Updated throughout the evening
The Anglican Communion Office issued this statement:
A group of bishops met in New York on 11-13 September at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury and in consultation with the Presiding Bishop to review the current landscape of the church in view of conflicts within the Episcopal Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury had received a request from seven dioceses for alternative primatial pastoral care and asked that American bishops address the question. The co-conveners of the meeting were Bishops Peter James Lee of Virginia and John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida. Other participating bishops were Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishops Jack Iker of Fort Worth, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, James Stanton of Dallas, Edward Salmon of South Carolina, Mark Sisk of New York, Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina, and Robert O’Neill of Colorado. Also participating was Canon Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.
We had honest and frank conversations that confronted the depth of the conflicts that we face. We recognized the need to provide sufficient space, but were unable to come to common agreement on the way forward. We could not come to consensus on a common plan to move forward to meet the needs of the dioceses that issued the appeal for Alternate Primatial Oversight. The level of openness and charity in this conference allow us to pledge to hold one another in prayer and to work together until we have reached the solution God holds out for us.
Rowan Williams issued this response:
It’s a positive sign that these difficult conversations have been taking place in a frank and honest way. There is clearly a process at work and although it hasn’t yet come to fruition, the openness and charity in which views are being shared and options discussed are nevertheless signs of hope for the future. Our prayers continue.
The Associated Press reported on this as follows:
NEW YORK — Episcopal bishops at odds over homosexuality ended a private meeting Wednesday saying they had failed to reach agreement over dioceses that reject the authority of the church’s incoming national leader, who supports gay relationships.
The 11 bishops said they “were unable to come to common agreement on the way forward,” although they recognized the need to accommodate the dissenting dioceses.
“The level of openness and charity in this conference allow us to pledge to hold one another in prayer and to work together until we have reached the solution God holds out for us,” the bishops said in a statement. They did not say whether another meeting was planned.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the world Anglican Communion, had asked the U.S. bishops to hold the talks. He is struggling to keep the Anglican family unified despite deep rifts over whether same-gender partnerships violate Scripture…
Later version of this report: No Deal at Episcopal Meeting
Bishop Duncan issued this statement to the Diocese of Pittsburgh:
Bishop Robert Duncan thanked the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and from across the Church for their prayers and support during the just-completed meeting of Episcopal bishops in New York. The meeting, called by the Archbishop of Canterbury, has not led to a mutually agreeable way forward.
“It was an honest meeting. It became clear that the division in the American church is so great that we are incapable of addressing the divide which has two distinctly different groups both claiming to be the Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Duncan, “Our request for Alternative Primatial Oversight still stands. We wait on the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion to answer our request,” he added.
Bishop Duncan encouraged the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh to continue focusing on the local mission of their churches in the days ahead. “In season and out of season, we have the Good News of Jesus Christ’s love to share with the people of southwestern Pennsylvania and all the world. As I said after General Convention this summer, pray, but don’t worry.”
Bishop Duncan issued this statement to the Anglican Communion Network:
Pittsburgh, PA —Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, thanked the people of the Network for their prayers and support during the just-completed meeting of Episcopal bishops in New York. The meeting, called by the Archbishop of Canterbury, has not led to a mutually agreeable way forward.
“It was an honest meeting. It became clear that the division in the American church is so great that we are incapable of addressing the divide which has two distinctly different groups both claiming to be the Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Duncan, “Our request for Alternative Primatial Oversight (APO) still stands. We wait on the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion to answer our request,” he added. Among the many items discussed in New York was the fact that even if fulfilled, the APO request only deals with the situation of those in Network dioceses. While that situation is important, a far more desperate situation exists for congregations in non-Network dioceses. Bishop Duncan made it clear that as moderator of the Network, he will make every effort to see those needs fully and honestly addressed.
Bishop Duncan encouraged the people of the Network to continue focusing on the local mission of their churches in the days ahead. “In season and out of season, we have the Good News of Jesus Christ’s love to share with all the world. As I said after General Convention this summer, pray, but don’t worry.”
The Living Church has a report with some additional fragments of information: New York Meeting of Bishops Yields No Agreement:
Despite producing the draft of an agreement, the group of bishops meeting in New York City from Sept. 11 to 13 failed to reach any conclusions or consensus.
…The group produced a draft statement last night shortly before adjourning. Afterward each side made final changes. When they met again this morning they were unable to reconcile the two versions, according to several sources who had been briefed on meeting details…
The Episcopal News Service has issued a lengthy report, Meeting on primatial oversight adjourns without agreement. A few extracts:
…”We’re hoping to call another meeting later this fall to continue to wrestle with the issues,” Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori said after the meeting concluded, adding that there is a “general commitment” among those present at this week’s meeting to attend a subsequent meeting.
“It has occurred to me that it might be helpful to expand the group slightly so that it’s not too large but includes the variety of perspectives” that exist, Jefferts Schori added.
Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and Jefferts Schori both said after the meeting ended that the conversations that took place were valuable. “According to some of the participants, it was for them the most fruitful exchange they’ve been able to have,” Griswold said.
Jefferts Schori called them “open and frank, sometimes challenging conversations, but very healthy ones.”
…Jefferts Schori said that the sessions helped her begin “to get a sense of the diversity of the context in which this church functions,” that there are diverse perceptions and that “diocesan landscapes are not uniform.”
Griswold echoed that understanding, noting the sessions showed the diversity that exists “even among people who are sometimes characterized as of the same mind.”
…”The great value in this meeting was the ability to have face-to-face conversations with people who frequently are caricatured by others,” Jefferts Schori said after the meeting. “Communicating on the internet about such issues relieves us of the incarnate necessity of engaging our neighbors.”
A further ENS release says Participants, observers reflect on bishops’ meeting in New York and includes reactions from Bishop Lipscomb, Bishop Duncan, Bonnie Anderson, and Christopher Wilkins.
Reuters has Gay issues again stump Episcopal church leaders. It includes this:
But Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, a meeting participant and moderator of the conservative, 200,000-member Anglican Communion Network, said “this is the first real admission that the church is broken in two parts, both of which claim to be the Episcopal church”.
He told Reuters the worldwide Anglican primates would take up the oversight question in a February meeting, and he predicted that a “staggeringly high” number of Episcopalians could eventually align with a different Anglican leadership.