Wednesday, 26 September 2007

New Orleans: later press reports

The Times now has a more substantial report, in US Episcopal Church leaders pledge not to consecrate gay bishops by Ruth Gledhill.

Boston Globe Michael Paulson Episcopal leaders act to avert a schism

Los Angeles Times Rebecca Trounson Episcopal bishops promise ‘restraint’

The video of the closing press conference is now available here at Episcopal News Service.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 1:37pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

The rejections from Akinola, Iker, Duncan, and company are already predictable, and actually could have been predicted way ahead of the particular wording of the latest HoB document.

They will claim very nasty things. As they have claimed in the past. By not condemning queer folks innately for their sexual orientation ahead of any other ethical or productive aspects of personality or behavior or relationships, the alternative believers have become apostate or unscriptural.

The latest over at StandFirm, for example, has some believer posting the simple equation, Queer Folks=Bank Robbers.

By not blocking all manner of prayer with same sex couples, not exclusively or strictly based on a call for them to repent and stop being a committed couple, the HoB has gone even further down the roads to unscriptural moderations on the high and exclusively straight privilege to be intimate and caring and committed.

Behind all these two boiling points, lurks the coded and silent differences having to do with women in religious vocations to sacramental leadership and ministry. This fraught and vexed issue still awaits its fuller impact among the conservative realignment believers, since they have achieved considerable unanimity so far by indulging their luxury of being able to target and focus on queer folks. It would appear that few, if any, active in their leadership and discernment circles has ever met a queer person who was competent at anything that mattered. One rather wonders just where they all work and live, given the sea changes in our understandings which have taken place so openly over the past four or five decades in so many places around the world.

It is tricky citizenship, let alone wobbly ethics and wobbly theology, to roundly bar God from calling women with all their gifts to co-represent humanity at all our altars, while recognizing their gifts and leadership outside church life.

Ditto, for the careful and not so careful efforts to bar queer folks, while demanding that they live second-class lives as ersatz straight people or silent/invisible people who hardly matter to church life.

The realignment campaign will roll on, because it has to keep trying to separate from and supplant the rest of us as believers, maybe even as global citizens.

Just as we must keep on keeping on in alternative good conscience and discernment. Next, Canada, CoE, others.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 3:30pm BST

There is a very interesting comment by the Primus of Scotland posted on the Admiral of Morality's website titled "++Scotland: Attempts to alter Communion "will fail" " Hopefully this type of response will be common. Apparently ++Mexico is of a similar mind according to the Admiral's posting.

Posted by: ettu on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 4:38pm BST

drdanfee - no disappointment with TEC HOB strengthening BO33 in order to try and stay in the AC??

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 4:39pm BST

"TEC HOB strengthening BO33 in order to try and stay in the AC"

Keep it up, NP we all need a laugh. It's not so much the carefully crafted myth of the rebels in TEC finally getting their just reward that is so funny, nor what the obvious need you have to believe that myth says about you, it's how oblivious you are.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 5:02pm BST

Basically, this means the Anglican Communion is the Confederacy and TEC is a "nice" plantation which tries to make its slaves comfortable and happy. Heck, they might even listen to us sing in the evening over the cotton fields.

But no one has officially asked for gays to be given their freedom.

Posted by: James on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 5:15pm BST

" ....no disappointment with TEC HOB strengthening BO33 in order to try and stay in the AC??"

They're GOING to stay in the AC, NP. Do you STILL not get it??

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 5:29pm BST

Apparently Ruth Gledhill is reading the statement regarding future consecration of bishops living in same-sex relationships in a different way than we are in the U.S. Exercising restraint is not seen here as not doing it at all, only doing it after sincere discernment, and if there is an election by the people of a diocese of a person similarly situated as Gene Robinson, there is a very good chance that the result will be the same re affirmation by a sufficient number of bishops to result in his/her consecration. The winds of the Holy Spirit blow where they will; it is our job to discern their direction. If that means that the AC cannot abide that, so be it.

Posted by: Sueell on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 7:12pm BST

Essentially, its no change from current policy and practice.

Seems as if the conservatives are none too happy.

Posted by: Merseymike on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 7:32pm BST

Nope NP, not much.

I read the resolution in immediate and other available, larger contexts - not least the GC which passed it.

B033 seems clear for the moment, including its restraint on consenting to the diocesan election of any near future openly gay or lesbian TEC bishop (who in my view might have sufficient love in their hearts to be capable of being an honest, committed partner to their beloved, spilling over into our community life, all for the good).

GC passed B033. It would have been odd for the HoB to say much of anything else in that regard.

Your puzzlement might hint that one cannot abide by B033 without innately conforming to each and every conservative presupposition about whence comes such restraint; but we disagree on those matters, and probably will not agree for the foreseeable future.

