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more on the ECUSA HoB meeting

updated Thursday

Jonathan Petre wrote a story for the Telegraph on Monday, which was headlined US bishops set for U-turn on gay ‘marriages’. Then today Wyatt Buchanan wrote a story for the San Francisco Chronicle Episcopal panel seeks slowdown on new gay leaders Church to be urged to repent for electing Gene Robinson.

This reporting depends heavily on an email sent by one bishop, Kirk Smith of Arizona, which can be read in full here but which was not intended for publication beyond an Arizona diocesan mailing list. He has subseqently commented further in an interview with the Living Church Bishop of Arizona Calls for Civil, ‘Religious’ Discourse.

Some comments have been published by other bishops who attended the meeting. See for example, Jeffrey Steenson of the Diocese of the Rio Grande and Charles G. vonRosenberg of East Tennessee. Also Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh made this comment.
Update See also these comments from John Howe of Central Florida and from Duncan Gray of Mississippi.

The special commission’s report which was discussed at the meeting was also referenced by Michael Langrish of Exeter, as previously noted. It has been finalised since the HoB meeting and will be published in full, along with many other pre-Convention documents on or around Monday 10 April. That’s about a week away.

Meanwhile, Jim Naughton’s opinions on what will happen may well be a better-informed estimate than other reports.

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Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

I wish the Bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande would tell me what ‘”the” homosexual lifestyle’ is. I don’t have a ‘lifestyle.’ I have a life. Each of us lives our own life. Rita Mae Brown lives hers. Louie Crew and Ernest live theirs. Gene Robinson and his partner live theirs. Martina lives hers. My gay friends here in Virginia live theirs – as teachers, priests, engineers, hospital administrators, college students, parish administrators, government officials, church musicians, UPS drivers, college professors, food service workers at the university, rabbis, lawyers … we’re everywhere … and we all have lives,… Read more »

Tim
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Well said Cynthia. Also that Telegraph article looks excessively journalistic to me. “…which could save the worldwide Church from schism.”? Er, hello? There’s a difference between a difference of opinion, and seeking to go separate ways about it. You can live with the former in the same denomination, but not the latter. and: “…the American bishops appear close to bowing to international pressure and shelving their radical agenda at a conference in June.” Please to be showing me where this “agenda” is set out. Is the Torygraph trying to say that there’s a document with a plan for world-church-domination by… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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Cynthia, you simply fail to realize that I, you, and all your “gay friends here in Virginia” are doing all those varied things as “UNREPENTANT SINNERS”. That makes us all, qualitatively, different animals than those conscientious hets judging us, and finding us so very wanting… Re the HofB: now I’m worried again. Are they really going to throw us LGBT Episcopalians under the bus, just to assure their tea-time at Lambeth? :-0 Going back to the ABC’s “German Confessing Church” analogy: when will the *fence-sitting* TEC bishops realize, that by the time the AC episcopal-majority “comes for them, there will… Read more »

John D
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John D

Pardon the impertinence, but a great number of the laity of TEC, hetero-sexual, tireless workers, and wealth-givers, will not tolerate an action by the HofB that dishonors our “gay friends”. There will surely be Hell to pay if the purple shirts turn spineless to appease +Exeter, ++Canterbury, or the rascals lead by +Pittsburgh.

Ian Montgomery
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Ian Montgomery

I found the comments by the Bishops greatly encouraging. There can be little hope if the all or nothing confrontation continues. The ABC is correct in that there can be no change in the Communion teaching unless there is communion wide agreement. Also he has stated that the sign of God’s hand leading is unity and that is currently absent. The lack of unity, degree of rancour, polarization and name calling is huge and therefore indicative of the work of another force which will not bless the Church. +Exeter’s address was highly instructive and drew a line in the sand.… Read more »

Tom
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Tom

Well said, Mr. Montgomery. Thank you.

