From: "Dr. Peter Toon" <ptoon@ONLINETODAY.COM> Subject:
It is important to understand what happened on Saturday in the National Cathedral in terms of what Frank and his advisors (particularly Jean Campbell of the SLC) have stated. For them it was a celebration not of the glorious holy and undivided Trinity or of the exalted Lord Jesus Christ, King, Priest and Prophet. It was a celebration of what they call baptismal ministry, first of Frank's then of everybody's.
"In the liturgy we celebrate baptismal ministry =97 the ministry we all=
share through our baptismal "ordination"; the beginning of the ministry of Frank Griswold as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the current manifestation of his own baptismal ministry; and this new season of ministry in the life of our Church." (Service leaflet)
Thus the moment Frank entered the cathedral it was his service. He received gifts and he preached the sermon and he led the liturgy and was the chief celebrant. There was no confession of sins and no absolution; there were no petitionary prayers for the future ministry of Frank. He was doing his thing in terms of his "ordination through baptism."
Before the Rite 2 prayer D eucharist, there was the renewal of the "baptismal covenant" followed by asperges everywhere =97 even in the press gallery where my papers got splashed. The notion that we make a contract with God and that this includes working for liberation has been central to the agenda of the liberals led by Bp Browning for the last decade. It is now central for Frank and his team, but it comes now with an anglo-catholic flavor and ceremonialism (incense was also used in the service).
The claim that all are ordained in baptism to the ministry of the  baptismal covenant (with its social agenda), and that ordination to the priesthood is merely an extension of this, is a new liberal doctrine and logically it allows anyone who is baptized to be ordained as an aspect of her/his baptism --- women, active homosexual persons, divorced and remarried persons etc. The primary qualification is baptism which gives a right to ordination if this is so desired and thought appropriate by a diocese. Anyone who is baptized and is approved by the community of faith can be ordained priest! Gone are the rules of yesterday.
Frank's sermon continued the theme of his statements at the General Convention. God is found through and in all of us and thus truth is dispersed in and through many souls. In conversation and in listening to one another we have the best way to discover truth and find God. (In other words a mixture of pantheism and relativism.) Christ, and the "risen life of Christ", is the symbol used to refer (a) to the experience of this truth gained through conversation and (b) to the feelings caused by mutual celebration in the eucharist.
It was an exceedingly nice and happy occasion with the vast majority present obviously glad to be there. Frank behaved perfectly and charmingly. It was a great success for the new episcopal religion in its "affirming catholic" form.=20
A small minority was sad and tearful for they saw in it the total triumph of the new episcopal religion which celebrates God[dess] via self-esteem and works for its realization in the "community of faith." These persons (a few bishops, priest and laity who attended out of duty and who are in ESA/PBS) did not receive the sacramental bread and wine and they went away with heavy hearts. (Members of the EU and AAC Boards took the "bread and the wine" but I cannot speak of how they felt about it all.)
P.S. Notably absent were representatives from the Churches
in Africa and Asia bringing greetings to the new PB!
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