Saturday, October 30, 2004

The "Episcopagan" Flap

For the past few days the Anglican blogosphere (with some help from Christianity Today) has been clanging loudly over an explicitly pagan ritual posted at the main Episcopal Church website by the Women's Ministry office. The survey article has links to most of the places you would need to go to pick out the details of this, so I am going to skip that part and begin with a very quick analysis of the blog-forces involved.

Naturally, there have been plenty of people willing to take this as an excuse for their next rite of posturing about the Apostacy of ECUSA. They've fortunately been basically drowned out by other matters. The initial outrage over the 815 involvement in the episode was drowned out by the deliciously tabloid revelation that the origin of the offending material was a couple of Episcopal priests who had been quite indiscrete about how they mixed, um, their day and night jobs, and by the bloggish glee in thwarting their panicky attempts to cover their tracks. I'm guessing that this aspect is going to burn itself out soon because there doesn't seem to be much left to uncover. Their fate is in the hands of their bishop, where it must rest for now.

The other, more important line has been overshadowed by the gush of detail about neo-druids (and the inevitable need to keep correcting misunderstanding about the Gorsedd of Bards). Ted Olsen at CT has however been relentless in keeping the heat on the galling appearance of the offending rite under the ECUSA trademark, which is the keystone to the arch of this story. The whole thing would have blown over if the offending webpage had appeared on some other website, even with Ruppe-Melnyk's name on it.

And now that the blog-watchers at have pushed the whole thing to the surface, the liberal blogs are starting to join in. More on that in the next message.

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