The Bishop of Upper South Carolina: General Convention 2009””Bishop's Report No. 4

“B033, D025, C056 & the Anaheim Letter: Contradictory or Complementary?” Beloved, with this report I urge us-again-to read carefully the two resolutions which are-appropriately-drawing so much attention from various sources in and beyond The Episcopal Church. My reference is to D025, entitled “Anglican Communion: Commitment and Witness to Anglican Communion”, and C056, entitled “Liturgies for Blessings”. Media accounts (both secular and ecclesiastical) of these two resolutions are generally too brief in their coverage to convey accurately and completely the thought, prayer and dialogue which contributed to their final form-or the actual content of the final wording in the resolutions. (For example, the title of C056, which implies that liturgies are authorized in the resolution, simply states the subject of the resolution, the provisions of which do not authorize such blessings-again, read carefully!).

The Presiding Bishop communicated directly to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to all of the other Primates of the Anglican Communion immediately following the passage of these resolutions-while our General Convention was still in session. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who was present during part of our convention, has written about these resolutions in a document dated 27 July 2009. I refer you to these documents, together with the two resolutions in question, for reading, re-reading, and careful study. They may be found on-line by following the links in this report. Copies of Resolutions B033, D025, and C056 also appear below, immediately following this report. (For those desiring paper copies, please speak to your priest or request them from our Communications Officer, Dr. Peggy Hill: 803-771-7800, ext. 18.)

I voted “yes” on both D025 and C056. Yet, I also signed, with a significant number of other bishops, the so-called “Anaheim letter” which Archbishop Williams describes as expressing the “intention to remain with the consensus of the Communion”. I consider the two resolutions and the Anaheim letter “as a package”, so to speak; their provisions are not in conflict-rather, in complement they create a larger view: where we are, and where we want to be.

The two resolutions describe the present thinking of many in The Episcopal Church. With regard to D025, my decision was significantly shaped by the fact that the General Convention deliberately chose to reject through several actions any effort to repeal, rescind, or amend B033. (B033 was the resolution, of which I was the sponsor and one of the co-authors, through which the General Convention 2006 responded to the call by the Windsor Commission for a moratorium on the ordination of bishops in committed same-gender relationships). From this context, I view D025 as a factual expression of where we in The Episcopal Church presently find ourselves; it is descriptive in nature-thus my vote “yes” on the matter.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

26 comments on “The Bishop of Upper South Carolina: General Convention 2009””Bishop's Report No. 4

  1. Fr. Dale says:

    [blockquote]So long as we can keep this call to newness and revival at the center of our midst, whatever votes we make can be seen-and perhaps honored-as attempts to move from where we are presently to where God is calling us to be.[/blockquote]
    Let’s redefine the word “revival” too, shall we? This letter is pure [garbage].

    [Slightly edited by Elf]

  2. magnolia says:

    well, there is the answer to all those who questioned why someone would vote yes to both resolutions and then sign the anaheim statement.

  3. Jeffersonian says:

    Letter double-plus good, bishop bellyfeel Angsoc blackwhite doublethink. Not like ungood Goldstein thoughtcriminal unpersons. Minitru need send unperson joycamp.

  4. Phil says:

    Let your yes be yes and your no be no. This is cowardly doublespeak.

  5. DonGander says:

    “…where we are, and where we want to be.”

    There you have it, folks! Eve said that very thing to her husband as she handed him the fruit.


  6. Jeremy Bonner says:

    What a contrast with the Bishop of Rhode Island, who voted no for the sake of the Communion on two resolutions with which – I assume – she in principle agrees, and yet did not sign the Anaheim Statement.

  7. Pb says:

    It’s all about us.

  8. moheb says:

    Phil (4):
    Nowadays, as we discern New Things, it is read as: “Let your yes be no and your no be yes”.

  9. New Reformation Advocate says:

    It’s hard to know whether this kind of nonsense coming from a bishop is more silly than pathetic, or vice versa. Either way, it’s not good.

    I think it was a tactical mistake for +Lillibridge and the CP bishops who drafted the Anahaim Declaration to let dishonest guys like +Henderson sign it. But I don’t think many Anglican leaders around the world are going to be fooled by this sort of charade.

