The Bishop of Atlanta on General Convention 2009

Human sexuality – Several dozen resolutions on some aspect of human sexuality were submitted to the Convention by dioceses, parishes, and individuals across the church. The Convention, working through its legislative committees on World Mission and Prayer Book and Liturgy, combined most of these resolutions into two.

The first of these — Resolution D-025 — has been widely reported in the press. The press coverage has essentially said that the Episcopal Church has approved the ordination of gay and lesbian persons. Well, no, this Convention took no such action. What this resolution did was simply to reaffirm our own Canons. Back in 1994, the General Convention created a Canon that opened access to the ordination processes of the church — for all holy orders — to all baptized persons. This has been our canonical position for fifteen years and it is consistent with the baptismal theology of the Book of Common Prayer. Discernment for holy orders is serious business and should be. In the Episcopal Church we take such discernment with the utmost of seriousness. There is no “right” to ordination for anyone. Our Canons are clear that all baptized persons are to have access to discernment processes. Whether any persons actually gets ordained is a much more complicated set of questions. To summarize: the principal thing this resolution does is simply to affirm that when our church makes decisions on who can and cannot be ordained, we will discern those decisions in accordance with our Canons. The Canons on these matters have not changed since 1994.

Some will ask, does this ignore the request of the Windsor Report for a moratorium on the election and consent to gay or lesbian partnered priests to the episcopate? Some would say so; I don’t think so. I don’t find the moratorium concept at all helpful, but unless and until a diocese of the church elects a gay partnered person to the episcopate, and the church gives its consent, there is, practically speaking, a moratorium in effect. And again, the only thing this Convention has said is that when any such decision comes before the church, the decision will be made according to our own Canons. The Convention simply clarified that “state of the question” to those who have been asking. The Convention changed nothing.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

6 comments on “The Bishop of Atlanta on General Convention 2009

  1. Chris Taylor says:

    Translation: We have done nothing! And even if we had done something, it wouldn’t be anything that we haven’t already done. In three years we will further explore what we haven’t done and decide if we want to do what we haven’t done. Furthermore, if any of you wake up to what we’re not doing, it will be too late because it will be something that we have not been doing since 1994. And since we have already not been doing it since 1994, there’s no legitimate reason not to not do it more openly as it’s core to our baptismal covenant anyway. Remember, we will not have done it until we do it! Oh, and that other thing that we’re not doing, we’re not really doing that either. We’re just recognizing the tension that exists in some jurisdictions where what we’re not doing is legal and preparing resources for consideration at our next convention in the event that we ever decide to do formally what we haven’t been doing already for a long time now. We’re also inviting the whole Anglican Communion to join us in exploring what we’re not doing and we’re sure that many of them will be interested in exploring and studying what they have overwhelmingly and repeatedly rejected. This shows how much the Communion means to us and how much we mean to them. It’s all in the spirit of Ubunto too! You know, I in you, you in me. There is no thee or me anymore, you know, only us! So mine is yours and yours is mine and since mine is a little short, yours is ours. So, please don’t stop sending the money because there are some nasty folks who don’t like what we’re not doing and we need to sue them — which is very expensive. Now you can go back to sleep and rest assured that your souls are well cared for.

    The scale of dissimulation is amazing.

  2. tired says:

    No bishop can reasonably argue that B033 requires restraint, given the more recent D025 on topic. There is no moratorium, only misrepresentation such as this.


  3. IchabodKunkleberry says:

    The bishop’s logic and argument could be called jesuitical if it had more
    intelligence behind it.

  4. TLDillon says:

    Interestingly sad.

  5. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Only if it becomes logical.

  6. DaveG says:

    Logically, and following the Bishop’s thinking, B033 was completely unnecessary. Until and unless a partnered homosexual person subsequent to the Bp. of New Hampshire has been elected and consecrated, there was already, “practically speaking,” a moratorium in place.