Thursday, 17 January 2008

Bishop Wimberly explains

The Lead at Episcopal Café has this report: Bishop Wimberly: why I did not consent to inhibition

Bishop Don Wimberly of Texas has released the following statement on his reasons for not consenting to inhibit Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori asked me along with the other two most senior bishops (Peter Lee of Virginia and Leo Frade of Southeast Florida) for consent to move forward with two inhibitions, one for John-David Scofield, Bishop of San Joaquin and Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburg[h], for abandonment of the Communion of the Church. We consented to Scofield because the Diocese of San Joaquin had recently voted to leave the Episcopal Church. We did not consent to the request for Bishop Duncan because the Diocese of Pittsburgh has not held their annual convention yet and therefore has not formalized any change to their membership within the Episcopal Church, as the Diocese of San Joaquin had. Even though waiting postpones the issue coming before the House of Bishops, I believe it is prudent to take every precaution and afford Bishop Duncan the opportunity to remain in the Episcopal Church.

The Rt. Rev. Don A. Wimberly, Bishop of Texas

It is not known whether or not the other senior bishops gave consent.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 January 2008 at 9:42pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

So, Bishop Wimberley thinks the best time to shut the stable door is after the horse has bolted?

I'm glad he's not looking after my horses...

Posted by: badman on Thursday, 17 January 2008 at 10:30pm GMT

So I was right--the relevant distinction was the action of the diocesan convention. "Delaying the inevitable", indeed.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 17 January 2008 at 11:13pm GMT

It may delay the inevitable, but I appreciate the charity and internal integrity in which Bishop Wimberly grounds his statement and his decision to refrain on granting the inhibition until something definitively "actionable" occurs. It also holds Bishops Schofield and Duncan roughly to the same standard when it comes to what is considered actionable.

At the end of the day, no matter how Bishop Duncan responds, it is critical that the House of Bishops retain some degree of internal integrity about how this process is followed. In the long run, that matters to the health of The Episcopal Church.

Posted by: R on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 12:36am GMT

Wimberley is right on this one. Threats are one thing, action is another.

Posted by: Davis d'Ambly on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 12:46am GMT

I prefer the phrase "giving him enough rope to hang himself."

Posted by: the Reverend boy on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 1:27am GMT

Duncan has abandoned the communion of the church, even if the Diocese of Pittsburgh has not formally bolted. There is enough evidence of Duncan's crimes against TEC to have justified his being inhibited and deposed years ago.

Wimberly is protecting his right flank with places like St. Martin's and St. John the Divine in Houston. They keep the diocesan budget afloat and have a HUGE influence on internal politics. This is a win-win for Wimberly (a lose-lose for the rest of us, of course). He gets to go to his diocesan council next month and look like a hero to the right wing nut cases, and then retires before GC 2009.

This is an example of the lack of leadership the HoB has shown. The PB is great, but many of the rest of them are gutless.

Posted by: pete on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 1:58am GMT

I regret that the statement does not make it clear whether Bishops Lee & Frade agreed with Bishop Wimberly. I do hope they will speak up.

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 2:15am GMT

Well, at least not everyone in TEC is willing to inhibit bishops based upon thought-crimes. Yet.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you (unless you are orthodox plus ungood.)

Posted by: selah on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 2:20am GMT

Duncan's active participation in the Kenya consecrations of bishops Atwood and Murdoch last August, and in the consecrations of four additional CANA bishops in December, all six knowingly and deliberately consecrated to function in new, anti-TEC, US hierarchies (quite which hierarchies I doubt that any of the individuals involved quite knows at this point, but it was ever thus with schismatics, was it not it?) go just a wee bit further than "thought crimes" don't you think, Selah? At the civil level this type of thing behavior generally falls within the category of "giving aid and comfort to the enemy".

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 10:19am GMT

"Well, at least not everyone in TEC is willing to inhibit bishops based upon thought-crimes. Yet.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you (unless you are orthodox plus ungood.)"

Let's examine this a moment. Did TEC show Scofield the door? No--he walked out of it on his own. That done, TEC declared he had violated the canons he had vowed to obey when consecrated.

The Episcopal Church does indeed welcome all...even the self-described orthodox. It is the orthodox, rather, who insist that the church change to meet their standards--rather like a vegetarian customer who goes to McDonalds and then insists that it stop selling meat...not only to them, but to everybody."

