I know I am being judgmental and lacking in empathy, but I find a lot of the foot-stamping of the Boomer religious types pretty silly. One blog I have been looking at recently, Pray Tell, is mostly full of Sixties-loving liberals who view the change in the English of the liturgy as some kind of apocalypse and are constantly whining about the Pope and the bishops. A recent exchange there led me to suggest, in a gingerly way, that they might be much happier and at home in another church, one which has, in all significant respects, conformed itself to their agenda: the USA Episcopal Church.
It is non-dogmatic and theologically open-minded --to put it mildly--, has a sacramental liturgy with dignified language in a wide variety of styles, has married, female and gay clergy, popularly elected bishops, decentralized and shared power, easy with contraception and divorce...what is there of significance that it lacks? Is there any part of current Western liberal culture and world-view that it resists? (If you are an Episcopal priestess and you convert to Islam, they give you a whole year to work it out before they defrock you.) So either a. leave cranky old Rome and join ECUSA or b. say clearly that We Want Benedict XVI to be like Jefferts Schori.
Reminded me of once-controversial Matthew Fox*, a firebrand uberprogressive iconic liberal Catholic and Dominican priest who finally ran aground and became Episcopal in 1994...and immediately ceased to be interesting. Once he lost his Roman sparring partner...zzzzz. Went from David vs Goliath to David vs. Bishop Pike. Fox nailed 95 New Theses to the door of the church in Wittenburg in 2005, Luther-like. Lots of them are about, guess what? Rome. He did it again this April. In Rome. He is still obsessed with Ratzinger! I guess if your real agenda is oppositional-defiance, you can't really get much of a hardon by attacking Episcopals. What's to attack?
*As a Dominican student brother in Iowa one summer, I was part of a group of about a dozen young friars treated to a session of teaching with Fox. Very bizarre disconnect between his words and everything else about him. He gave his piece on the opposition between male hierarchical thinking (Climbing Jacob's Ladder) and female inclusive thinking (Dancing Sarah's Circle). For the full hour or more that he talked, he looked at the floor. Mr. Egalitarian Joy did not once, not once, raise his head and look us in the face. He had such as cold, angry and leaden feeling...I realize now, even when I see him on video, sort of smiling, that he is profoundly, profoundly depressed. Maybe because he never had the guts to come out. Pathetic.