Monday, March 28, 2011

The Wicked Witch of The West

One has a great deal of trouble
Discerning the motives of the present
Presiding Bishop of what is now known
As The Episcopal Church.

Parenthetically, it used to be titled
The Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.,
But that designation vanished after the 1979
Publication of The Book of Common Prayer.

PECUSA never was a corporation,
Rather, a voluntary association of Anglican dioceses,
Formed after the American Revolution,
To meet periodically and formulate common rules.

A presiding bishop was elected to, well,
Preside over the triennial general conventions.
Wary of an authoritarian structure, the founders
Gave that person no primatial authority.

Now the incumbent in the post seeks
Absolute control over an ecclesiastical hierarchy,
Through rules that would permit her to
Direct bishops and clergy in doctrine and liturgy.

She is now unable to remove them directly,
But she has attempted to depose dissenters from Holy Orders.
She would have all matters of faith under her authority,
Thus becoming an infallible American pope.

Her current objective is to force all clergy
To perform certain ceremonies under church auspices,
Which, if they refuse as a matter of conscience,
Would result in their removal from office.

She has also set about cultivating
Like-minded Anglican primates in other lands,
As a possible worldwide alternative,
To the collapsing Anglican Communion.

It is said that this person regards herself as a prophet,
A proclaimer of a new interpretation of the Christian faith.
As a prophet, a radical, a revolutionary,
She must sweep aside any resistance to her mission.

So far, the results have been a major schism,
Establishment of a rival Anglican Church in North America,
A wholesale departure of members, and a marginalization
Of Episcopal thought and culture in American life.