Friday, 17 July 2009

General Convention update

Updated Friday evening

Resolution C056 reported earlier when it passed the House of Bishops, will be considered by the House of Deputies at 0930 California time.

Meanwhile, a group of bishops has issued a statement. The list of names is not yet available but their number is said to be in excess of 20. The full text is below the fold.

The ENS report on this is here: West Texas bishop drafts ‘Anaheim Statement,’ reaffirms moratoria commitment.

The Church Times carries this report of earlier events: Gay bishops more likely after US passes ‘nuanced’ motion.

And published this leader: Schism must not be allowed to happen.

Friday evening update

Here is the press release from West Texas. Still no list of names.

Religious Intelligence George Conger US vote ‘not a snub to Archbishop of Canterbury

Episcopal Café Richard Helmer Eyes on the floor: Matters of conscience, matters of psyche

New York Times Laurie Goodstein Episcopals’ First Openly Gay Bishop Speaks

The Anaheim Statement, General Convention, 2009

At this convention, the House of Bishops has heard repeated calls for honesty and clarity. As the conversation has proceeded within the HOB, repeated attempts to modify wording which would have been preferable to the minority in the vote were respectfully heard and discussed, but in the end most of these amendments were found unacceptable to the majority in the House. Many in the majority believed the amendments would make the stated position of this House less honest about where they believe we are as The Episcopal Church.

It is apparent that a substantial majority of this Convention believes that The Episcopal Church should move forward on matters of human sexuality. We recognize this reality and understand the clarity with which the majority has expressed itself. We are grateful for those who have reached out to the minority, affirming our place in the Church.

We seek to provide the same honesty and clarity. We invite all bishops who share the following commitments to join us in this statement as we seek to find a place in the Church we continue to serve.

  • We reaffirm our constituent membership in the Anglican Communion, our communion with the See of Canterbury and our commitment to preserving these relationships.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this church has received them (BCP 526, 538)
  • We reaffirm our commitment to the three moratoria requested of us by the instruments of Communion.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to the Anglican Communion Covenant process currently underway, with the hope of working toward its implementation across the Communion once a Covenant is completed.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to “continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship” which is foundational to our baptismal covenant, and to be one with the apostles in “interpreting the Gospel” which is essential to our work as bishops of the Church of God.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 8:35am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

"Schism must not be allowed to happen"???

But it did several years ago at Dromantine, when some Bishops refused to take communion from the hands of Dr Rowan himself, no less.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 10:38am BST

What Göran said!

Every era has its "presenting issue," over which some will refuse fellowship with other followers of Christ, but it keeps changing -- thus the historically based denominational divisions so often seem to keep like minded believers apart & yoke people whose beliefs differ so greatly -- it is so hard to get back together (an argument not to split in the first place) -- those playing the numbers game pretend that the large African churches have not already boycotted Lambeth.

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 2:50pm BST

"Schism must not be allowed to happen"

...and it happened rather formally with the creation in North America and the UK of FOCA, where those who understand opposition to homosexuality as an indisputable core tenet of the Christian faith can agree to agree.

Posted by: christopher+ on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 4:38pm BST

Not their finest hour? I think the Americans are pointing the way forward. They are right to encourage gay couples (and gay selfacceptance) all they can -- not only because the alternatives are promiscuity, perversion, disease, and desolate old age -- but because love is a creative project at the heart of the Gospel. Katharine Jefferts-Schori is right: to be gay fundamentally means to have a vocation to love people of one's own sex. It is a positive and blessed condition. A Christian church cannot treat the hatemongers like Akinola as equally credible with the apostles of love like Jefferts-Schori.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 4:43pm BST

"...and it happened rather formally with the creation in North America and the UK of FOCA, where those who understand opposition to homosexuality as an indisputable core tenet of the Christian faith can agree to agree."

To me, this is perhaps the strangest aspect of the dispute. Any accommodation of historic understanding of Scripture or Tradition on the part of Anglicanism can be embraced, or at least allowed: remarriage after divorce, birth control, the ordination of women. Any older modifications we inherited from the common experience of Western Christianity - charging interest, abandoning the dietary restrictions of Acts 15 - are fine, too. But mention homosexuality, and people start spouting nonsense about unchanging biblical standards and how binding Tradition is.