    Jeremy (#6),
    I agree that +Geralyn Wolf has more integrity. But personally, I’m disappointed that she didn’t sign the statement in Anaheim, and still hasn’t.

    David Handy+

  10. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) says:

    This sort of twisted logic is why attorneys have such a bad name. At the end of the day, sometimes you just want to get in the author’s face and shout “Stand for something. Stand for anything. The worst Bolshevik economics theory would be better than this gobbledegook.”

  11. Fr. Dale says:

    [blockquote]I agree that +Geralyn Wolf has more integrity. But personally, I’m disappointed that she didn’t sign the statement in Anaheim, and still hasn’t.[/blockquote]
    I can see why she had the wisdom not to sign it. It is poorly conceived and drafted. The “yes” Bishops can sign it and still sleep at night. Personally, there is nothing in the Anaheim statement that KJS or VGR could not sign onto.

  12. tjmcmahon says:

    NRA- Frankly, had I been a bishop, once I saw who had signed it, I would have refused or required my name to be removed. The letter is nullified by the fact that so many of the signers were duplicitous.

  13. Fr. Dale says:

    Matthew A,
    “gobbledygook”[ that was the word I was trying to think of when I used a word that was kindly edited by Elf. We seem to be on the same page most of the time only your comments are more clever and humorous.

  14. young joe from old oc says:

    I shall have my cake, and yours as well, actually, and eat it too. And you will get nothing and like it. Oh, and pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain – I and the rest of your noble bishops and deputies are the truly great and powerful ones. And remember, we are an advanced church where the spirit is always doing the newest thing, so if your are unable to see our beautiful new attire, and it appears to you as if we are wearing only our underwear, it is simply that your consciousness has not yet been raised to our level. Just be open-minded and welcoming – it’s all good.

    And I am shocked, shocked that anyone would question our intentions or have any doubts about our credibility.

  15. WestJ says:

    What a waste of ink. I pray for those in the upper diocese.

  16. Daniel Muth says:

    I think it quite illuminating that both +Henderson and the good Bishop of Nevada – who likewise voted for both D025 and C056 and then signed the AS – are trained as lawyers. In both cases, the tendency is to focus on the precise wording of each resolution and note that, if read closely, neither undoes B033. But of course, everybody acknowledges this. And most of us recognize that it doesn’t mean diddly-dip. B033 was considered to enact a moratorium only when interpreted as a *gesture* that went well beyond its actual wording. Either D025 or C056 on its own would have the effect of undoing any possibility of continuing to read into B033 the considerable non-literal heft it acquired based on the promises made in New Orleans. Together, they utterly decimate what B033 had become, rendering it once again ought but the fluff of non-binding verbiage it perhaps always was. Our poor lawyer-bishops seem not to be capable of understanding that statements are more than words (Bolt’s rendition of Thomas More demonstrates the strength of this approach; +Henderson its weakness); that they can acquire significance after the fact that belies what is specifically stated and can, without being changed on paper one whit, lose that significance. Such has been the fate of B033. It simply doesn’t matter at all whether it remains in effect. It no longer means what it did a month ago (and yes, I’m aware that many in this space never accorded it such weight of meaning – that’s beside the point). Odd that bishops of what once was a recognizably Catholic Church would be so clueless regarding the meaning of gestures.

  17. Creighton+ says:


    It is because you voted yes and also signed the Anaheim Statement that it means nothing. If you cannot see the contradiction found in your actions, then I pray our Lord will open your eyes to see the facts as they are and not as you wish to see them.

    I am sure you have the best of intentions but we all know what they say about good intention.

  18. Ken Peck says:

    3. Jeffersonian wrote:
    Letter double-plus good, bishop bellyfeel Angsoc blackwhite doublethink. Not like ungood Goldstein thoughtcriminal unpersons. Minitru need send unperson joycamp.[/blockquote]
    Excellent! Jefferson beat me to it. This bishop is pure doublethink. There has been so much of this sort of [garbage] coming out TEC that I was inspired to reread [i]Nineteen Eighty-Four[/i] again. TEC (and CoE) is run by the same people who run Oceana. They appear to be so thoroughly brainwashed as to actually think what they say makes any sense at all.

