Thinking Anglicans

ECUSA HoB: more information and views

Here is a report, from The Living Church via titusonenine Special Meeting of Bishops Only a Beginning which includes the following:

In requesting a point of personal privilege to announce that he would be moving to the adjacent hallway to collect signatures for a statement pledging full support for the recommendations of the Windsor Report, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., Bishop of South Carolina, closed out the special House of Bishops meeting in Salt Lake City Jan. 12-13 in much the way it began: with two somewhat different agendas in evidence.

Bishop Salmon – who emphasized that he will continue to attend future House of Bishops meetings and, while there, reveal his intentions forthrightly to his colleagues – did not stay to vote for the final version of “A Word to the Church From the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.”
Before the bishops had returned to their respective dioceses, Bishop Salmon had the signatures of 20 colleagues on “A Statement of Acceptance of and Submission to the Windsor Report 2004.”

“I don’t think we are going to get anywhere if we don’t take the Windsor Report seriously,” Bishop Salmon said. “The response of the House of Bishops did not rise to the level expected by the Communion. We heard a call for submission, and we who are unequivocally prepared to submit have responded accordingly.”

First, ENS has published a report of the Utah meeting: Bishops sign supplemental statement following ‘Word to the Church’. This includes an interview with Bishop Edward Salmon of the Diocese of South Carolina:

Yet the group of 21 bishops agreed that the response “didn’t go far enough, and that the Windsor Report asked us to deal with three issues directly,” South Carolina Bishop Edward L. Salmon Jr. told ENS in a January 19 telephone interview. He said the supplemental statement — which was neither received nor regarded by the House of Bishops as a minority report — was not intended as an “in-your-face response” but rather as an honest assessment of views shared by the signatories. “What we wanted people to hear is that the bishops who signed this statement were willing to respond to the requests of the Windsor Report.”

Salmon said the bishops engaged in “some very frank discussion” with each other during the meeting, which spanned 11 hours and was closed to visitors and the media. The South Carolina bishop, whose regular attendance and participation at House of Bishops meetings throughout the 15 years of his episcopate has been praised by his peers, emphasized the importance of clear conversation around issues: “I don’t think people can do business without frank discussion… I don’t think we’re ever going to get anywhere if we’re not willing to talk to each other seriously.”

Salmon said the group of 21 would have preferred the House of Bishops “to respond at the front end” of its recent meeting on matters of moratoria on ordaining additional openly gay bishops, and on blessing same-sex unions. He said that deferring this conversation to the House of Bishops’ upcoming March meeting “sends a message” to the Communion, and asked “what does that behavior mean?”

The majority of bishops voted, however, to wait for the Primates’ response before addressing the moratoria issues, and acknowledged that far-reaching decisions must be put not only to the House of Bishops, but also to the full General Convention. “Obviously, we’re not in agreement,” Salmon said.

Second, there is a report in the Denver Post of remarks by Bishop Rob O’Neill of the Diocese of Colorado: Episcopal cleric lauds apology from bishops:

In a pastoral letter this week to Colorado’s 35,000 Episcopalians, Bishop Rob O’Neill endorses what he called a “heartfelt and sincere” apology from U.S. bishops for failing to consider the global ramifications of elevating a gay bishop.

… “It is evident that the House (of Bishops) as a whole highly values the relationship of the Episcopal Church to the worldwide Anglican Communion, (and) wishes to remain within its fellowship,” O’Neill wrote.

He said in an interview he believes the apology represents “significant progress.”

But conservatives have criticized it as not going far enough.

The Rev. Ephraim Radner of Pueblo, a traditionalist, said the bishops’ meeting in Salt Lake largely put off tougher decisions, and he expressed skepticism about holding the U.S. church and the wider communion together.