badman
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badman

Ian Montgomery says “there can be no change in the Communion teaching unless there is communion wide agreement.” There was no communion wide agreement to Lambeth 1.10. It did not reflect the working party report, which acknowledged deep disagreements. Following Lambeth 1.10, a Pastoral Statement publicly apologising for Lambeth 1.10 was issued by 182 bishops worldwide, including the primates of Brazil, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Central Africa. Majority and consensus are two very different things. Lambeth 1.10 was passed with a large majority. It was not based upon any consensus. Those who promoted it (and,… Read more »

John Henry
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John Henry

Even if ECUSA’s HoB were to regret, or repent of, having consented to +VGR’s consecration as Bishop of New Hampshire, it would make no difference in the eyes of the Global South gang allied to the ‘bully’ of Abuja, and his fellow-schismatics in the so-called Anglican Network recognized by our disoriented ++Rowan Cantuar as a ‘Confessing’ Church. Cantuar seems to have forgotten that the Nazis persecuted gays and lesbians as well as Jews. The German Confessing Church Movement stood up for all the people marginalized and persecuted by the Nazis. No matter what action ECUSA’s HoB might take at GC… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Lambeth 1.10 – like other pronouncements from past Lambeths – I’m thinking of an early 20th century tirade against birth control and family planning – is purely advisory. Part of its advice was for people through the Communion to listen to the experience of gay and lesbian Christians. That such listening happened is not very evident. It did not stop the Archibishop of Nigeria from being involved in supporting the continued persecution of gay and lesbian Nigerians by their own government. And yes, Claiming the Blessing does have an agenda – how sinister – the agenda is justice and inclusion.… Read more »

lapsang
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lapsang

I’m afraid Ian Montgomery makes the mistake, along with many people of his side of the debate, of starting with the principle that ‘The Bible says so’. I and many, many others, DO NOT, when it is read fully and in the spirit of Christ, think that it does say what Akinola, Montgomery etc say it does. Read Jeffrey John, Keith Ward, Rowan Williams and, lately, Jack Rogers just for a start. The idea that there may just may be a very different AND PERFECTLY VALID interpretation from ones own just seems to be beyond comprehension for some people. All… Read more »

Kurt
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Kurt

“No matter what action ECUSA’s HoB might take at GC 2006, it won’t make any difference in the eyes of the homophobe bigots, who regard the current U.S. President as a ‘godly’ ruler despite the U.S. outsourcing of torture and the violation of citizens’ constitutional rights with regard to illegal wire-taps. Their theology is one of ‘contamination’ – association with +VGR at HoB meetings as well as association with those critical of George W. Bush, who, in their eyes, has embraced biblical family values.”—John Henry Agreed. So let’s stop pussyfooting around with these people and get out the ax, starting… Read more »

Ian Montgomery
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Ian Montgomery

The vitriol is so sad, so tragic. I believe that following the statements of the primates and the ABC that Lambeth 1.10 is expected to be normative taching for the AC and as such ++Rowan has taken its discussion off the table for 2008. The vitriol sadly makes me more ready for the division that may take place if the moderate majority do not flex their muscle. I cannot accept such statements as the “bully of Abuja” nor accept the idea of taking an axe to +Pittsburgh who is one of the most Godly men I have the privilege of… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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Father Montgomery, I reject your *framing* of this issue on almost every point. Can’t you at least TRY to be fair? “We are not out to anathematize the homosexual though the current polarization has had the effect of people believing that.” Well, the Inquisitors “burning the body to save the soul” thought as much, also: so what? What you term “bonds of affection” were nothing but *bondage*, to the LGBT persons you made (out of your *prejudice*, and NOT for “mainly biblical, but also according to reason and tradition” justifications) to feel your moral inferiors. We’ve “read, marked, learned and… Read more »

Byron
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Byron

It is odd to read Montgomery’s comments on Thinking Anglicans, although pretty common in some of the news pieces of course. His fallacy is thinking he represents the moderates in ECUSA. Perhaps “moderate” in some geographical parts of the country, but certainly not in these parts. What is it about full and equal participation by GLBT folks and women that these people don’t get? Loving God and loving your neighbor – those will always remain the bedrock of our wonderful three-legged stool. Real moderates will stick with us as we continue to follow the breath of God – the CofE… Read more »

ruidh
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I find this kind of overwrought rhetoric extrmely disturbing: “Are they really going to throw us LGBT Episcopalians under the bus, just to assure their tea-time at Lambeth?”