BTW, I use the term "self-described" because I'm not certain what is Anglican orthodox about their position.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 11:53am GMT

"It is the orthodox, rather, who insist that the church change to meet their standards"

Is there an "Anglican orthodox"? How can people claim to be 'orthodox' when they repudiate so much of what has been definied as orthodox for the past 2000 years? They adhere to a particular interpretation of a tradition passed down by one branch of the Church Catholic that has drifted perhaps too far towards Calvinist Protestantism. They have mixed Anglicanism with some kind of 1950s Ozzie and Harriet morality and called it orthodox. They have said it for so long, they believe it. I wonder how many of the fathers they would condemn as Evil Hell Bound Liberals. 'Orthodox' implies one is following the Tradition handed down to us from the beginning, not from 500 years ago. Anglicanism is not "orthodox". It tries, it approximates, some might say it gets it better than those who have called themselves "Orthodox" for the past 1700 years. Their trouble is that they think 'orthodox' means 'conservative'. Even if they are right that they are following traditional Anglican teaching, and I don't believe they are, that still wouldn't be 'orthodox', it could best be called conservative, or even faithful, but not orthodox. We should not allow them to get away with calling what they try to force on everybody else 'orthodox'. That just degrades the meaning of the word. It has always had a large component of "What I believe and you don't" to it, but it does define SOMETHING, and that something is not their brand of Anglicanism.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 12:51pm GMT

Ford: and what they mean by "conservative" just means "a generation out of date", which is not at all the same thing. True conservatises are not scared of changing and moving forward: we carry what is good from the past confidently into our future.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 2:10pm GMT

It ill behooves progressive Christians to deprecate the house of bishops for not inhibiting Duncan before his diocesan convention: it strengthens the claim of TEC to orthodoxy and orthopraxis if everything is done correctly and in order, with a view to natural justice and also, more importantly, to going the extra mile. For those in TEC who want rid of Duncan, my feeling is that you won't have long to wait: there seems precious little evidence of a change of heart/mind on his part!

Posted by: ThreeMinuteTheologian on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 2:39pm GMT

I read this blogsite regularly, yet have not posted anything before. I hope I am a careful reader and not a cautious "lurker", whatever that may be. I note that there is a group of persons who write regularly and I want to say how much I appreciate your observations about what's going on in our Anglican world. In particular, I very much enjoy and learn from your notes, Fred. You have a talent for summarizing things in a succinct and informative way. As an "old rookie" priest in TEC (six years ordained;66 years old), and as one whose past career has been in the study of human communication, I have become very weary of all of the quibbling, quarreling, paranoia and mean-spiritedness that passes these days for reasoned argument. Some of the entries I read on conservative blogsites are almost beyond belief in the level of anger. I think I now have an idea of what "the gnashing of teeth" means. It is a hideous howling and growling that is beneath the dignity of rational persons.
I keep asking myself why those who have such loathing for the Episcopal Church and other inclusive provinces spend so much time railing against anything and everything about the Church and those who wish to continue within it?
While I respect their right to a certain conservative position on the issues I feel I can strongly disagree with them in a way that respects their personhood. On the other hand, I seldom read or hear disagreement on the issues that is not coupled with some kind of ad hominem attack on the writer or the leaders of the Church, especially our Presiding Bishop. It seems to me that too many people differentiate understanding from agreement. They fear that by even listening to an opposing point of view they are somehow consenting to that position to which they are opposed.
Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Posted by: GoSane+ on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 2:44pm GMT

Lapinbizarre seems to me to be quite correct -- the canons are not about a bishop trying to remove his (or her) diocese from TEC (such an absurdity was never imagined) but of abandoning "the Communion of this Church" (i.e., TEC) -- Duncan actions have certainly demonstrated done this -- Bishop Wimberly (& perhaps others?) seem seriously to have misunderstood the canon.

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 3:33pm GMT

Perhaps it would have been overkill, but I think I would have liked for PB KJS to actually visit each of the bishops in this zone - Shofield, Iker, Duncan - to deliver her news face to face. Relationally.

Then to the diocese, then to the Remaining Episcopals that are predicted by the very zone in which we now find the three-peaters.

Thanks much to Wimberly for speaking honestly about his role/vote. Aside from the narrow and holier than thou ways in which Iker or Duncan now prizes himself - and it is very much a He-Man Thang in my hearing? - perhaps neither person was always thus and nothing but? I can understand Wimberly's stated reasons, but I do not think those reasons alter the trajectories Iker and Duncan have pretty fully laid out in public statements of various sorts.