I also like that the bishops agree to restraint, out of leeway for accommodating the antigay negative beliefs, not to mention the outright love affair that so many other Anglican believers still have, with bearing this or that piece of resoundingly false witness against queer folks, generally, inside and outside of Anglican church life.

In this transition era flowing in great streams all around all of us, it actually helps change that, from time to time, conservatives repeat some piece of this false witness, and it stands right out in the great open for all of us to weigh and compare with the real fruits - of ethical living and spiritual commitment - that we so often see among those queer folks who are friends, family, co-workers, and the like.

Surely you recognize these occasions of dodgy pat complaints about, and dodgy categorical accusations against, queer folks? You surely repeat - or at least, connote - some of them in your various posts from time to time.

Conservative believers may easily claim - that they have separated and supplanted the rest of us, end of relationship, done deal, period. So we are targets, nothing more.

But the rest of us are, still, just here – all around the planet.

The fact that we are all still here is increasingly apparent on a planetary scale, rather more vividly and seriously and equally than some people in prior generations may have been able to credit. We are not going away, even when others shout yet again, all the familiar negative claims about us.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 8:58pm BST

Really, NP, I don't know that B033 has been "strengthened." It has been reaffirmed: bishops will "exercise restraint." And, yes, bishops understand that GLBT folks in committee relationships are in "a manner of life" that would be disturbing in other provinces; but they knew that all along. Right now, I would be surprised if a bishop-elect who was in a committed non-marital relationship received sufficient consents to election from the bishops; but I think that would have been true (for good or ill) before this meeting.

I think the bishops have "clarified" - both for us within the Episcopal Church, and for the larger Anglican Communion. I think they've found ways to describe those points on which they can agree on these difficult issues. I think they've found and described enough in common to continue working together, and have expressed their desire to continue working with the rest of the Anglican Communion as we take time to explore these issues together. It won't satisfy those convicted that "there is nothing to discuss." It might, we pray, allow many of good will and commitment to working together to stay together in the task.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 11:45pm BST

The most that this statement could could be interpreted as a change would be as a personal pledge on the part of the existing bishops. They seem to be saying that they won't vote to approve to consecration of a gay/lesbian bishop and MAYBE saying that they won't authorize blessings in their dioceses. Of course the resolution was voted by voice vote so nobody is actually on record as having voted for it or perhaps abstained with a cough. It would be really interesting to see what would happen if the matter is actually put to a test.

Posted by: Richard Lyon on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 1:22am BST

The only statement the "conservatives" would have accepted would have had to include the following points:

- the resignation of the Bishop of New Hampshire
- the resignation of the Presiding Bishop,
- the resignation of any bishop who had either voted to confirm the present Bishop of New Hampshire or voted for the present Presiding Bishop
- the appointment of either Iker or Duncan as (acting) Presiding Bishop

They might also have enjoyed some language about taking all those in points 1, 2 and 3 and lining them up against a wall . . .

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 7:27am BST

Ford - you want to pretend nothing has changed? Have you not noticed that TEC HOB has paid a price to stay in Rowan's club (no more VGRs and no ssbs authorised)
I know they do not mean it and just want to come to Lambeth, Lapin, and so does everyone else.....but I am surprised, Ford, that you would want to defend the duplicity we have seen time and time again from some TEC bishops. You want to defend people who are quite happy to have ssbs in their diocese but also want to stand up and say "I don't authorise them" just because they want to stay in Rowan's club??

Lapin - we have a response from TEC HOB. The adequacy of that response is yet to be tested. Don't break open your champagne yet to celebrate TEC staying in the AC. Nobody even knows what the AC will look like in a year's time! The ABC has no idea......he is just an academic stuck in a very high stakes poker game and he is gambling with everyone else on what the outcome might be.

drdanfee - I do not want you or anyone else to away. I just want the church to stick to its own scriptures and its own agreed positions. Not too much to ask? Having said that, I feel the response of LGCM and Giles Fraser are honest in expressing disappointment with the TEC HOB for accepting delays... delays for things which they believe to be right! Very honourable and courageous!

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 9:56am BST

"You want to defend people who are quite happy to have ssbs in their diocese but also want to stand up and say "I don't authorise them" just because they want to stay in Rowan's club??"

You seem to have no problem with a bishop who says "I see no reason why any old Joe off the street can't get a slip of paper from me then go and pretend to celebrate the Eucharist where ever he like, but I won't do it.", then allows it to go on all over the place. You seem to have no problem with the kind of duplicity we see coming from Nigeria. It's only when you think the Americans are false that you get angry. Indeed, you defend the duplicity of those on your "side". This is just anti-Americanism wrapped up in Biblical piety and self righteous legalism, NP.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 11:40am BST

Ford - again, I am not against "lay presidency" because it is not prohibited in the bible.....this is the difference.

