Thursday, August 27, 2009

There'll be a fight before bedtime.

Recently I’ve been growing concerned about the amount of time that’s passed since ACNA appointed another “bishop” – it must have been more than six weeks since they ordained the last one, and there’s no way they’ll have every man, child, & dog (but no women. Ever.) wearing purple by Christmas if they don’t get a move on with things.

Thankfully the drought broke last Saturday, when little Jack Iker consecrated layman William H. Ilgenfritz, who is known to his friends as “Uncle Fester” for reasons which will become entirely obvious after viewing his picture here. He'll be “bishop” of the “Missionary Diocese of All Saints”, a trans-American Forward in Faith overlay which hopes to establish pseudo-Anglo-Catholic parishes in places where people can’t distinguish them from the real thing.

According to little Jack, Mr. Ilgenfritz’s (why do all these schismatics have names that sound like they were taken from a Marx Bros. movie?) appointment also “secures a continuing line of apostolic succession for traditional anglo-catholics, which is no longer possible in The Episcopal Church in the United States”, which suggests the future of little Bobby’s sect is going be very, very complicated.

For all its faults, at least when someone was ordained in the old apostate Communion they were ordained: they were either a Priest or they weren’t. In ACNA, however, it looks as if the validity of any individual’s ordination is going to depend upon whether or not their faction is recognized by one’s own schismatic sub-set. After all, how will Mr. Ilgenfritz and his gang be able to consider Sacraments valid if the consecrating Priest wasn't ordained a bishop they consider 'real'? Will they even begin to acknowledge the authority of, for example, the Reformed ACNA leaders?

Some years ago we triple-booked the St. Onuphrius’ Parish Halls. A simple oversight, it lead to the simultaneous arrival one Saturday morning of the Ichabod Springs Poultry Fancier’s Association (accompanied by more than a hundred prize birds), a convention of cat breeders displaying their most virile toms, and a support group for hyper-active terriers and their anxious owners. Although we engaged professional cleaners to handle the resulting mess, it’s still possible to find feathers if one looks closely, and I recently heard our insurance company finally negotiated a payout for those rendered deaf by the melee. Rest assured, however, that little scuffle was nothing compared to what ACNA conferences will be like a few years from now. If they haven’t torn themselves apart long before then.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.


Anonymous said...

Dear Father, some time back I recall a Duncan memo to his consecrating brethren in the GAFCON homeland of the dark continent. He had been shopping for SOMEONE anyone? to consecrate Mr. Inglefritz, he the last on The Right Reverend's list for consecration. All the others, Minns, Atwood, Murdoch etc. having obtained sponsors. At the time, I thought it might be a Romanist tendency on the part of Mr. Ilgenfritz, an inclination not shared by his evangelical, low-church brethren overseas. It may be that the high church aberration is only acceptable for North Americans? Nice that Bishop Iker can accomodate. Also, on the issue of the unpronounceable and unitelligible surnames...having been born with one, I want you to know there are advantages, think of all the unidentifiable valentines, Christmas and Easter cards one can collect,--- hopefully all bearing cash. TBL

Anonymous said...

They are already fighting like cats in a sack.

That sure didn't take long.

JimB said...

Two elements hold ACNA together and neither will last. One is the vain hope that they will be tapped by the arch druid to be the new presence replacing the hated TEC from whom they all trace their apostolic succession. The other is the flexible Mr. Duncan whose ability to swim in many streams should worry them but doesn't because they agree with him on the validity of their TEC delivered orders and anti-gay bias.

Mr. Duncan will eventually retire. His for want of a better phrase, "leadership style" is not likely to raise up a sucessor who is equally flaccid, err flexible yeah that is it, 'flexible.'

The CoE is facing its own schism with the FiF sorts having obtained copies of the Chapman Memo. Making the Chapman strategy successful in the US is not a good idea if one is fighting it in the UK.

So, like the unified St. Louis Deceleration folks, they are left with the reality that they don't like each other very much, and consider each other nearly as "apostate" (Lord they love that word!) as TEC.

Schisms by next year, or at least next Summer. Sooner or later Mr. Iker is gonna notice the girls in Pittsburgh and AMiA. Even subservient homophobic women are not gonna work in Dallas.


Robert said...

I think it is well past time you were made a Bishop!

Unknown said...

The longer this goes on, the more I begin to wonder where these schisies fit...anywhere. I read Little Bobby's open letter to the AC. Taken out of the context of the whole poem, the "road less traveled" fits his point of view; if he had referenced the entire poem, it seems other road is not maligned, just a different choice.
It is amazing how much time and energy they spend running down the Episcopal Church. We Episcopalians don't spend much time even thinking about the scisies; most of the time we just carry on the good works we are called to in greater peace than in a long time.

Frank Remkiewicz aka “Tree” said...

A scorecard. Ya can't tell the players without a scorecard.

Alternatively, a chess game. One can never have enough bishops in a chess game (of course bishops by themselves cannot win).

Lapinbizarre said...

The real Uncle Fester is now bishop of Rome, Fr. Christian.

MadPriest said...


Oh, yes, I saw the film. Isn't a bit trendy and, well, unorthodox, for ACNA to have such a mission?