Sad really that both Iker and Duncan - and Schofield is farther along the road - are putting all their faith eggs in the increasingly rather seedy preachment baskets of empirically failed legacy theories of embodiment, human sexuality, and especially those innate legacy negatives about those uncannily awful queer folks. (Gagnon now is on record, upping his estimation of just how awful queer folks are in a sacred ranking of sexual sins. I think there is something going on with Gagnon besides scholarship and witness. Just a hunch based on watching lots of other people of various personality and temperament boil over like Gagnon in the past few decades.)

Best then not to continue to let them guide us because we too would be destined for the narrows. Gee if I wanted to be a narrow believer, I'd have so many church life choices from among any number of narrow - and proud to be narrow - congregations/diocese/national/international affiliations.

So far as our current hot button issues go, I think most of the current realignment leaders pretend they have entirely forgotten how contentious our former hot button issues vividly were according to all available historical data. Some of those earlier hot buttons got resolved eventually and slowly. Some simply got so radically redefined by changing facts that their questions and objections no longer mattered to anybody up on the changed facts. Some hot buttons simply could not survive in our long runs because they clearly could not bear any fruit besides meanness and/or narrowness.

Posted by: drdanfee on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 3:51pm GMT

Ford is right--one of the saddest casualties of all this silliness is the perfectly good word "orthodoxy," which has now come to mean scriptural fundamentalism merged with a reactionary political agenda.

Posted by: JPM on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 3:54pm GMT

Winberly won't go any further.

However, he's weaved his own rope. Come the diocesan convention, he won't be able to keep up with this farce.

Now... does this mean that Duncan gets an invitation for Lambeth?

Posted by: Leonel Abaroa-Boloña on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 4:19pm GMT

I thought they were looking to discipline an individual and not a diocese? Isn't the man to be measured on his conduct and the diocese to be measured on their own?

He has transgressed, some want to see how much more he will transgress before action is taken?

That's a bit like saying, the father struck the eldest daughter, but we'll leave him there because he might not harm the youngest son. Once again we see church leaders aiding and abetting those that violate.

Yeah, I know the rocks are going to come back the other way. So be it. Neither side is perfect, but there has to be some modicum of respect in the middle ground.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Friday, 18 January 2008 at 7:12pm GMT

Ford, I apologize. I mistakenly wrote your name as "Fred" in my post. Mea Culpa.

Posted by: GoSane+ on Saturday, 19 January 2008 at 1:23am GMT

Gosane wrote "It seems to me that too many people differentiate understanding from agreement. They fear that by even listening to an opposing point of view they are somehow consenting to that position to which they are opposed. "

Precisely. They tout Windsor as a bludgeon against liberals, but repeatedly demonstrate that they have not listened nor have no intention of listening.

They selectively quote Windsor as selectively as they quote the bible. Thus they demonstrate that they agree with their scribal predecessors who struck the books of Susanna and Enoch from the bible. Even though the apostle Paul waxed lyrical about Enoch e.g Hebrews 11:5.

With such obvious obmissions, is it no surprise that the feminine Wisdom aka Daughter of Zion aka Sophia is also missing?

No problems for any humans, but Jesus can try explaining to her what he meant by "gentleness" e.g. Matthew 21:5 or John 12:15.

Want to write a female character out of history? Fine. Don't expect her to trust or like you. You have exactly what you have worked for.

Want to know why there is no peace? How can you have peace when you don't acknowledge the covenant for peace, nor its precepts, nor its guardians.

There is no glory in being the "biggest" or "best" in this generation. It is an insult, not a compliment. Savour the fruits of your "victory" and ponder why some nations still lurch from one bloodbath to another.

Skulking males who don't take responsibility for conception do not have the trust of females who conceive. If you don't want babies or responsibilities, fine, go skulk somewhere. But don't complain if the females still want life and choose mates who want to have children and raise them appropriately and safely. I have no problem with womanizers disappearing from this planet's existence. Good riddance.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 19 January 2008 at 10:48am GMT

GoSane, no worries. Ford's not a very common first name outside of here. See the previous thread.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 19 January 2008 at 2:06pm GMT

Cheryl,
As usual I read your last comment with much agreement. However, there is no evidence that Paul wrote Hebrews and much that someone very different did -- some scholars suggest Phoebe or another woman.
Columba

Posted by: Columba Gilliss on Saturday, 19 January 2008 at 2:55pm GMT

Columba Gillis,

Surely the non-letter "to the Hebrews" is Alexandrian?

Whereas Phoebe herself was a deacon (not a deaconess) at Kenkrea, the port(s) of Korinth (presently "Romans" 1:7-12 and 16:1-16 + 20b).

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 7:08am GMT
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