Wednesday, 16 March 2005

ECUSA bishops respond to Windsor/primates

Episcopal News Service reports that:

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church adopted, by nearly unanimous vote late this afternoon, “A Covenant Statement” that includes “a provisional measure to contribute to a time for healing and for the educational process called for in the Windsor Report” (full text of Covenant Statement is here).

The Covenant Statement includes the following items:

Relating to the WR request for an expression of regret:

2. We express our own deep regret for the pain that others have experienced with respect to our actions at the General Convention of 2003 and we offer our sincerest apology and repentance for having breached our bonds of affection by any failure to consult adequately with our Anglican partners before taking those actions.

Relating to a moratorium on episcopal elections:

3. The Windsor Report has invited the Episcopal Church “to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges” (Windsor Report, para. 134). Our polity, as affirmed both in the Windsor Report and the Primates’ Communiqué, does not give us the authority to impose on the dioceses of our church moratoria based on matters of suitability beyond the well-articulated criteria of our canons and ordinal. Nevertheless, this extraordinary moment in our common life offers the opportunity for extraordinary action. In order to make the fullest possible response to the larger communion and to re-claim and strengthen our common bonds of affection, this House of Bishops takes the following provisional measure to contribute to a time for healing and for the educational process called for in the Windsor Report. Those of us having jurisdiction pledge to withhold consent to the consecration of any person elected to the episcopate after the date hereof until the General Convention of 2006, and we encourage the dioceses of our church to delay episcopal elections accordingly. We believe that Christian community requires us to share the burdens of such forbearance; thus it must pertain to all elections of bishops in the Episcopal Church. We recognize that this will cause hardship in some dioceses, and we commit to making ourselves available to those dioceses needing episcopal ministry.

Relating to a moratorium on public rites of blessing for same sex unions:

4. In response to the invitation in the Windsor Report that we effect a moratorium on public rites of blessing for same sex unions, it is important that we clarify that the Episcopal Church has not authorized any such liturgies, nor has General Convention requested the development of such rites. The Primates, in their communiqué “assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship” (Primates’ Communiqué, para. 6). Some in our church hold such “pastoral care” to include the blessing of same sex relationships. Others hold that it does not. Nevertheless, we pledge not to authorize any public rites for the blessing of same sex unions, and we will not bless any such unions, at least until the General Convention of 2006.

Relating to participation (or otherwise) in the Anglican Consultative Council:

6. As a body, we recognize the intentionality and seriousness of the Primates’ invitation to the Episcopal Church to refrain voluntarily from having its delegates participate in the Anglican Consultative Council meetings until the Lambeth Conference of 2008. Although we lack the authority in our polity to make such a decision, we defer to the Anglican Consultative Council and the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church to deliberate seriously on that issue.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 16 March 2005 at 1:30am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

Are you Thinking Anglicans going to post anything about Frank's tantrum at HOB and his inability to embrace and befriend the dark side in the form of Duncan, et. al.?

Posted by: Jim on Wednesday, 16 March 2005 at 3:19am GMT

Ho Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I didn't expect anything different.

Buz

Posted by: Buz on Wednesday, 16 March 2005 at 5:11am GMT

I think 3. is an inspired choice.

Posted by: lizw on Wednesday, 16 March 2005 at 9:58am GMT

No "them" and "us"..it's "we".

Three is a beautiful and unselfish! It's a humble and loving message filled with healthy selfdiscipline and open to the truth of the Holy Spirit as it is revealed to us in our lives today.

Fearless, confident and steady.


Len

Posted by: Len on Wednesday, 16 March 2005 at 3:02pm GMT

"Are you Thinking Anglicans going to post anything about Frank's tantrum at HOB..."

So the "dark side" (your words, not mine :) can, and *has*, thrown tantrum after tantrum since GC2003 and that's OK ?

I, for one, don't blaim our Presiding Bishop one tiny bit for his words or tone. He certainly has shown vastly more tolerance that I would with a small minority* whose only real goal is to break up the ECUSA in as damaging a way as possible, and who have no intention of pursuing any sort of reconciliation with anyone who hasn't drunk the same Koolaid as they have.

*Note: to be clear, I'm not talking about all "conservative" Episcopalians, but specifically the hard-core, reactionary extremists who're driving the AAC/"Network"

Posted by: Simeon on Wednesday, 16 March 2005 at 4:42pm GMT

Thank you ECUSA for taking this step.
Of course the moratorium of all episcopal elections - it's a sledgehammer to crack a nut and will cause maximum irritation to the whole of ECUSA - which will be blamed on the Primates, not the innovating revisionists. Good tactic Mr Griswold.

What is this statement not?
It's not a statement about homosexuality at all is it....
Presumably the idea is: cause as much short term disruption in ECUSA as possible so that the sense of martydom can grow and then General Convention can, with even more resolve, stick to its guns in 2006 in the face of unreasonable conservative demands?.....cunning.
Is that what's going on? Can someone tell me?
For I am bewildered!
Frank Griswold seems to claim to have a particular insight into the father of lies - and I cannot bring myself to believe there is anything about this which makes it genuine reconsideration. I'm sorry if that's not charitable. But I wonder if ECUSA really know how to let their 'yes' be 'yes' and their 'no' be 'no'?..... Go on help me out.

