Thinking Anglicans

ECUSA bishops: additional response to Windsor Report

A group of 21 ECUSA bishops, so far, have signed a statement
Group of Bishops Issue “A Statement of Acceptance of and Submission to the Windsor Report 2004”
which is also reproduced in full below. [original link no longer working]

Press Release

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), meeting in Salt Lake City January 12-13, 2005, issued “A Word to the Church” regarding the Windsor Report 2004. While the letter referenced regret for the crisis resulting from decisions at General Conventions 2003, the House failed to address the Windsor Report’s call for moratoria on election/ordination of non-celibate homosexuals as well as the blessing of same sex unions, choosing instead to consider that issue at its March meeting.

Requesting a moment of personal privilege, Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) and Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, noted that “the Episcopal Church USA often uses “graceful” language but our behavior (“the politics of power”) contradicts the words.”

In light of the House of Bishops failure to issue a definitive statement on moratoria and to submit to the Windsor Report as asked by the Communion, a group of bishops have issued “A Statement of Acceptance of and Submission to the Windsor Report 2004.” Currently, 21 bishops have signed this statement and more signatures are expected in the future.

“The Primates meet in February to receive and respond to the Windsor Report, and they will consider a variety of ingredients in their deliberations,” said Bishop Edward Salmon, Diocese of South Carolina. “The response of the House of Bishops did not rise to level expected by the Communion. We heard a call for submission, and we who are unequivocally prepared to submit have responded accordingly.”

Bishop Duncan also cautioned the bishops assembled about the destructive nature of power politics. “The majority has the power to coerce the minority and even put us out, but in so doing, they ensure their destruction. We represent the vast majority of church planters, growing churches, missionaries, the Global South, and the largest seminary in the US (Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry).

A Statement of Acceptance of and Submission to the Windsor Report 2004
January 2005

We the undersigned Bishops:

(1) Accept the Windsor Report’s key idea of “autonomy-in-communion, that is, freedom held within interdependence”

(2) Pledge in the future to maintain the bonds of affection by only making decisions that are “fully compatible with the interests, standards, unity and good order” of the Anglican Communion

(3) Acknowledge that as a province we have “acted in ways incompatible with the Communion principle of interdependence, and our fellowship together has suffered immensely as a result”

(4) Seek for ECUSA to comply in full with the unanimous recommendations of The Windsor Report by:

a. Expressing its regret for its own role in breaching the proper constraints of the bonds of affection in the events surrounding the election and consecration of a bishop for the See of New Hampshire and for the consequences which followed

b. Calling on the Executive Council, and recommending to the next General Convention, that they express their own regret in these terms

c. Effecting “a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges”

d. Effecting a moratorium on all public Rites of Blessing of same sex unions and calling on those bishops who have authorized such rites to withdraw their authorization and express their regret that by such authorization they breached the proper constraints of the bonds of affection

e. Endeavoring to ensure commitment of all bishops to the common life of the Communion

(5) Reaffirm our commitment to engage with the Communion in our continuing study of the biblical and theological rationale for recent actions because “these potentially divisive issues… should not be resolved by the Episcopal Church on its own” (General Convention 1991 B020)

Signatures of Bishops (as of January 13, 2005):

Henry Scriven (Assistant, Pittsburgh)
David J. Bena (Suffragan Albany)
Gethin B. Hughes (San Diego)
Keith L. Ackerman (Quincy)
John W. Howe (Central Florida)
William J, Skilton (South Carolina) Correction SUFFRAGAN
Robert Duncan (Pittsburgh)
James Adams (Western Kansas)
Stephen H. Jecko (Assistant, Dallas)
Daniel W. Herzog (Albany)
James Stanton (Dallas)
Bertram Nelson Herlong (Tennessee)
Edward L. Salmon, Jr. (South Carolina)
Jack Iker (Fort Worth)
Don A. Wimberly (Texas)
James B. Folts (West Texas)
Gary R. Lillibridge (Coadjutor, West Texas)
John David M. Schofield (San Joaquin)
D. Bruce MacPherson (Western Louisiana)
William C. Frey (Colorado, retired)
Peter Beckwith (Springfield)

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Celinda Scott
Celinda Scott
19 years ago

Am late in reading about the “Statement
of Acceptance of and Submission to the Windsor Report 2004.” I was very happy to see it, and
wonder what others in ECUSA think. –Sincerely,
Celinda Scott

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x