Daily Archives: July 15, 2009

News Analysis: Pushback in HOB on Same Sex Blessings

The first sign that all was not well arose when Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas rose at the start of the C056 debate and cautioned the house against offering aggressive amendments. “Sometimes it takes very little” to “move us from agreement to division,” he observed. He asked the bishops to practice a “generous orthodoxy” to the conservative minority who might be troubled by same-sex blessings.

After twenty five minutes of debate, with only the acting Bishop of the Rio Grande, the Rt. Rev. William Frey, rising to speak in opposition, Bishop Clifton Daniel of East Carolina told the house the lack of input from the conservative side made him uneasy. The “silence is ominous,” he observed, adding “I need your voice to inform my conversation.” Bishop Peter Beckwith of Springfield responded by asking “Why waste time? Why waste my time? Why waste your time?”

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori prologued debate to the afternoon, and the afternoon’s debate was then postponed to Wednesday. Suggestions that delay could be postponed such that the convention would not be able to take up the resolution sparked outrage from Bishop Marc Andrus of California.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Telegraph: Anglican schism means Archbishop Rowan must act

So the Anglican Communion has finally split.

Having written countless times that the Church was “teetering on the brink of schism last night”, the American Church has gone over the edge.

No more hanging around, it’s jumped.

When I saw Rowan Williams on Saturday, he said that he was hopeful that they would continue to hold the line agreed by the Communion that practising homosexuals should not be consecrated as bishops.

He had been out to the General Convention, which is being held in Anaheim, California, and had come back reasonably optimistic.

In deciding to ignore the pleas for this policy to be upheld, the Americans have clearly shaken him warmly by the hand before stabbing him in the front.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Albert Mohler on General Convention 2009

Now, as the Episcopal Church met for its General Convention in Anaheim, California, the American denomination has, in effect, told the Anglican Communion that it will go its own way, whatever the cost. Adding insult to injury, the General Convention also expressed its “abiding commitment” to the worldwide body. Apparently, this commitment does not extend to keeping its promises.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Episcopal Church – no clear gospel to proclaim


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Convention Criticized for ”˜Choosing to Walk Apart’

The Rev. Ian Douglas, a member of the Anglican Consultative Council, and clergy deputy from Massachusetts, told The Living Church that there had been communications between the highest levels of the Episcopal Church and the Church of England over D025 over the past few days, noting that claims that the Episcopal Church was walking away from the Anglican Communion were untrue, as D025 was not crafted as a repeal of B033.

The Committee on World Missions received 13 resolutions concerning B033: six that “called for a full repeal” of the 2006 resolution, six that called for “a strengthening of the non-discriminations canons” and one resolution that stated “where we are as a church.” Fr. Douglas said D025 was an “invitation to dialogue, not a rebuke of the Anglican Communion’s instruments of communion.”


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Statement of Kendall Harmon on Resolution D025

The passage of Resolution D025 by the General Convention of 2009 is a repudiation of Holy Scripture as the church has received and understood it ecumenically in the East and West. It is also a clear rejection of the mutual responsibility and interdependence to which we are called as Anglicans. That it is also a snub to the Archbishop of Canterbury this week while General Synod is occurring in York only adds insult to injury.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the BBC, the New York Times and Integrity all see what is being done here. There are now some participants in the 76th General Convention who are trying to pretend that a yes to D025 is NOT a no to B033. Jesus’ statement about letting your yes be yes and your no be no is apt here. These types of attempted obfuscations are utterly unconvincing. The Bishop of Arizona rightly noted in his blog that D025 was “a defacto repudiation of” B033.

The presuppositions of Resolution D025 are revealing. For a whole series of recent General Conventions resolutions have been passed which are thought to be descriptive by some, but understood to be prescriptive by others. The 2007 Primates Communique spoke to this tendency when they stated “they deeply regret a lack of clarity”on the part of the 75th General Convention.

What is particularly noteworthy, however, is that Episcopal Church Resolutions and claimed stances said to be descriptive at one time are more and more interpreted to be prescriptive thereafter. Now, in Resolution D025, the descriptive and the prescriptive have merged. You could hear this clearly in the floor debates in the two Houses where speakers insisted “This is who we are!”

Those involved in pastoral care know that when a relationship is deeply frayed when one or other party insists “this is who I am” the outcome will be disastrous. The same will be the case with D025, both inside the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

D025 is the proud assertion of a church of self-authentication and radical autonomy.

It is a particularly ugly sight.

–The Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon is Canon Theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Living Church: Bishops Weigh Authorizing Local Same-Sex Blessing Rites

The Suffragan Bishop of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. John Rabb offered an amendment that was originally offered as a minority committee report by the Bishop of Alabama, the Rt. Rev. Henry Parsley. The Parsley amendment sought to alter language that offered blanket permission for a “generous pastoral response” to same-sex couples, to one confining it to states that had adopted same-sex marriage or civil union laws.

The Rt. Rev. Otis Charles, retired Bishop of Utah, objected to the amendment, saying it was an “attempt to narrow and limit” pastoral care along state boundaries. The Bishop of San Diego concurred, noting that the amendment would relate pastoral generosity to geography.