Third, there has been further, lengthy criticism of the HoB statement by Andrew Goddard on the ACI website: Fruits of Repentance. In relation to the wording of the apology offered, the issue appears to be the failure of the HoB to quote WR verbatim, i.e. by not including these exact words:

“[to express its regret that] the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached

What the bishops actually said was:

“we as the House of Bishops express our sincere regret for the pain, the hurt, and the damage caused to our Anglican bonds of affection by certain actions of our church”

A fragment of Goddard’s argument:

But is that not what the Windsor Report sought? Certainly, it is part of what it sought and that is perhaps a sign of hope. However, the gulf between the Pastoral Letter’s construal of regret and repentance and that of the Report is clear when examining the words of the key para 134, cited and accepted in the minority report. In addition to regret for consequences – which is present in the Pastoral Letter – the Report asks ECUSA “to express its regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached in the events surrounding the election and consecration of a bishop for the see of New Hampshire” (italics added). In that key phrase lies the fault-line between the vision of the Communion implicit in the Pastoral Letter and that found explicitly in the minority report and the Windsor Report.

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Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
19 years ago

A man walks out on his wife. When he hears that (surprise, surprise) she does not respond positively to this move of his, he expresses regret for her emotional state. As opposed to regret for his actions. I’m sure he regrets her emotional state. He’d prefer to be able to do whatever he wants (like many a modern husband) without anyone speaking the truth about what he has actually done. That would be so much more convenient. The puzzle is why he needs to express such regret in the first place. He must know (a) that everyone already knows that… Read more »

David Huff
19 years ago

Well Dr. Shell, it depends. You haven’t explained why this hypothetical husband has walked out or any of the extenuating circumstances surrounding the event. Was he cheating on her ? her on him ? was she emotionally or physically abusive ? There are hundreds of possible situations. If you could flesh out this story a bit, then maybe we could decide if it’s a good analogy for what’s going on in the ECUSA or not 🙂 But as it stands now, this seems to be more like an attempt to distract via an “appeal to pity” or some other non-relevant… Read more »

19 years ago

Perhaps a different scenario will demonstrate my thoughts on the subject… There was a slave owner who, after much thought and prayer, decided that those slaves were actually human beings made in God’s image. With this realization, he could no longer own them as slaves, and freed them. His neighbors were appalled, saying that this goes against everything that they had been taught, that they had taught, and besides, there was scriptural authority for their point of view. The difficulty with the cheating husband thought is that there is a presupposition that he is wrong by definition. I do not… Read more »

19 years ago

David, you can play word games. You can twist the meaning and ask for clarification and qualification til the cows come home. The reality is though that the emperor has no clothes on. Everyone can see that – including I preseume you. The time for clever arguments and splitting hairs passed months ago. To any reasonable person, the analogy stands exactly as it is and needs nothing more.

David Huff
19 years ago

Pete, Yes, thanks – that one works a *lot* better for me 🙂

Neil wrote: “To any reasonable person, the analogy stands exactly as it is and needs nothing more.”

Uh, no. You may not agree with me, but I absolutely *insist* that you acknowledge the sincerity with which people on my “side” of this issue hold our views. To imply otherwise is a textbook example of the Fallacy of Prejudicial Language, and is, frankly, quite insulting and dismissive.

Interested readers might have a look at for more details.

J. C. Fisher
19 years ago

My thanks to you also, Pete. We LGBTs spend so much time having to explain why we’re *not* “just like” adulterers, pedophiles, drunks, polygamists and other miscellaneous *abusers*, that we rarely have the energy left to come up with analogies that get to the truth of the matter.

(self-therapeutic sarcasm-mode: ON!)
[Now, I gotta get back to paving the road to hell w/ good intentions, leading the Church down the slippery slope, and getting my foot in the door: the Unrepentant Sinner taking over, throwing out the Bible and crucifying the orthodox! _Such a busy life I lead_ };-) ]

David Huff
19 years ago

JCF wrote: “Now, I gotta get back to paving the road to hell w/ good intentions, leading the Church down the slippery slope,…”

Aha! I *knew* it! It’s the awful, the terrifying…GAY AGENDA! “”:

Quick! cover the children’s eyes! ;->

Dr Christopher Shell
Dr Christopher Shell
19 years ago

We always prefer communication to pre-emptive action within a marriage or any other relationship.

Show me a marriage partner that takes pre-emptive action, and I will show you someone who ultimately wants to be in control.

Pete’s analogy doesnt work to this extent: master-slave is a relationship of unequals, whereas the two parties in this dispute are equal (as in a marriage), just as the authorities they defer to are already obliged to treat both equally and fairly.

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