Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Wimberly statement published

The expected statement from Bishop Don Wimberly of Texas relating to the forthcoming meeting of “Windsor bishops” has been published on the Diocese of Texas website. It is reproduced below the fold.

The Houston Chronicle has published a news report: Episcopalians will gather, chart course on gay issues.

Bishop Wimberly to Host Consultation in September

The Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, Bishop of Texas, will host a consultation for bishops who are compliant with the requests of the Windsor Report at Camp Allen, September 19-22, 2006. Bishop Wimberly stated that he does not believe General Convention’s response to the Windsor Report was sufficient.The consultation provides an opportunity for interested bishops to discuss the relationship of the Episcopal Church to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Primates within the Anglican Communion.

“Our baptismal promises call us to reconciliation and unity,” Bishop Wimberly said.“This consultation may help us arrive at a common response to the current circumstances of the Episcopal Church—one that will insure an unimpaired relationships with the rest of the Anglican Communion.”

Statement from the Rt. Rev. Don A. Wimberly

Since this summer’s General Convention, I have sought a way in which I might help lead our diocese and, with other bishops, the Episcopal Church through the circumstances facing our Church today.

My intention is to stay within the Episcopal Church and remain a part of the Anglican Communion even though I don’t believe General Convention’s response to the Windsor Report was sufficient.

We are called to witness to the Church and the Communion that we may be unified beyond differences into a Church that is about the work of the Gospel of Christ.

In the Diocese of Texas, we are One Church of 158 congregations.This is more than a catchy slogan; it is my deeply held theology. We must be obedient to Christ’s charge to be one even as Jesus and the Father are one.

We must take a step forward. For that reason, I have invited a number of bishops (representing a diversity of opinions) who are firmly committed to the Windsor Report to gather for a consultation September 19-22 at Camp Allen.

The purpose of the meeting is to arrive at a common response to the current circumstances of the Episcopal Church—one that will insure an unimpaired relationships between bishops who uphold the requests of the Windsor Report, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other Primates of the Anglican Communion.

The Rt. Rev. N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, and the Rt. Rev. Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester will also attend with the blessing of the Archbishop of Canterbury to aid in the discussions.

Jesus himself gathers us, calls us, and sends us forth to share the Good News of salvation.Being One Church is a holy calling not dreamed up by any bishop or vision committee but called forth by our very baptismal vows. Please pray for me and for the other bishops who love this Church, that we may be called to unity in the truth of Christ.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 August 2006 at 10:00am BST | TrackBack
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Comments

Bp. Wimberly's reasoning is flawed in several areas:

1. Lambeth 1.10 represented the mind of the House of Bishops at Lambeth 1998 and is not binding on any church in the Anglican Communion. It has not been adopted by the General Convention of TEC as a "teaching." If Wimberly's logic is followed, does that mean Lambeth 1.11 on banning nuclear weapons will be as aggressively pursued as a "teaching?" Wimberly and a handful of dissatisfied bishops saying Lambeth 1.10 is the "teaching" of the Anglican Communion doesn't make it so.

2. General Convention has never embraced the Windsor Report as "the way forward." WR is a set of recommendations, period. This gathering is a polite way of trying to circumvent General Convention.

3. How can you have "diversity" in the consultation when conditions are attached that make it possible for only likeminded bishops to attend?

4. I find it curious--and a bit uncivilzed--that the ABC would send representatives to this gathering; and, that Wimberly and his friends would not include a representative of the PB of TEC.

Like Stanton in Dallas, I don't think Wimberly will find all his clergy willing to go along with anything that even smells like schism. He may be catering to St. Martin's and St. John the Divine in Houston--the $$$ parishes--but most of the D of T is moderate conservative and wants to remain in TEC.

Posted by: peteford on Tuesday, 15 August 2006 at 2:35pm BST

peteford has covered most of what makes +Wimberly's manifesto so disturbing, but I'll just add a few more:

* "I have sought a way in which I might help lead our diocese and, with other bishops, the Episcopal Church"

It goes w/o saying, that a bishop of TEC, merely by virtue of their standing in the HofB, has a role in "helping lead, with other bishops" TEC. But beyond that---who was elected PB at GC '06? +Wimberly, or +Jefferts Schori?

* "I don’t believe General Convention’s response to the Windsor Report was sufficient."

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion---what gives +Wimberly's opinion standing *beyond* his own diocese, and his *one vote* in the HofB? He is NOT authorized to make this kind of judgment, vis-a-vis the rest of the AC!

* "I have invited a number of bishops (representing a diversity of opinions) who are firmly committed to the Windsor Report"

While peteford mentioned (the contradiction of) this already, I want to underscore the casual interchange of the words "committed" and "compliant": is the latter defined to be the ONLY way of being the former?

* "insure an unimpaired relationships between bishops who uphold the requests of the Windsor Report, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other Primates of the Anglican Communion"

By far, the MOST DISTURBING part of +Wimberly's project. So, he's not even undertaking his (supposedly irenic) mission, on behalf of ALL TEC's bishops, but ONLY those "upholding the requests" of the WR? (If they're only "requests", then how can "compliance" be compulsory?)

