American bishops: news conference

Episcopal News Service has a detailed report of the news conference held at the end of the American House of Bishops meeting: Bishops comment on invitation to Archbishop of Canterbury, other actions.

The Living Church has a report headed Resolutions Arose From Bishops’ Concern Over Pastoral Council Nominations.

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NPAndrew InnesMartin ReynoldsPrior Aelredmontyman Recent comment authors
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Andrew
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Andrew

I know it is dangerous to predict the future, but here goes. The Primates will eventually remove us from most of the decision making bodies, even perhaps the Lambeth Conference, but they cannot actually expel us from the Communion, because what we are in communion with is the See of Canterbury. In the final analysis, +++Rowan will have to decide who is in Communion with him as the embodiment of the See. I predict he will deem TEC in Communion with him, even if we are not in communion with Nigeria and Uganda. But he may do some other things… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Thats good. She has her priorities right – her own church and their views above the dictatorial Communion, trying to direct where it doesn’t have the power to do so.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

But, Andrew, Rowan had the ability to stop all this – but he chose to abrogate leadership in favour of…well, I don’t know what I would describe it as. I think what has happened is largely down to his cowardice. If he had made it clear that this nonsense wasn’t acceptable, then, sure, Nigeria may have tried to set up on its own – good riddance – and there may well have been a conservative backlash. Again, good – plenty of other churches for them to join. But instead, he decided that organisational unity and typical liberal guilt about the… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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It is hard to imagine what a visit from Rowan will do for the Americans, yet alone the whole Primates Standing Committee. It isn’t as if we do not know his plan, or their collective thinking, it’s there for all to read in a variety of documents. Perhaps the Americans just can’t believe it and they want to hear it from the horses mouth. The bishop of Bethlehem has worked it out, to paraphrase him “You were amongst those who led us here and now you have deserted us.”. Bishop Schori has worked it out – but then of course… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“But he may do some other things we may not like, perhaps recognizing another Anglican (read right-wing) body on our soil, also in communion with him. It is clear that he is unwilling to allow a schism, and is willing to pay whatever the price.” But you see, and I think – fear – he remains willfully ignorant of this – that his recognition of – say – CANA as also in communion – will help those who have left TEC in their efforts to steal TEC’s property. He bloody won’t pay the price, but TEC might. What price will… Read more »

Andrew
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Andrew

Yes MerseyMike, he could have put a stop to it, but it would have meant schism. I think his strategy is to avoid full schism, and simply have a number of churches in various degrees of mutual respect. Here in San Francisco, there is a wide variety of Orthodox churches, attached in different ways to Russia, Greece and other countries, but ultimately all Orthodox and I assume attached to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Although +++Rowen may not be planning to emulate that model, that seems to be where we are going to end up.

Göran Koch-Swahne
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I wonder whether this proposal wasn’t in fact un-intentional.

It was moved by +Wimberly, who had not realized before what the White Sands Communique was after…

+Wimberly’s invitation (which passed unanimously) squares Cantuar firmly in the corner. As someone already remarked, there is no way out.

I think it was the shock at the IRD driven mendacity – I don’t think +Wimberly (or perhaps anybody) actually saw the consequences until afterwards.

(just me reading the tea leaves)

Andrew
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Andrew

To Cynthia Gillatt: I am confident that the one thing the CANA and other splinter groups will not get is TEC property. We have long legal precedent for keeping real property when people try to take it for another religion. Moreover, we have the best lawyers money can buy, and many of them are Episcopalians. In a related matter, one of problems with the so-called 2.3 million is that it only includes pledging members. There are surely another 5 to 10 million, whose parents are Episcopalians (including the current US President) or who were baptised or married in our churches,… Read more »

badman
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badman

I am nodding my head at so much of what is said in these comments; thank you very much for them. The ECUSA conservatives’ strategy, back in 1998, of using the gay issue to unite their domestic goals and money with the majority strength of the Global South was clever, and it succeeded to a frightening extent over the last 10 years. Their activism and forward thinking left our last two Archbishops of Canterbury standing: silly old George Carey happily opened Pandora’s box for them by backing Lambeth 1.10 instead of the careful compromise which was the resolution as originally… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Martin ; I think you are right.

