denominations in the US, who knows how many kinds of Baptists, and so on. Why not two kinds of Episcopalians?

I understand the confusion issue; I myself don't understand all the distinctions between the kinds of Baptists and I only know a little bit about what distinguishes the PCA from the EPC. But, um, surely someone who was confused by which kind of Episcopalian one church or the other was, would realize after a few weeks whether the church suited them or not, right? And they could call up the pastor or whatever and ask questions, right? And wouldn't most signage and print material and websites include some little subheading like "member of such and such denomination" to make it clear? It's not like once they made the "wrong" choice, due to confusion, that they'd be trapped for all eternity in that church.

Michael -- I do appreciate your linking to this, and so does Fr. Leo. Talking it out and getting feedback from others helped a lot.

Despite Leo's request to Lowell that they not revisit the topic, Lowell of course had to send another email, asking us yet again to "let people know that [we] are the United Episcopal Church in North America when [we] print [our] ads." He apparently does not read the ads we do publish which boldly proclaim our denominational affiliation.

At any rate, this is a lost cause. In light of the fact that "enough is enough" regarding this ridiculous topic, and the fact that we have much more important things going on at church now (a funeral, a baptism, a First Holy Communion and Leo's birthday all in one weekend!), we're not going to waste our time posting about this anymore.

Thanks again for the link!!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 30, 2005 9:29 PM.

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