Thinking Anglicans

American bishops respond to primates

Updated Wednesday afternoon

Episcopal News Service has: Bishops request meeting with Archbishop of Canterbury, Primates’ Standing Committee

Living Church has Bishops Reject Primates’ Ultimatum and earlier had House of Bishops Begins Discussion of Primates’ Communiqué.

See also Bishops’ ‘Mind of the House’ resolutions.

Full text of the Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution Addressed to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church

Resolved, the House of Bishops affirms its desire that The Episcopal Church remain a part of the councils of the Anglican Communion; and

Resolved, the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; and

Resolved, the House of Bishops believes the proposed Pastoral Scheme of the Dar es Salaam Communiqué of February 19, 2007 would be injurious to The Episcopal Church and urges that the Executive Council decline to participate in it; and

Resolved, the House of Bishops pledges itself to continue to work to find ways of meeting the pastoral concerns of the Primates that are compatible with our own polity and canons.

Full text of the resolution addressed To the Archbishop of Canterbury and the members of the Primates’ Standing Committee:

We, the Bishops of The Episcopal Church, meeting in Camp Allen, Navasota, Texas, March 16-21, 2007, have considered the requests directed to us by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in the Communiqué dated February 19, 2007.

Although we are unable to accept the proposed Pastoral Scheme, we declare our passionate desire to remain in full constituent membership in both the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church.

We believe that there is an urgent need for us to meet face to face with the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the Primates’ Standing Committee, and we hereby request and urge that such a meeting be negotiated by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and the Archbishop of Canterbury at the earliest possible opportunity.

We invite the Archbishop and members of the Primates’ Standing Committee to join us at our expense for three days of prayer and conversation regarding these important matters.

Here are some more Episcopal News Service reports of what went on in the American House of Bishops prior to the release of the statements linked above:

‘Mutual respect’ marks bishops’ deliberations and Bishops approach Communique, Covenant with prayer, reflection

A presentation to the House of Bishops on the Proposed Anglican Covenant by Ephraim Radner

Interpreting the Proposed Anglican Covenant through the Communique by A. Katherine Grieb

God’s Mission and the Millennium Development Goals by Ian T. Douglas

Blogosphere reactions
Episcopal Majority is rounding these up here at Responses to the Bishops.

Ruth Gledhill is now on the case at TEC rejects forces of ‘colonialism’

Dave Walker has The Episcopal Bishops say ‘No!’

Press coverage:
Los Angeles Times Episcopal rejection of demands looks likely

An earlier report, not directly related to the HoB meeting, was this in the New York Times
Money Looms in Episcopalian Rift With Anglicans by Laurie Goodstein and Neela Banerjee

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Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
13 years ago

Right on, bishops!

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Here we stand and can no other…

A Firm Stand.

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Of course, Cantuar will not dare meet them. Pittsburgh and Abuja wouldn’t approve.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
13 years ago

Glad to see the TEC HoB still have functioning balls and spines, brains and hearts— all working in a wonderful Pauline synchrony….

Andrew
Andrew
13 years ago

It appears to be an almost complete rejection of the Primates demands. They may well expel us from the Communion, as the statement itself implies. Will Cantuar then declare TEC out of Communion with him, or will he somehow find a way to finesse this? Will Canada and Scotland and South Africa be next? Has the execrable Akinola won?

Cynthia
Cynthia
13 years ago

One of my Canadian friends reminds me that the ABC will be meeting with the Canadian church next month in Niagera Falls [sp? Am only on 2nd cup coffee this am] Ontario, which is but a barrel’s ride from Niagera Falls New York. How handy! But I hope he’ll take the bridge. I must confess that last night when I saw a brief summary of the HoB’s statement in an email with a link to the whole thing, that I thought, the link will really lead to Susan Russell’s blog and she will say something like, “Wouldn’t that be nice,… Read more »

Scott Gunn
13 years ago

The ante is certainly raised. While the Akinolites have, until now, been dictating terms, this action will encourage +Rowan et al to consider the meaning of communion for themselves. What kind of church do they want? I for one am savoring the rejection of the notion that one must choose between Gospel invitation of all and participation in the Anglican Communion. That seems even more important than the symptomatic rejection of the primates’ demands. It will indeed be interesting to see if Rowan comes over to meet with the ECUSA HoB. That decision will speak volumes.

