Comments: ECUSA reaction

Griswold sounds shell-shocked -- as well he might. My initial reaction to the Windsor Report is that it is a massive defeat for the liberals in ECUSA -- and for Griswold personally, though the Report is too gentlemanly to name names. There will surely be demands for his resignation.

Posted by Andrew Conway at Monday, 18 October 2004 at 3:17pm BST

Open note to Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold,

Thank you, Reverend Sir, for your Spirit-led initial comments on the Windsor Report. From even before the 2003 ECUSA General Convention, to this day, you have shown a prayerfulness and commitment to the greater commission of being Good News to the world, and a patience and love for all people on all sides which I could wish for myself.

I thank God for your ministry among us, and your leadership before us. The blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be upon you, and all of us, liberal, conservative and in-between, this day and always.

Faithfully, (The Reverend) Lois Keen
St. Stephen's, Ridgefield, Connecticut

Posted by Lois Keen at Monday, 18 October 2004 at 4:00pm BST

Mr. Conway, I am not sure what you saw in the PB's response that I missed, but I don't see how you can see thie Winsor Report as a defeat for Griswold in any way.

The admonishment for those who have crossed episcopal boundaries, and the lack of any provision for alternate provinces seems to hurt the asperations of the AAC/NACDP and Global South Primates. They can't be happy that their extra-diocesan activities will not be considered a legitimate response to ECUSAs actions.

Posted by Andrew Grimmke at Monday, 18 October 2004 at 4:04pm BST

But it stores up problems for the future by seeming to give additional authority to the Lambeth Conference (while cheekily stating at the same time that Bishops involved in the consecration of Gene Robinson should voluntarily not turn up to it!) where an inbuilt conservative majority can give liberal parts of the communion a heavy belting with the crozier when required.

I'm not sure that I want to give such a deeply homophobic collective any more authority than it already has.

Because this isn't as bad as many liberals feared, doesn't mean that it's not bad.

Posted by Gerry Lynch at Monday, 18 October 2004 at 4:28pm BST

Well, I said it was only my 'initial' reaction. But having read the report more thoroughly, I am still of the same opinion. There will doubtless be some people who will be disappointed that Griswold has not been sentenced to burn at the stake; and this may skew the media reaction (I can see the headline now: 'Evangelicals slam 'toothless' report'), but as the implications of the report sink in I think it will become clear that the conservatives have got everything they wanted, at least in the short term.

The report censures ECUSA for acting unilaterally; it seeks to isolate ECUSA from the rest of the Communion; and it proposes a draft Covenant designed to stop ECUSA from taking unilateral action again. The rest is just a sweetener to help ECUSA swallow the bitter pill.

Moving beyond the question of whether the report is a 'defeat' for one party or another, I think it has interesting implications for the whole Anglican structure of authority. It seems to be centralising authority in the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury, by making him solely responsible for policing and enforcing the Covenant. In one sense, this gives the ABC powers beyond Laud's wildest dreams, by enabling him to intervene vigorously in the affairs of other provinces. In another sense it simply postpones the day of reckoning, as it is quite certain that the ABC will not exercise his powers in the way the conservatives would like him to.

Posted by Andrew Conway at Monday, 18 October 2004 at 5:00pm BST

I was deeply impressed by Frank Griswold's comments. He sounds prayerful, thoughtful and pastoral. He has understood what it might be like to be a gay person waiting to hear if you are welcome inside or are banished outside.

Posted by Stephen Hough at Monday, 18 October 2004 at 8:21pm BST

No gay person should be "waiting" to hear if they are welcome inside or banished outside. This issue is not about gays in the church, but about gays serving in leadership roles. Gays are welcomed and encouraged in the pews just as I and all sinners are. One day we WILL know which side we should have been on in the issue and I beleive in my heart that scripture will preval.

Posted by Larry Snair at Saturday, 4 December 2004 at 11:06pm GMT