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By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 06, 2009

Dr. Kirk Smith, the Episcopal Bishop of Arizona, is one seriously ailing hombre. It seems the announcement of a Personal Ordinariate for convert Anglicans splashed some seltzer onto his motherboard. The sparks are pretty before the circuits go (via Chris Johnson):

What I think is missing is any clear Gospel proclamation on the part of the Pope. Of course he wants to increase the rapidly dwindling ranks of his own church, what leader would not want to do that? But is the building up of a church on the basis of hatred consistent with Jesus' message? Is the idea "If you hate gay people and women, then come join us" one Benedict really wants to support? Or is this gesture likely to become, as I suspect, a tremendous embarrassment to present and future generations of Roman Catholics? Jesus Christ's message about love and acceptance of all seems to have been somehow overlooked by the Holy Father.

These are the considered opinions, purportedly, of a sitting bishop in a mainline Christian denomination, not some midnight madman with a saliva-bespattered keyboard venting into the comboxes. Dr. Smith's call for love and acceptance would be more edifying, perhaps, had he refrained from showing us this charity in action. His use of the phrase "building up of a church on the basis of hatred" in reference to the Holy See's recent initiative will not greatly reassure his intended partners in dialogue. The poor man is rattled.

Progressive Anglicans have this in common with progressive Catholics: not only their specific disgust with the Personal Ordinariate, but their general conviction that the Church's claims to supernatural guidance and spiritual authority are a joke. Sure, sure, they dress up on occasion in traditional ecclesiastical finery and perform the old rites, but for them it's all Euro-Disney, and those in the know are supposed to understand that they don't take it seriously. For that reason, whenever an orthodox churchman declares ex officio "this is God's will on the matter" -- not ironically, but in solemn earnestness -- they gasp in indignation. And when they see that some ordinary Christians accept the Church's instruction as the mind of God, often consenting to personal hardship in doing so, it's simply too much for them to handle.

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