Christian Science Monitor: Tension as Episcopal bishops meet

“What do you do with the hundreds of thousands of Episcopalians who say, ‘I can’t go there’?” asks the Rev. Russell Levenson, rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, the largest Episcopal church in the United States. “We have to find a way to allow both groups to live with their own convictions within the body of Christ.”

Depending on the bishops’ response, some foresee a “pulling apart” of many additional congregations, spurring divisive and costly battles over property.

On Thursday, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and a committee of global Anglican leaders will meet with the House of Bishops in New Orleans to discuss the crisis. Most observers expect the bishops will not make the commitments the Anglican leaders have requested, but will say instead that they alone cannot speak for the church ”“ that the general convention involving lay people and clergy must give any official response. The convention doesn’t meet again until 2009.

“Those who pushed for this response knew it would be difficult to deliver on those requests,” says the Rev. Ian Douglas of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. “They are hoping, I suspect, this is another line in the sand.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, Same-sex blessings, Sept07 HoB Meeting, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

4 comments on “Christian Science Monitor: Tension as Episcopal bishops meet

  1. CharlesB says:

    . . .”We have to find a way to allow both groups to live with their own convictions within the body of Christ.” Huh? Kind of sums up the whole problem.

  2. robroy says:

    So the largest Episcopal church is prepared to bolt. Still that would just be “plus one” in KJS’s tally of the eensy-weensy, teeny-tiny minority. And of course, if they get three or four octogenarians to “stay Episcopalian”, then KJS can play the charade of saying that St Martin’s didn’t leave.

  3. Br. Michael says:

    If GC was going to do anything they could have done it in TEC. TEC is great at doing what it wants to do and great at finding reasons not to do something it doesn’t want to do. The AC now recognizes delaying tactics and kicking a response to 09 simply won’t work this time.

  4. chips says:

    The diocese of Texas has been eerily quiet in all of this. Two of the largest in Town Houston parishes are staunchly traditional (a third still uses the 1928 Prayer Book)- and I expect most of the surburban and rural parishes are none too happy.