The graphic violence inherent in the imagery is completely out of proportion to the discussions at hand which are whether we are going to pause or to continue on our current course without regard for the international consequences. A pause in our progress is not equivalent to a premeditated act of murder and I’m extremely offended by the suggestion that it is.

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Ian Montgomery,

Haven’t you seen the Videos?

badman
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badman

Ian Montgomery writes: “I believe that following the statements of the primates and the ABC that Lambeth 1.10 is expected to be normative taching for the AC and as such ++Rowan has taken its discussion off the table for 2008.” ++Rowan has taken Lambeth 1.10 off the table for 2008 because he recognises that this is not an issue that can be resolved by majority vote – not for any other reason. He has expressed conservative views about whether a sexually active gay man or lesbian should be consecrated bishop at this time. However, he has never suggested that all… Read more »

Ian Montgomery
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Ian Montgomery

I think I give up! I do wish the discussion could be more about heterodoxy vs. orthodoxy rather than making martyrs of any group. Is not Thinking Anglicans just meant to be that? Thinking from our very varied community. Perhaps I am to be excluded from the conversation because I cannot applaud either the agenda or the tenor of some of the conversation. I am clearly part of the “dissenting minority” in ECUSA. Perhaps I shall simply have to be quiet as the “loyal opposition?” I think not – the ordination vow I took under the BCP 1662 forbids that.… Read more »

badman
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badman

Don’t give up, Ian Montgomery, your contributions are welcome and it is healthy to hear all points of view. However, “heterodoxy v orthodoxy” is not a helpful straitjacket to suggest, because no-one will accept that their prayerful, good faith, scripture-based, tradition-compliant and reason-supported views on human sexuality, or on anything else, are other than orthodox. Your prayer for moderation and conversation does you credit. Your persistent assumption that only your school of thought can claim to be orthodox, or normative, or in line with what scripture “makes clear”, to take some of the language of your recent posts, falls a… Read more »

lapsang
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lapsang

Ian Montgomery, please do not think anybody is excluding you from the conversation. If they were your postings would stop appearing and I don’t think that would happen on Thinking Anglicans! However, I must take issue with your characterisation of the conversation (and long may conversation continue). I, and I would suspect many others, do not see this as you being orthodox and us being heterodox. I wish you could understand that people on our side of the argument really, genuinely think that we are being orthodox. We also can go along with the 1662 prayer book. We really believe… Read more »

Kurt
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Kurt

Sorry, Lapsang, but many of us Episcopalians stopped looking to the 1662 prayer book when we adopted our own–liturgically more advanced–American Prayer Book in 1789. As for the Articles of Religion, neither American clergy nor laypeople are bound to those formulations in any way. To us most of us, they are merely historical statements.

J. C. Fisher
Guest

ruidh, I confess to using a bit of hyperbole (“under the bus” is a sports analogy I read somewhere recently. On par w/ a comment I recently read here on TA, supposedly about “liberals sticking the knife into ++Rowan”?). At the same time, REAL LGBTs really do face that kind of REAL VIOLENCE in many parts of the world: as much as anything, TEC isn’t acting on its *own* (U.S.) behalf—it’s acting for our LGBT brothers and sisters elsewhere (all those places, where if they came forward to be “listened” to, they could face arrest, beatings, or WORSE). Is my… Read more »

ruidh
Guest

Is my hyberbolic verbal violence more offensive than anti-gay physical violence, ruidh? (May I suggest a Gospel perspective says it’s not?) Did I suggest it was? I’m merely objecting to parallels between a desire to maintain the highest degrees of unity in Christ and physical violence against those who some want to portray as the “losers” in this scenario for purposes of sympathy. In reality, I have the very highest degree of support for our GLTB brothers and sisters. I will continue to speak out in support publicly, provide support and prayers privately while urging restraint while our international partners… Read more »