Thinking Anglicans

House of Bishops responds to Communion Partners

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church adopted the following statement unanimously, in response to the statement of dissent reported earlier.

Mind of the House of Bishops Statement: ‘Communion Across Difference’

We the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church wish to express our love and appreciation to our colleagues who identify as Communion Partners and those bishops who have affinity with the Communion Partners’ position as stated in their “Communion Partners Salt Lake City Statement.” Our time together in Salt Lake City, in conversation and in prayer, has demonstrated how profoundly the love of God in Jesus binds us together and empowers us for service to God’s mission. As we have waited upon the leading of the Holy Spirit in our deliberations, we have been reminded that the House of Bishops is richly gifted with many voices and perspectives on matters of theological, liturgical, and pastoral significance. This has been shown in our discernment with respect to doctrinal matters relative to Christian marriage. We thank God for the rich variety of voices in our House, in our dioceses, in The Episcopal Church, and in the Anglican Communion, that reflect the wideness of God’s mercy and presence in the Church and in the world.

We give particular thanks for the steadfast witness of our colleagues in the Communion Partners. We value and rely on their commitment to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. We recognize that theirs is a minority voice in the House of Bishops in our deliberations with respect to Christian marriage; and we affirm that despite our differences they are an indispensable part of who we are as the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church. Our church needs their witness. Further, we appreciate that each of us will return to dioceses where there will be a variety of responses to Resolutions A054 and A036. The equanimity, generosity, and graciousness with which the Communion Partners have shared their views on Christian marriage and remain in relationship is a model for us and for the lay and ordained leaders in our dioceses to follow. We thank God that in the fullness of the Holy Trinity we can and must remain together as the Body of Christ in our dioceses, in The Episcopal Church, and in our relationships with sisters and brothers in Christ in the Anglican Communion. The bonds created in baptism are indeed indissoluble and we pray that we have the confidence to rely upon the Holy Spirit who will continue to hold us all together as partners in communion through the love of God in Jesus.

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Father Ron Smith
8 years ago

As Violet Elizabeth Bott (Just William) used to enunciate, so clearly, with her endearing lisp: “LOVE IS ALL’ – triumphing over endemic prejudice. TEC’s General Convention once more leads the way in the Anglican Communion, to freedom from past injustices. Deo gratias!

8 years ago

Well that’s all very chum-chum-chummy, but if a “variety of responses to Resolutions A054 and A036” include slamming all of a diocese’s doors in a same-sex couple’s faces, will the HofB look out for those couples to the same extent they’re sending this love-letter to the Communion Partner bishops? Nine years on from the 2006 GC, LGBTs will NOT accept any more “crucified places” in the Episcopal Church!

James Byron
James Byron
8 years ago

Well said, JCF, and thanks for bringing up that quote (one of several reasons I wasn’t an unqualified fan of the outgoing presiding bishop, although she was better than many). If this is just emollient PR, I can stomach it, but there had better be provision for all same-sex couples, without requiring them to cross state lines. I am pragmatic. I know this change is progressive, and TEC is a lot further along than most provinces. That doesn’t, however, take the sting from discrimination, or make it any less wrong. Justice isn’t relative. Hopefully, in three years, the bishops’ discretion… Read more »

Scot Peterson
8 years ago

Is there something slightly ironic in addressing them as ‘our colleagues who identify as Communion Partners’? (cf. ‘who identify as LGBT’…)

8 years ago

“Is there something slightly ironic in addressing them as ‘our colleagues who identify as Communion Partners’?”

Of course.

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