and promote the new policy. All this despiternthe fact that Scripture, tradition,rnand even the canons of the EpiscopalrnChurch are not value-neutral on the subjectrnof homosexual behavior. It is a sin.rnIndividual sin, however, is not part ofrntheir vocabulary (although “corporaternsin” is a popular term).rnOne cannot help but wonder if wernare not still experiencing echoes ofrnthe Chicago Convention when policernofficers were “pigs” and soldiers werern”killers.” How does one minister to thosernwhom one holds in contempt? Likewise,rnhow does a President command a militaryrnthat he abhors?rnNowhere is the agenda so focused asrnon the issues of feminism and homosexualrnrights. Opponents are removed andrnsilenced whenever possible. They arernexcluded from positions of power, deniedrnordination, and actively harassed.rnThere are even documentable cases ofrnattempts to blackmail priests into silencernon these issues. This in a church thatrnpresents itself as inclusive and diverse!rnIt began with the ordination of women.rnThe Episcopal Church has held itselfrnup to be a member of the One HolyrnCatholic and Apostolic Church. In thernearly 70’s, pressure began to mount to ordainrnwomen priests. The other branchesrnof the Catholic Church begged us not tornbreak with tradition. For those in favor, itrnwas a matter of principle, of equal rights,rnof theology. At a debate on the issue inrnPhiladelphia, a rather scholady priest arguedrnthat Scripture and the traditions ofrnthe church were against ordaining women.rnHis opponent, who was later electedrnthe first female “bishop” in the church,rnstated: “All that Father says is true.rnHowever, it doesn’t matter.” Only thernagenda mattered.rnYet, the truth is that it is a fundamentalrnchange in the theology of the church.rnIf anyone believes otherwise let him readrnthe book Ungodly Rage. A recent pressrnreport reproduced part of a prayer developedrnat a “feminist” meeting. ThernSophia prayer, developed by feminists,rnreads: “Our maker Sophia, we are womenrnin your image With the hot bloodrnof our wombs we give form to newrnlife. . . . With nectar between our thighsrnwe invite a lover. We birth a child; withrnour warm body fluids we remind thernworld of its pleasures and sensations. . . .rnWe celebrate the sweat that pours fromrnus during our labors.” Can anyone familiarrnwith the Our Father read this andrncontend that the feminist agenda is not arnthreat to Christianity?rnWhile the provision for the ordinationrnof women was permissive—meaningrnthat it might be done, not must berndone—those who oppose it have foundrnthemselves anathematized. Over andrnover the bishops of the church, nationallyrnand internationally, promised that norndiscrimination would occur. Yet, inrnpractice, men are denied admittance tornHoly Orders if they oppose the ordinationrnof women. Experienced priests arerndenied positions in the church. Therernare dioceses that have stated in writingrnthat “no one who cannot accept thernordination of women” is welcome. InrnKansas, two priests, the Dean of thernCathedral and his assistant, were toldrnthat while they could believe anythingrnthey wanted, their “behavior” must reflectrnacceptance of the ordination ofrnwomen. Priests who quietly, prayerfully,rnand passively refused to accept communionrnat a service celebrated by a womanrnwere publicly censured as “dementedrnmisogynists.”rnIt is said that a deal was struck at thernGeneral Convention that passed thernordination of women. It was struckrnbetween the feminists and homosexuals.rnAdmittedly, in many cases they may bernone and the same. The latest agendarnitem is homosexuality. A number ofrnbishops have already illegally ordainedrnpracticing homosexuals and authorizedrnpriests to bless homosexual unions.rnFeminist “theologians” are even beginningrnto discuss the “sin of heterosexuality.”rnWhen traditionalists question thesernactions they are told to “hear” one anotherrnand be “sensitive” to the feeling ofrnboth sides. Yet, “sensitive and caring”rnbishops, men who can furrow their browsrnand make their lips quiver as they declarern”I feel your pain,” go steamrolling aheadrnwith the agenda. Sound familiar?rnPerhaps the most interesting transformationrnfor these 60’s liberals is their usernof power and authority. Those who oncernheld that authority was evil and powerrncorrupt have become adept at tyrannicalrncentralization. Property which was oncernheld by both parish and diocese is nowrnalso held by the national church. Anyrnparish that disagrees with the shenanigansrnof the hierarchy is welcome to leave,rnbut its property and assets will stay withrnthe church. Any parish that attempts torntake its property is met with an immediaternlawsuit, and usually its priest isrndeposed. Even dioceses on the brink ofrnbankruptcy will spend hundreds of thousandsrnof dollars to protect the franchise.rnThe wishes of the parishioners are of nornconsequence. Property rights (of therndiocese, that is) must prevail. Strange forrnan ideology which held property in contemptrnand advocated the destruction ofrninstitutions. Even stranger for those whorncontend that people are always morernimportant than property (at least after arnriot occurs).rnClergy deployment has also beenrncentralized in the national church. Arncomputerized system “matches” thernprofiles of clergy with the perceivedrnneeds of the parish. Yet, in many dioceses,rnthe matched names are screened atrnthe diocesan level. While the computerrnmay match 100 names, the parish mayrnbe given only five, and these five namesrnoften reflect “gender and racial criteria.”rnMany parishes are not allowed to look atrncandidates who do not meet the approvalrnof the bishop or his staff. Politicalrncorrectness is of greater importance thanrnmeetnig the needs of the parishes andrntheir parishioners.rnThese individuals who are so concernedrnwith the feelings and needs of thernoppressed seem to care little about thernvast majority of their flock. In the lastrnten years, the Episcopal Church has lostrnover a third of her members. In the Diocesernof Michigan, 57.5 percent of herrnmembers have left since 1970. The loudrnsucking sound heard throughout thernUnited States is that of lifelong traditionalrnE^piscopalians leaving the church theyrnlove and cherish. As heartbreaking as isrntheir plight, it is happiness itself comparedrnto what awaits all Americans—forrnin the coming years, they will not evenrnhave the luxury of leaving.rnThe Rev. Fr. Gene Geromel writes fromrnSt. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church inrnSwartz Creek, Michigan.rn48/CHRONICLESrnrnrn