+Wimberly has made his real agenda clear: "*MY* invite to Lambeth at ALL COSTS! My brother&sister bishops in TEC be damned!"

I continue to counsel that any and all TEC bishops who can, make the time, effort and *witness* at Camp Allen ("Windsor Compliant" or no). Clergy and laity should consider a prayerful, nonviolent witness there, also.

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Tuesday, 15 August 2006 at 5:50pm BST

Thanks for this peteford. It seems very clear and helpful in such a minefield of detail and counter-claims, etc.

I always tend to feel fed-up when I see the words "Lambeth 1.10". Remembering how the Working Group (if that is the right term for it, a specially convened panel / group entrusted to study and deliberate on sexuality issues for the Conference.) had its work and its self supressd by George Carey, and their motion--the true and original 1.10 was gutted and the commitment to listening was all taht remained.

I forget the details of the name of the chair and so on. Anyone recall this ?

I think that when so much is made of 1.10 it is VERY important that the true story of what happened is recounted. It must mean that the present 1.10 has very little moral authority (as what Carey was allowed to do lacked moral integrity), and is highly compromised, by its own process.

Do those running the Church really think we have all forgotten ? It's a bit lack Wotan's sword in Gotterdammerung -lacking all credibility.

Similarly, the suppression of the June Report, by Carey, and its replacement with 'Issues' -an inferior document---has not been forgotten, and I wish it could still be more widely circulated / published. It is the true 'Issues'.

I value my photocopy.

Didn't RCs groan when Paul V1 ignored HIS panel of birth control experts--publishing Humanae Vitae instead. And now it gathers dust as RC couples get on with it. ---the fate of leaders and Reports which ignore the voice of the people.

At the end of the day, we all have to get on with it...

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 15 August 2006 at 6:09pm BST

Don't forget that +Wimberly *was* a candidate for PB when Griswold was elected. Perhaps he sees himself in the role of leader of a minority party. In any event, I'd wait to see what they produce at this conference before getting too worked up about it.

Posted by: Davis d'Ambly on Tuesday, 15 August 2006 at 6:41pm BST

"I forget the details of the name of the chair and so on. Anyone recall this ?"

Absolutely, LR. The chair of the Lambeth '98 Working Group (whose balanced report on sexuality was gutted and trashed, in favor of the biased blather of 1.10, that the majority voted for)...


...was one +Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop of Capetown.

The problem is not a Northern view, versus a (Global) Southern one. The problem is *prejudice*.

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Tuesday, 15 August 2006 at 11:58pm BST

Oh, thanks for this JCF. I SEE.
Do you know if the report is available anywhere , on-line or hard copy ? I wonder who else was on the Lambeth 98 Working Group ?

I do thnk we should be reading and propagating "Lambeth 1.10--the true version!".

Also the report from England is still worth reading ; and both can inspire. (I've forgotten her name too --for the mo', I realise----June ........... ).

I don't know how people can take L 1.10 serioulsy as 'THE teaching of THE Church' knowing that the hard work and thoughtful Report was aborted, and that the new L 1.10 was imposed. (Just realised imposed and imposter must have the same root. )

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 16 August 2006 at 8:24am BST

Laurence, you can read my contemporaneous reports of Lambeth 98 from this page:
http://justus.anglican.org/newsarchive/lambeth98/

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 16 August 2006 at 9:04am BST

Thanks very much , Simon.
Much appreciated.

I have just recalled the name of the report that was aborted, for 'Issues'. -- The Osborne Report. Hope that's the correct spelling.
I'd love to see that, and the Lambeth Working Party Report used to show there is another integrity, a teaching that can speak to our condition as lgbt folk and those who want to value and benefit from the gifts of lgbt people.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 16 August 2006 at 12:46pm BST

Gee it would be so interesting to read the suppressed/forgotten draft report/resolution reported up originally. Like actually finding texts of the gnostic gospels or something, sharpening our inquiry. Best wishes to all investigators, then.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 16 August 2006 at 3:16pm BST

Oh, thanks for alerting us to this statement by Bishop Wimberly. I wish I could go to Camp Allen in silent protest, too. I was for over 20 years a member of St Stephen's, Houston (also 3 yrs a member at Palmer, Houston). I moved to Vermont in 2000. I'll be writing our Diocesan here to see if he's going.

peaford wrote: I don't think Wimberly will find all his clergy willing to go along with anything that even smells like schism. He may be catering to St. Martin's and St. John the Divine in Houston--the $$$ parishes--but most of the D of T is moderate conservative and wants to remain in TEC.

I agree, having got to know several of the parishes and clergy as a delegate to diocesan council. And you are so right about the power of SJD and St Martins Remember, Claude Payne was the Diocesan before Wimberly and had served as Rector of St Martin's. And his predecessor was Ben Benitez, who'd been at St John the Divine.

Posted by: JayVos on Wednesday, 16 August 2006 at 9:19pm BST
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