[Cathedral Church of the Advent] 17 July 2007--The clergy of the Diocese of Alabama have been encouraged to make "Communion Matters: A Study Document for the Episcopal Church" available to the people. It is meant to engage the people of the church and ask, "What do you think?" As Dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, and at the encouragement of the vestry, I am taking this opportunity to briefly respond with my own thoughts. On July 24 at 6:30 pm, the people in this part of the diocese will have the opportunity to meet with Bishop Parsley at All Saints’ Church, 110 West Hawthorne Road, in Homewood.
The clergy of the diocese have already met (June 19) for the purpose of this discussion. Let me say first of all that I appreciate our bishop’s kind tolerance and patience in allowing a guy like me to express my honest feelings toward the document. This is especially so considering the fact that he himself chairs the Theology Committee that put it together. Had he been a one-man committee, I suspect we would have a better document!
In the second paragraph of the preface of Communion Matters, it is written, "As most Episcopalians know, the issues of human sexuality recently have threatened to impair our relations with other Anglicans." While this is true, the fact of the matter is human sexuality is only the presenting issue. The underlying issue is the authority of our Scriptures. Be that as it may, I think this document is written from a revisionist-minded perspective. It indoctrinates, rather than seeks opinion. It feels like a kind of set-up. It seeks to dignify the direction of the Episcopal Church; it begs for self-justification for all of the recent actions of the Episcopal Church.
That’s not to say it is not written with the best of intentions. I believe that it has been written with good intentions, but it certainly bears the imprint of mainstream Episcopalian liberalism.