It's all very selective, and if I did not know any better it would make me think that something other than a pious concern for Tradition and doctrinal purity were at the base of much of it. ;-)

Posted by: BillyD on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 6:46pm BST

Oh, Spirit.

Yet again, I salute you.

Posted by: john on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 6:47pm BST

Aren't there something like 150 bishops (w/ a simple majority needed for confirmation)?

Of course, the proof is in the pudding---what happens when a (partnered) LGBT person is actually ELECTED bishop (for the second time after +Robinson)---but ~20 bishops committed to sustaining a (NEVER approved by TEC!) moratorium, doesn't seem like too much of a threat. (OCICBW)

God bless TEC! :-D

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 6:53pm BST

"It's all very selective, and if I did not know any better it would make me think that something other than a pious concern for Tradition and doctrinal purity were at the base of much of it. ;-)"

Well, yes. And isn't it amazing how otherwise educated, intelligent, sometimes even wise people, seem totally unable to see how hypocritical they look because of it? Also, the hoops they will jump through to justify they acceptance opf their particular "innovations", to throw their word back at them, while allowing no such manouvers when it comes to gay people. The ones I find most maddening in this are ordained women. How can someone hope to be taken seriously making the argument that the same process of Scriptural discernment that led to a change of a 2000 year old, give or take, tradition is great if it permits her to have a collar on her neck, but utterly unacceptable when it comes to accepting gay people? For a female priest to argue in that fashion takes more nerve than a toothache.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 7:43pm BST

What is the meaning of

"The Episcopal Church should move forward" ?

Is the minority moving "backward"?

Posted by: J. Michael Povey on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 11:46pm BST

J. Michael:

No, but it is certainly standing still. And when the rest of the world IS moving forward, anyone will tell you the relative motion of the person standing still is, indeed, in reverse.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 11:55pm BST

"The ones I find most maddening in this are ordained women. How can someone hope to be taken seriously making the argument that the same process of Scriptural discernment that led to a change of a 2000 year old, give or take, tradition is great if it permits her to have a collar on her neck, but utterly unacceptable when it comes to accepting gay people? For a female priest to argue in that fashion takes more nerve than a toothache."

I think in the Anglo-Catholic camps (sorry, hate it when these puns happens!) of ACNA there is probably much more self-hate of closeted gay men than one would imagine, and it is equally hypocritical. Along with this are the high-churchman that broke off due to women's ordination thirty years ago, and the irony escapes them. Truly sad. Truly wasteful.

It all comes down to being honest with oneself, and that's a very hard thing for many to do.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Saturday, 18 July 2009 at 2:29am BST

"Is the minority moving "backward"?"

No, I am pretty sure that they have flown off to Never, Never Land.

Posted by: David |dah•veed| on Saturday, 18 July 2009 at 5:50am BST

Ford, the very first priest to leave my old diocese over Robinson's election was a woman.

I was, like you, stunned by the gall of it. Not to mention the boneheaded obliviousness.

Posted by: JPM on Saturday, 18 July 2009 at 3:52pm BST

"Katharine Jefferts-Schori is right: to be gay fundamentally means to have a vocation to love people of one's own sex. It is a positive and blessed condition. A Christian church cannot treat the hatemongers like Akinola as equally credible with the apostles of love like Jefferts-Schori." - Spirit of Vatican II -

- And, like the apostle of love, Pope John XXIII, who in our day and age might even have ordained women like Katherine Jefferts-Schori; S.of V.II hits the nail on the head. One only has to compare the Gospel content of the nay-sayers with that of the new prophetic voices in the Church. TEC may yet lead the way for authentic '3-legged stool' Anglicans around the world.

(Note to those who would prefer their suspended lack of animation: the 3-legged stool still does include REASON as one of its components. Blind adherence to magisterial imperatives was ever a hindrance to true understanding.)

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 at 11:24am BST

"to be gay fundamentally means to have a vocation to love people of one's own sex."

Oh, please, Mary! Being gay is a vocation? That's a little grandiose, girlfriend. I mean, it just goes as far in the other direction as the conservatives go in their "not made by God" nonsense. My relationship is quite nice, thank you very much, and I do believe God has in some way or another led me to it. But a vocation!?!?! Thanks for the chuckle on this grey cloudy morning.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 23 July 2009 at 1:13pm BST
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