The Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.
died a slow death over many years
which would take a team of scholars
to trace through archives to record.
It will probably never be done
because its successor denomination
is a failure and is itself suffering
a terminal decline in membership.
No one who participated in the downfall
wishes to take the blame, thus proving
that success has a thousand fathers
whereas failure is an orphan.
It is all too easy to blame acceptance
of homosexual clergy and women's
ordination as sole factors, but dry
rot preceded these developments.
The trigger event was an attempt
by the church leaders to seek a
rapprochement with the Vatican
by becoming catholic in practice.
The tradition of morning prayer
as the principal Sunday service
was replaced by a mandate to
schedule only Holy Eucharist.
Instead of calling the clergy,
ministers, and Mr. So and So,
they were now to be priests
and referred to as Father.
The familiar costume of cassock,
surplice, and academic hood,
was universally replaced with
the alb, stole, or vestment.
Totally lost in outward change
was the reform strain of Anglicanism.
The moral code was no longer
preached nor taught in church school.
Eventually, Episcopal church services
became therapeutic sessions
emphasizing God's love
with no price to pay in return.
One need not go to church
to feel good about oneself,
which makes attending and
joining a church irrelevant.
- ▼ 2015 (9)
- ► 2014 (8)