Andrew in Montreal
Andrew in Montreal
13 years ago

The key to the March 20 statement of the HoB comes in three words in the final sentence, “It is to that mission that we now determinedly turn.” those three words are: now, determinedly, turn. As a Canadian it’s clear that our two provinces in N. American (and perhaps Mexico as well) are turning a page and moving on to more important matters of mission and outreach, to be the hands, heart and feet of Christ in our broken world. Perhaps indeed Rowan Cantuar will make the voyage across the Niagara river (correct spelling) when he meets with our House… Read more »

Mary's Dowry
13 years ago

The House of Bishops have, certainly, engaged in the type of response that is appropriate. This involves passing Resolutions to collegially express its mind on the matter. The Primates at Tanzania specifically requested the position of the House of Bishops in The Episcopal Church USA. The Primates can now assess this response for themselves and determine what this means for continued fellowship among the various Provinces. The second thing the Bishops have done is to include in these Resolutions a recommendation to the Executive Council. This is also appropriate since the Executive Council have actual authority in The Episcopal Church… Read more »

John
John
13 years ago

I don’t beleive the two sides of the GLBT issue desire reconciliation… nor can acheive it based on the arguments I read and hear. To say then that any plan to accept alternative oversight is an affront to the real work of reconciliation is simply not realistic or is very political. On the other hand I applaud the HoB for reaching back toward “The Communion” with a stated spirit of desire to continue in communion or at least towards a redefinition of relationship and communion.

Kurt
Kurt
13 years ago

It’s about time our Episcopal leaders got some spine! Good for them! If the Calvinists want a split, let it begin here!

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

Dear ++Rowan: We’ve had over three years of thesis. Now it’s time for a bit of antithesis. As a Hegelian, I’m sure you’ll understand.

David H.
13 years ago

Andrew asked, “Will Cantuar then declare TEC out of Communion with him, or will he somehow find a way to finesse this? Will Canada and Scotland and South Africa be next? Has the execrable Akinola won?” No, if that’s what happens (and it’s just fine with me), then we “win.” To be exiled with Canada, Scotland, Southern Africa, and presumably other provinces like New Zealand, Wales, etc… + the mainstream, non-evangelical parts of the CoE would be a blessing. And what wonderful company we’d all be keeping ! 🙂 Let ++Akinola, +Duncan, +Nazir-Ali, and that crowd have Cantuar for all… Read more »

Steven
Steven
13 years ago

Ruth Gledhill’s comments are interesting (and recommended reading–I’m surprised TA hasn’t already linked to her). My read is: (1) the HOB’s blathering (my term) about the need and virtues of unity ultimately was merely a cover for putting an enforced (and to my mind opressive) “unity” within TEC above communion unity; and (2) TEC is ultimately being asked to do something akin to the “flying bishop” scheme used in England. If merry ol’ England can cope, why not TEC? Consequently, the latest TEC reaction is more of the same ol’ TEC “in your face” pride and arrogance. Further, the unwillingness… Read more »

Richard Helmer
13 years ago

Andrew,

Remember the message of our beloved Gospel:

Sometimes, in order to win, we must lose.

Strength is found in weakness.

Power is found in gentleness.

Charles William Allen
Charles William Allen
13 years ago

“Glad to see the TEC HoB still have functioning balls and spines, brains and hearts— all working in a wonderful Pauline synchrony….”

The fact that some of our Bishops do NOT have balls may account for this encouraging stand.