Bishop James Adams of Western Kansas asked Bishop Smith of Missouri if pastoral generosity included liturgical blessings. Bishop Smith replied that the committee had considered adding a specific provision for liturgies, but believed it best not to enumerate the forms pastoral generosity might take so that “liturgies could be included” without being named.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

ENS Deputies reject litigation resolution, approve ecumenical agreement and communications study

Deputies defeated a resolution addressing the disclosure of the costs of Episcopal Church property litigation.

The House of Bishops had asked deputies to concur with their recommendation to refer the resolution to the Standing Commission on Stewardship and Development. The resolution had called for revealing the dollar amount the church spent “on litigation against dioceses, parishes, groups of churches and individuals since General Convention 2006” as well as information about where the funds came from, the money budgeted for litigation in the next triennium and “an estimate of the amount of property value retained and expected to be retained” by the church “because of pending and completed litigation as of General Convention 2009.”

“We all need to know about the litigation going on in our church,” said the Rev. Ellen Neufeld (Albany). “I speak very strongly in favor of this resolution so that information can be shared.”

Deputies debated various options, including referring it to the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance or substituting previous wording to direct the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council to release the litigation information.

Thomas Fitzhugh III (Texas) said he was concerned that the resolution could put the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council “in a bad spot” because divulging information about ongoing litigation would reveal strategy to the other side. “Let’s just kill it. This is nothing but an effort by people who try to steal our property” to find out how much the church has spent. “If they didn’t try to walk off with it, we wouldn’t have this motion.”


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

ENS–Resolution D025 draws mixed responses


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Lydia Evans–You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

In addition, the 1979 General Convention had adopted A053, a resolution which, in part, affirmed “the traditional teaching of the Church on marriage, marital fidelity, and sexual chastity as the standing of Christian sexual morality . . . Therefore, we believe it not appropriate for this Church to ordain a practicing homosexual, or any person who is engaged in heterosexual relations outside marriage.”

In response to Spong’s 1989 ordination of a practicing homosexual, the Presiding Bishop and his Council of Advice repudiated the action, maintaining that, “short of action by the General Convention, [A053] is the stated and authoritative position of the church at this time.” Read the Righter Presentment and the 1990 statement of Edmund Browning here.

How have we reached this point? In Fundamentals of the Faith, Peter Kreeft noted that “it is more convenient and comfortable to have a foggy faith because in a fog you can never be sure you have lost your way.”
Not to mix metaphors, but, at this point, I’m afraid the Episcopal Church couldn’t find her way out of a paper bag.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Steve Wood–General Convention Day 9

But that wasn’t all. The House of Deputies rejected a resolution affirming Christ in a multi-faith society. Are you really surprised? I’ve reprinted it below:

Resolved, the House of Bishops’ concurring, That this 76th General Convention of this church affirm the conclusion of the Church of England at its February General Synod and direct the House of Bishops’ Committee on Theology to report back to the 77th General Convention on “their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in the United States multi-faith society, and offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and of none.”

Indicative of our support and appreciation for the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury at this General Convention and his leadership of the Church of England in Christian witness within the multi-faith culture of the United Kingdom, this resolution affirms that the Episcopal Church is in substantial agreement with the Church of England General Synod which directed its House of Bishops at their February 2009 meeting to report back on “their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in Britain’s multi-faith society, and offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and of none.”

Supporting document “General Synod 2/11/09”³ is posted and available in hard copy in the General Convention Secretariat until the end of the 76th General Convention.

Oh yeah, there was this too ”“ after a week and a half of listening to our Presiding Bishop speak about openness and transparency the House of Deputies defeated a simple resolution asking the National Church Office to both disclose the amount of money spent by their office suing orthodox/conservative parishes over property ownership (literally, tens of MILLIONS of dollars) and the source/account from where the money is drawn. So much for integrity.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Reuters: Episcopal vote on gay clergy widens Anglican split


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

NPR: What Will Follow Episcopal Vote For [noncelibate] Gay Clergy?


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

LA Times: Episcopal leaders vote to lift ban on gay bishops

On Tuesday, an elated [Gene] Robinson celebrated the lopsided vote in the church’s two legislative bodies — the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, composed of clergy and laity.

“I’m simply delighted at the possibility that another diocese will recognize the gifts of a gay or lesbian clergy person,” he said. “I long for the day when someone who shares my experience as an openly gay bishop joins me in the House of Bishops. It has been lonely.”

But a bishop who left the church last year predicted that the decisions made in Anaheim would increase strains with disaffected conservatives.

“Clearly the activists have done a good job promoting their agenda,” said the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, a founding bishop of the newly formed Anglican Church in North America, which hopes to gain recognition from the Anglican Communion as a rival province to the Episcopal Church.

“The generosity shown by the rest of the communion has been astonishing and has been thrown back in their face,” Minns said. “There will have to be a renegotiation of how the Episcopal Church fits into the family.”


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Testing again

Posted in * Admin