So What Do I Think?

Oh the churchy world is ablaze with the news from the Vatican regarding “a single canonical model” for some Anglicans.  Whatever this might be – it is NOT a case of simple ecumenism and holding hands, all kumbayah-Jesus-loves-you-togetherness. If I were Anglican or Episcopalian, I think I would be really, really ticked off – now that I *get* in a big way.

I have commented on various blogs and on Facebook regarding this. I am both upset and not over the whole thing. However, many emails have come in asking me what I think and since I do not have anything else to post right now, I will say a few words.

First of all, for good or ill, I am immersed in the life of the church. That is just true. There is more that I will write about this in the next few days. Church is not just institution or structure and it is certainly not building, church is people. What I am a part of and what the larger thing are, well they are the same and different.

Case in point, we have been so busy not a word has been uttered about this other than me bringing up how I wish that we had time to sit and just talk about it. We don’t.

I posted an Anne Lamott quotation on Facebook about how it was “too soon to tell.” And that is what I do believe. Someone sent me an email accusing me of agreeing with the whole mess if that is how I feel.

Oh please.

If you stood at the foot of the Cross 2000 years ago, I doubt you would see glory, no matter how hard the Renaissance painters have tried to convince you of the immediacy of it. Oh – to be certain, there was immediacy, but not to the human eye at the moment.

Nor now.

My professor was talking about something that Elizabeth Johnson had said to her the week before (now I am name dropping off someone else’s theological name dropping!) during a talk. We are all parts of generations that are “hanging in there.” If the reformists of the earlier part of the 20th century did not hang in there, maybe Vatican II would not have happened. We just don’t know. I think that Elizabeth is onto something.

Sometimes you hang in there but then the spirit prompts you to depart. I have also thought a lot about Mary Daly and her “exodus moment” when she knew it was time for women to “walk.”

How do we know? And is it always too soon to tell?

I don’t have a clue. Right now I am where I am and while not 100% happy I am not prompted to have my exodus moment. It is probably out there, I can get a whiff on distant breezes, but now is not the time.

The other day I was talking to Mimi and she said to me, as only Mimi can, “Fran – I am not sure how to say this, but you’ve changed.” I acknowledged that yes, things were up with me. She seemed hesitant to say more, but she seemed like she had something to add, I urged her on.

“Fran, you’ve become more… this isn’t the word, it just isn’t but… well I have to use it. Fran, you’ve become more pious.”  I threw my head back and laughed out loud.

She’s right and yet not. Oh that is rich. We had a good talk about this place that I am in right now – emotionally, spiritually and even practically. Pious is not it, but I am more serious and I am not so close to the edge. Nor am I am in the middle.

It is a place of journeying.

Well, someone has drifted a bit off-topic about the Vatican-Anglican flap. I am quite put off by all the hand-wringing and angst. I was particularly turned off by this dose of bitterness from the Anglican turned Roman Catholic priest, Fr. George Rutler. I used to pray in his lovely church in NYC, a beautiful place. He always looked a bit pinched and angry.

Here is another piece that left me feeling uncomfortable at large. Now John Allen is someone that I tend to trust and his piece is here.

As for some good analysis and an outstanding comment thread, I have to point to a post with a most provocative title – Is The Vatican Creating An Anglican Petting Zoo? by Eric Stoltz.  Eric really speaks well to some thoughts I have about the need for unity through diversity. In fact, he tends to speak it a lot more clearly than I seem to be able to.

So what do I think? At face value, I don’t like it, I don’t like it one bit. And if it is truly a bad idea, I think it will backfire.

This I do know. It is too soon to tell for me. That is what I think.