Posted by: Neil on Wednesday, 16 March 2005 at 8:46pm GMT

I agree with you, Neil. I'm not only bewildered, but becoming increasingly depressed by the scheming and misrepresentation that is going on. It must grieve the Lord that people who are there to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ have lost the plot so thoroughly. It is making the Church of England a laughing stock.

Would that these "leaders" who are so full of themselves and their pronouncements took a step back from their politics, and submit to the Lord they are supposed to serve.

Griswold is right in saying that the devil is a liar and the father of lies. But this appplies to his opponents, evidently; perhaps he does not appreciate that the devil might be using him.

Meanwhile, at local level, churches are continuing to seek to win others for Christ, are involved in the community, and help and encourage one another. Much more of this struggle for power, attempts to redefine the gospel to suit themselves, and departure from the functions of a church, and one can well find individual churches saying "A plague on your houses" and deciding to go it alone without a burdensome, pompous and self-seeking bureaucracy.

Posted by: Robert Leggat on Thursday, 17 March 2005 at 9:21am GMT

So it seems, once again, that no matter what ECUSA does, it's in the wrong. If the PB had said ECUSA would ignore the Windsor Report, he would have been vilified. When he tries to make a compromise, he is vilified.

It's fairly obvious that the "traditionalists" won't be satisfied until and unless ECUSA accedes to their demands completely - even if it means going against conscience and what we believe to be right. There is to be no compromise - is that the idea?

Personally, I'd rather simply shake the dust off my sandals and get out of town - the Anglican "Communion" that isn't, where Bishops of the "majority" refuse Communion with those in the "minority" who disagree with them. But leaving doesn't seem to be what's in the cards just now.

BTW, ever consider that it might the "traditionalists" who are "defining the Gospel for themselves"? As we all know (pogroms, Inquisitions, persecutions, etc.), the Church has NEVER been wrong, has it?

Posted by: bls on Thursday, 17 March 2005 at 3:18pm GMT

I wish truth were as simple as we all share our thoughts and then we split the difference. My God doesn't work in that way.

You are right in one sense in that ECUSA is "damned if she does" and "damned if she doesn't" in human eyes. But of course there is only one damning which counts ultimately - God's.

How tragic that ECUSA seems to be blind to that prospect. How truly dangerous to think that any "new thing" from "the spirit" can contradict what God has already made clear in the past.

Posted by: Neil on Thursday, 17 March 2005 at 11:02pm GMT

I rest my case.

Posted by: bls on Friday, 18 March 2005 at 4:44am GMT

There is no meaning in the so-called repentance or moratorium. The Bible is totally against gay marriages. Apart from the moral code in the Old Testament, St. Paul has forcefully condemned same-sex relationships. Since Christianity is a soft religion, these 'bishops' are exploiting it for their selfish purposes. Not only churchmen, literary figures like Dan Brown are also scandalizing not merely Chritianity but Jesus Himself.If we closely examine Da Vinci's painting, the figure next to Jesus does not have breasts to show that a woman is seated near Jesus. Dan Brown has come to the conclusion that the person next to Jesus is Mary MagdaLene, because there is no beard and moustache. If we scan the painting, there is also another disciple in standing posture without beard and moustache.For one thing, Da Vinci was not a contemporary of Jesus; for another, he was a devout catholic and pious Christian. Since Christianity is a gentle religion, it tolerates Dan Brown and gay bishops.Muhammad the Prophet had about a dozen wives of various ages, including teenagers. Dan Brown has not the guts and stamina to give a true account of Muhammad, for he knows his throat will be slit and his body will be thrown into a gutter near his house.He knows what had happened to van Gogh in Amsterdam He has the audacity to give a false account of Jesus because Christians are soft and decent.That is the same case with gay bishops. Chritians in India who are living in the midst of Hindus and Muslims are suffering much humiliation, shame and disgrace because of Dan Brown and gay bishops
A.Yeshuratnam
Trivandrum
Kerala
India.

Posted by: A.Yeshuratnam on Sunday, 20 March 2005 at 6:18am GMT

>It is evident that the ECUSA is to walk apart. It is now time for
> >each of us to decide where we will walk. The Covenant Statement is a
> >continuing display of the inability of the Bishops to make their
> >choice. There is no middle ground. The lack of courage and honesty
> >in our Bishop population is something to behold.
> >
> >. As a retired CEO , I am
> >disappointed that there appears little difference in the politics of
> >the church , than that of the corporate world. I had always hoped
> >and prayed for a higher calling of the men of cloth.
> >
> >Bill Bowers

Posted by: Bill Bowers on Thursday, 31 March 2005 at 8:12pm BST
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