We believe that the response from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church to the three central questions asked by the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam has been ”˜yes, no, and no’:
”¢ Yes to the withholding of consent to the consecration to the episcopate of people living in same-sex unions
”¢ No to the cessation of the practice of some bishops covertly allowing the blessings of same-sex unions, even though a public rite has not been authorised
”¢ No to the proposed Pastoral Scheme and Pastoral Council, even though a scheme of Episcopal Visitors is still being clarified
Furthermore, we believe that there is a series of further ”˜no’s to the other concerns that Primates wanted them to address, in particular a complete silence on the Covenant process.
This follows from our careful analysis of the House of Bishops statement and a detailed comparison of it with the requests made by the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
We conclude that the Archbishop of Canterbury should:
”¢ underline the sections in his invitation to the Lambeth Conference concerning the importance of the Windsor Report and the Covenant process
”¢ disinvite the bishops of the Episcopal Church who are not willing to work with these tools
”¢ work forwards from here with the ”˜Windsor Bishops’ of the Episcopal Church, who have done their best to hold the high middle ground, to provide acceptable pastoral oversight for conservative parishes and dioceses
”¢ urge again the cessation of litigation on all sides
Read it all. Although this is certainly better than Graham Kings’ initial response, I do not think this correctly interpets the document, I am sorry to say. Of the three major requests the bishops said, yes, sort of, but on our terms, and with the expansive language used against Mark Lawrence by some kept in, not the precise language of windsor, then they said no and on to 2 and three.
They also did and said nothing about the lawsuits
They insist on two things that they said were necessary in precise and clear terms
AND (in my mind worst of all)
They pretended the two nos were yeses, and misrepresented the degree to which their first yes was qualified.
By any fair evaluation, this is ANYTHING BUT responding fully and adequately to what was requested of them. Yes, they tried hard. Yes they worked together more than in the past. But this was a last ditch effort to seek to enable healing in a very deep wound, and, alas, it is nowhere near enough–KSH.