Cynthia
Cynthia
13 years ago

“the Niagara river (correct spelling)” Thanks. When I graduated from high school, my favorite teacher gave me a little book as a graduation present: “Twenty Minutes a Day to Perfect Spelling.” Obviously, it didn’t take. My dad’s family was from western NY, and one summer we went to Niagara Falls, finding the Canadian side so much prettier than the American way back then – so I should have remembered how to spell it. I think you are right about Canada, US and Mexico seeming to have more in common with each other than with some parts of the rest of… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
13 years ago

Give me a break Steven, I did have to stop for lunch 🙂

http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2007/03/tec_rejects_for.html

badman
badman
13 years ago

Steven suggests that “TEC is ultimately being asked to do something akin to the “flying bishop” scheme used in England. If merry ol’ England can cope, why not TEC?” There is no comparison between the English flying bishop scheme, or the Presiding Bishop’s original Primatial Vicar proposal (which was shot down by the secessionists within the day, as I recall), and the Tanzania scheme – which, let us not forget, was NOT cast in the terms of an ultimatum – the ultimatum was limited to the same sex policy issues. The Tanzanian scheme was unique in imposing government by foreign… Read more »

Sinner
Sinner
13 years ago

The Global South – and US “reasserters” – have already accepted this statement as answering an immediate and final “no!” to the demands of the Primates meeting. I can’t expect anyone belives that after this, ECUSA would in any way shape or form sign on to any of the moratoria demanded by the communion. We can be absolutely clear, this is the statement that will lead inexorably to ECUSA being thrown out of the communion. Canada, Scotland, Southern Africa, and presumably other provinces like New Zealand, Wales… Don’t believe it for a moment. Canada – perhaps – may leave. New… Read more »

stephen bates
stephen bates
13 years ago

Ruth: “This is what you get if you have a scientist running a church”. Eh? What on earth is it you’re on today?

Steven
Steven
13 years ago

Simon: No slight intended. Badman: There is no counter-offer set forth or implied in the response of the HOB. TEC has already been told that its initial proposal was a non-starter. So far, we have had an initial offer from the TEC that was rejected with a counter-offer on the table. This has now been rejected by the HOB, but without any counter-offer that might bring the parties closer to an ultimate agreement. Instead there is merely a reference back to an earlier offer that has already been rejected as insufficient. Thus, at this point, TEC has created an impasse.… Read more »

badman
badman
13 years ago

Steven, the earlier offers were not rejected as insufficient by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Panel of Reference, or the Primates Meeting. Quite the contrary. I suppose the Primates were entitled to see if TEC could offer something stronger in order to placate their internal enemies. It can’t, and the Windsor bishops seem to be at one with the rest of the HoB majority on that. I don’t think the Primates Meeting as a whole will think that unreasonable.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

And what ‘space’ do the ‘orthodox’ give to gay and lesbian people, Steven?

None, unless one accepts their theology.

This is excellent news, as was the rejection of Lawrence, who should not be a priest in a church he clearly dislikes so much, let alone a Bishop!

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Well, it appears dear Ruth was actually right saying “This is what you get if you have a scientist running a church”… Look at this: “There are some kinds of fish and other aquatic animals that actually have bipartite eyes – they see at the same time both above and below the surface of the water, and their brains figure out how to interpret those quite different images and make a coherent whole. As a body, we are wrestling with a collection of images – perhaps even more like the eye of a social insect, with multiple facets – but… Read more »

Steven
Steven
13 years ago

Badman: I don’t have a clue how the Windsor bishops voted, perhaps you have some sources you can cite on this. However, I don’t agree that “no movement” by the TEC is in some sense (apparently by conveying a definitive NO! to the most recent proposal) progress towards an agreement. As an attorney I have been involved in negotiations of one type or another most of my professional life. The ball is in TEC’s court. It needs to step forward with something that moves the parties closer together. Merseymike: C’mon, you can do better than this kind of trite repetition… Read more »

David
David
13 years ago

Just blowing in from another world. You guys certainly hate the Orthodox (Steven excepted). In my part of the world, down under as you would say, the TEC wouldn’t get too many votes from my Anglican friends, remembering Sydney Diocese has half the Church going Anglicans in Australia, with large numbers of evangelicals and anglo catholics in all other dioceses. The split is inevitable and sooner it occurs and allows people to get on serving the Lord Jesus without all the distractions of the gay debate, the better. In 1843, 400+ evangelical ministers and elders walked out of the General… Read more »

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