I have not supported Akinola breaking anything in the bible....you show me anything he teaches which contradicts the bible and I will join you in opposing it. I have said to you many times that I think he is wrong in supporting the Nigerian government proposed legislation earlier in the year.

AGAIN - you don't want to deal with the hypocrisy of TEC bishops so you mention everyone else's................why is it so hard for you to say you do not agree with "bishops" who are quite happy to have ssbs in their diocese but also want to stand up and say "I don't authorise them" just because they want to stay in Rowan's club???

1 Cor 5:12 - we are called to make judgments on teaching and behaviour in the church, Ford (so please don't try the lame and incorrect argument that "we must not judge others" when we have to judge what is right and wrong in the church)

From what I know of you, I would have thought you would not like or respect people saying one thing and then doing another.....

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 5:21pm BST

The promise of restraint is no more " political"than the Sydney Synod resolution to pursue lay celebration after Lambeth 2008!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 6:38pm BST

NP wrote: "1 Cor 5:12 - we are called to make judgments on teaching and behaviour in the church..."

setting ONE verse a g a i n s t the Gospel in its entirety...

(If it contradicts, it cannot be authentic, dear NP ;=)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 11:09am BST

NP,
There are problems with your arguments, first, you assume that if a bishop does not publically admit to doing something, then he doesn't so it! That's just naive. Turning a blind eye to certain things out of pastoral necessity is something most bishops will be called to do. Why do you seem to think it is alright to deny doing what one does?
The second is far more important, your credibility. You decry this as "dishonesty" and perhaps you are correct. The question is, do you have the right to do it? Now you have mined the Bible for verses that you think say you can. However, you use one part of the Bible to contradict another. Curiously, you don't seem to see how you thus destroy your own argument. As long as a bishop demands strict adherence to the Law, you will, and have, defended the most outrageous offences against the Gospel by him simply because you cannot quote a verse that directly prohibits the action in question. Neither this strict legalism nor this living by the letter of the Law rather than the spirit of the Law are in accord with the Gospel. If such a person then proves to have done something wrong, like that guy in Colorado accused of theft, you then abandon mercy and call for that person's blood, again, such cries for punishment are not in accord with the Gospel. So, whether or not you are right about TEC dishonesty is immaterial. You have shown clearly the "beam that is in thine own eye". Your repeated attempts to claim that Paul was telling us to sit in judgement on other people just make it all the funnier. You are thundering for others to follow a Gospel you clearly do not! I'm not much of a model for good living myself, NP, I ain't exactly the best of Christians, but good God!

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 1:55pm BST

"setting ONE verse a g a i n s t the Gospel in its entirety"

I guess it's OK for Evangelicals to pick and choose which of the Articles they want to follow. It's only when the "liberals" do it that it becomes "disobedience".

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 3:54pm BST

NP: "I am not against "lay presidency" because it is not prohibited in the bible"

How very selective.

There is nothing in the bible prohibiting the election of bishops, yet you claim it is unbiblical.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 10:17pm BST

What is interesting, Malcolm, is how some things, like lay presidency, or any other thing popular with Evangelicals, are permissible because they are NOT mentioned in the Bible, while other things, like invoking the saints or asking the Virgin to pray for us, which is to say anything that looks vaguely Roman, are not permissible for exactly the same reason. To me, this shows pretty clearly that this "Biblical faithfulness" is not that at all, but using the Bible to justify the things you like, but of course only EHBLs do that.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 1:24pm BST

no Ford - the point is only priests "presiding" is not mentioned in the bible....... this restriction was a creation of the National Union of Priests - do not go to the stake for it!

Posted by: NP on Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 12:40am BST

Why not just cast lots for bishops?

When replacing Judas with Matthias the apostles used Scripture (or rather Jesus's teaching and instruction), common sense and prayer. The used lots as a means to entrust the decision to Jesus himself. But who appointed Paul, other than Christ himself? Paul presented himself to the twelve, he was examined and found to be called by God.

In the 1st and 2nd C other churches appointed bishops in other ways - and some churches didn't even have bishops. I'm not sure God ordained an org chart for the church. Look at Mark 10:35-44 to see the value Jesus puts on titles and positions.

Posted by: Chris on Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 7:09am BST

"the National Union of Priests"

The what? NP, the point was that if Scripture is silent on something you approve of, then you take this to mean you can do it. If, however, Scripture is silent about something you don't approve of, you see this as meaning we shouldn't do it. Whether Scriptural silence on a particular issue represents permission or prohibition seems for you to depend on whether or not you approve of it. And the stake?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 12:32pm BST
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