    For more on the corruption of language and thought, see three works by C. S. Lewis: [i]The Abolition of Man[/i], [i]That Hideous Strength[/i] and [i]The Last Battle[/i].

    We will soon see what D025 and the “Anaheim Letter” actually mean when one or more gay/lesbian clerics are elected bishop and wolves like Henderson actually have to say “Yea” or be counted as “Nay”.

    As far as C056, we already know what that means, as the “generous pastoral response” with “developing rites” and actual implemented rites have been going on for years with the tacit, if not explicit, permission of the wolves.

    My recommendations to the Christians still left in TEC and determined to remain in the role of true prophets guided by the Holy Spirit is

    1. At the next vestry meeting, adopt a resolution signing on to the Anglican Covenant draft.

    2. At the next parish meeting, elect Christians to the vestry and as delegates to the Diocesan Convention/Council.

    3. At the next parish meeting, adopt a resolution to the Diocesan Convention/Council urging that the Diocese sign on to the draft Anglican Covenant.

    4. At the next Diocesan Convention/Council adopt the draft Anglican Covenant and elect Christians to the Standing Committee.

    5. At the next Diocesan Convention/Council where it comes up, elect Christians to the Province and General Convention.

    6. At the next Diocesan Convention where it comes up, elect Christian priests as bishop, even if it involves rejecting the entire slate of nominees coming from the diocesan machine.

    7. If in the calling process, call a Christian to be your rector, even if it means rejecting the candidates recommended by the bishop and the TEC machine.

    [Edited by Elf]

  19. Larry Morse says:

    This continues to baffle me. He must be aware that there is a two-facedness here that most readers will see immediately. He cannot suppose – can he? – that this essay is straightforward, rational, ckear, unexceptional in tone and substance. If he can begin to grasp what the real public face if this essay is, how can he submit it? If he cannot grasp it… well, how can such literary and intellectual obtuseness get to be a bishop? He is obviously not stupid, but he seems oblivious to his public face? Us that it, that somehow, being agenda driven has simply made him oblivious, opaque, so self-satisfied he cannot see past it? Larry

  20. A Floridian says:

    [Comment deleted by Elf – would commenters please try to address issues and not ad hominem characterisations]

  21. Viator2 says:

    #19 Larry Morse–
    My guess is that it is very likely denial which causes an intelligent man such as Bishop Henderson to fall into such contradictory thinking and writing. He is, of course, trying to please two widely divergent audiences: the P.B. and TEC leadership (including colleagues in the HOB who are progressives) and those in his more conservative diocese. Hence, he makes contradictory statements and takes contradictory actions in order to please two differing groups.

    Since denial is not a conscious decision to ignore one’s contradictory or deceptive behavior, but rather an unconscious process, if it is, in fact, denial that causes Bishop Henderson to do what he has done, then pity is in order. However, if his actions are not the result of denial, but of conscious decision making, then deceit and deception are the right words to describe his actions

  22. Larry Morse says:

    [Comment deleted by Elf – please observe the request in our comment above]

  23. rwkachur says:

    The beauty for +Henderson is that the last GC proved TEC to be so lopsidedly revisionist that when LA or Milwaukee does put the challenge on the table he can just wait for the revisionist majority to vote and once the total reaches 50%+1 he doesn’t have to vote. He can claim it wasn’t necessary. He will be seated comfortably with his cake and eating it too.

  24. A Floridian says:

    [Comment deleted by Elf – please do not ignore our requests]

  25. Larry Morse says:

    OK elves, but I do not understand your deletion. I THOUGHT I was speaking about the effect that radical inclusivity had upon standards and religion, which by its very nature is exclusive. I was not addressing in any negative way #21. Far from it. The issue of the effect that inclusivity has upon the ability to establish and maintain standards seems to me important. My point was that the bishop’s essay was incoherent because he was driven by TEC’s passion for inclusivity which inevitably excludes all standards save this one. This is not an ad hominem attack. Larry

  26. magnolia says:

    i’m not trying to be a snot about this but i have seen several people post the phrase ‘have your cake and eat it too’ on many differing subjects. i think you actually can have your cake and eat it too can you not?
    what you cannot do is ‘eat your cake and have it too’. please correct me if i am wrong here….