The discussions were honest and painful. I doubt whether any House of Bishops has been so directly challenged before, and some were offended and hurt.
In the end, the Presiding Bishop was able to tell the Joint Standing Committee that it had agreed that: first, it would not consent to consecrate any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life “presents a challenge to the wider Church”. It included non-celibate gay and lesbian persons in this. Second, the Bishops pledged not to authorise for use in their dioceses any public rites of blessing for same-sex unions.
The Joint Standing Committee agreed that the Episcopal Church had given the necessary assurances on these two issues. They saw that the Bishops had shifted ground considerably in passing these resolutions. The Committee consists of people of different views from provinces across the Communion: for it to come to this view speaks volumes of the real shift it believed the Bishops had made.
As for the pastoral care for dissenting minorities, the Presiding Bishop announced at the start of our meeting that she had appointed several bishops to minister to dioceses who found her ministry unacceptable (episcopal visitors). She felt that the theological stance of such bishops should be able to command the respect of the dissenting congregations. This was endorsed by the House of Bishops.
Read it all. It is remarkable that someone as bright as the Archbishop of Wales could be so mistaken. The Bishops shifted ground considerably?Barry Morgan apparently attended a different meeting than the Bishop of Southern Ohio who accurately noted: we have said nothing new. As for the proposed plan for pastoral care, it was devised without even consulting with the leadership of the movement it was designed to care for. This is the equivalent of General Motors managment announcing a new company policy on health care without consulting the workers.