I can't help wondering what went so horribly wrong in the episcopate of Skip Adams. Fr. Kennedy at Stand Firm linked to Adams' convention address and some of the statements in that address are astounding. How can the bishop tell the story that he tells about two of the desert fathers and not see his own acts of ungenerosity toward those who have left the DCNY? I'm sure that he would respond that he has a fiduciary responsibility to the DCNY and that's why he sued St. Andrew's in Syracuse and is now suing Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton. You would think that someone who told a story about generosity like that might reflect on their own lack of generosity.
Later in his address Adams turns the words of Jacques Ellul on their head as he tries to make a point about religion, morality and Christianity. I have commented on this in an earlier post and so I won't do it again here.
Adams appears to be lashing out against opponents who are no longer in the DCNY. Why does he do this? I think that he has some guilt about the straits that he has led the diocese into. He realizes that his vote in 2003 has brought an enormous amount of ill to the DCNY. So, although St. Andrew's, Syracuse, St. Andrew's, Vestal and Church of the Good Shepherd are no longer part of the DCNY, the bishop has some perverse need to keep beating up on those who have left his flock.
I think he feels guilty about having to cut three positions from the diocesan staff this year. Of course, as I have noted elsewhere, the money that he has spent on lawsuits and the money he would have received in assessments from the three parishes that have left the DCNY would have easily paid for these positions now and for the foreseeable future.
So, what went so wrong? For starters, the bishop is a chameleon. He wants to pretend that he is a traditionalist when he is with traditionalists and when he is with liberals he'll pretend he's one of them. He's probably somewhere in the middle, but being the people-pleaser that he is, it's impossible to say where he really stands theologically or otherwise.
That's the problem. He wasn't going to cast a vote against VGR and the rest of the liberal agenda at the General Convention in 2003 and be in the minority in the House of Bishops just as he wasn't going to fight for the continued operation of Thornfield Conference Center. He is a go along to get along kind of guy. He's said that he won't now throw gays under the bus, but as I have said, his actions have thrown the diocese under the bus. pecusa had been ministering to gays for a long time without endorsing the gay agenda. To vote for a continuing approach along those lines was something that Adams was not willing to do. It might have caused conflict in the diocese (as if there isn't conflict now).
I don't relish the trials and tribulations of the DCNY, but on the other hand, you all who voted for this bishop have no one to blame but yourselves. If there is a bad spirit in the diocese as the Rev. Lauren Gough says there is in her analysis of the diocesan convention, again, you have no one to blame but yourselves. If you wanted a bishop that leads by political calculations and managerial acumen, that's what you've got. Is there any reason to wonder now why the first hire of the Adams regime was a canon visionary?