Clearly that isn’t acceptable, so lets get on with seeing schism for what it really is – a positive new start where conservative Christianity can be left behind, and a new global organisation led by the US Episcopal Church can come into being.

There can be no place for those who believe in gay and lesbian equality within Williams’ brave new world. It is simply supporting institutionalised homophobia, and frankly, equality for gay and lesbian people is far more important than the organisational unity of a religious organisation.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“In his heart he believes that in the long term things will change and that gays will just have to wait it out – 50 or 100 years perhaps.”

If so, sounds like the attitude that prompted MLK to write the Letter from Birmingham Jail. I’ve got news for him: the pace of change is a bit faster than that.

History remembers MLK. The pastors and bishops who urged him to wait for a time when whites were ‘ready?’ Name one.

Andrew Innes
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Andrew Innes

Rowan is going to Canada next month. He will attend their House of Bishops to give a couple addresses for their retreat. There are to be no questions, no dialogue. That is how things are.

Martin:

It sounds like the George Bush White House, where the truth is awkward and has to be managed.

Continuing this parallel for a moment, it would be interesting to know who’s in RW’s “inner circle”, who shares his vision, the long game you outline? Is there a Cheney at Lambeth Palace?

Malcolm French+
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Malcolm French+

badman said: “But I do think the strategy has now failed. And the person responsible for the failure is Akinola. The hateful things he says about gay people as people, and his shocking disregard for their human dignity and rights, is abhorrent even to most US conservatives. And his naked bullying and abuse of power and influence finally forced the worms to turn. Suddenly, dissent became disloyalty, and that would not wash with any except the hardest of hard cores. The conservatives overplayed their hand – or, rather, Akinola overplayed it for them.” A very cogent analysis of the current… Read more »

montyman
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montyman

Rev King wrote the letter from Birmingham Jail in response to clergy of Birmingham, including +George Murray, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. +Murray and others commended ‘local news media and law enforcement… on the calm manner the demonstrations have been handled.’ http://www.stanford.edu/group/King//frequentdocs/clergy.pdf That was ECUSA then. I thank the Lord it changed its ways. I see parallels, of a church which heard the prophetic voice of the Spirit and turned away from it’s past support of segregation in America, to the church today which clearly stated the call of ministry of all the baptized. ‘In Christ there is no East nor… Read more »

Prior Aelred
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Martin Reynolds —

Always most interested in your posts!

I believe that the clever bishops at Camp Allen (by which I do not by any means include all who voted for the ABC to come & meet with them) see the significance of this resolution not in being able to clarify matters with ++Rowan, but precisely in his refusal to meet with them. This would be a case of actions speaking louder than words.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

It has been 35 years since I read Il Principe, Fr Prior. It may well be as you say and that others across the pond have not been so lacking in their studies. As to “the Lambeth White House” I am not sure. There are complex characters playing out their role there. The power politics between Lambeth and the ACO has been a significant factor in the past and remains an important factor. The Lambeth chief of staff made a play for ultimate control of the ACO some short while ago and lost. Those who are interested in the development… Read more »

Andrew Innes
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Andrew Innes

Martin:

Thanks very much for your comments. By the sounds of it, we’re not much further ahead. Some time bought, perhaps.

Will the Primates who held their noses and signed the document be able to sell it to their constituencies? I rather doubt it. A split or splintering seems inevitable.

NP
Guest
NP

Merseymike – are you sure about your logic? the vast majority of an organisation disagree with you wanting to break its stated rules so you think they should all leave the organisation!

“You cannot be serious!” (J McEnroe, a clear-thinker)