Inclusiveness and Canon Law: Muggle-borns need not apply?

Here’s a recent BabyBlue posting at ThinkingAnglicans where there’s been a sudden turn against what we might call the “Muggle Borns” in the Northern Virginia parishes. We post in response:

Remember, the Episcopal Church initiated “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” campaign – which emphasized that the Communion Table welcomed all baptized Christians (unlike the Roman Catholics). The emphasis then was on baptism, not confirmation (which has always been the case in Virginia where, for the first two hundred years of the church there was no bishop and so Morning Prayer was observed for Sunday mornings and there were no confirmations). The Church emphasises that to be a member, one needs to be baptized and to take communion at least three times a year – canon law deems this sufficient to be a “communicant.”

To hold an office in the church and to designate how many delegates are sent to Annual Council, one must be a confirmed Episcopalian. But membership does not require confirmation – and that is canon law, my friends.

Hmmm ... on the other hand, perhaps “real” church members are not really what is defined in “canon law” and, like the recent election of the Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Virginia, “canon law” is, in practice, guidelines – which can be followed or overlooked depending on the circumstances. Or could it be that some canon law is more equal than others? It may be that The Episcopal Church, in practice, follows the same standards regarding canon law as it does biblical theology.

Currently there is a movement now underway in the Episcopal Church to move away from baptism as a requirement for receiving communion (and where we get the word “communicant” or to “be in communion.”). If non-baptized people are now welcome at the Communion Table at the Episcopal Church, then the membership is open to any who have “a faith” – what ever that faith may be (see recent news from Seattle, Washington, to see how this was applied there to even the clergy).

But as this practice is contrary to “canon law” – may we now assume that “canon law” is not law after all, but, indeed, guidelines – to be followed or not followed “as may be best for us”?

Why would there be such an outcry here about members of the churches in Northern Virginia who have came into the Anglican Communion through the “inclusive” welcome of The Episcopal Church?

Am I reading this correct that some fear that the churches in Northern Virginia were somehow “less pure” because they had Protestants and Catholics in their memberships? Is that like being “Muggle-born?”

Or can we then, perhaps, infer that some are more “included” then others, and some canon law is more equal than others?

Read what’s going on over at Thinking Anglicans.

BB, a Muggle-born