There are seven nominees, four chosen by the Joint Nominating Committee (of which I was a part) and three nominated from the floor. There has not been much light or heat generated in the halls of Convention about anyone on the list, but here are a few odds and ends of probably useless information.
Bishop Duque, from Columbia, is an icon of the surprise. He is surprisingly impenetrable, but quite likeable. He will have very little support beyond a few who think the surprise might have something to do with the God of surprises.
In a world where personality typing is still a parlor game, the introverts in the group are signaled out as potential problems, based on the notion that one of Presiding Bishop Griswold’s problems was extreme introversion. Both Jefferets Schori and Parsley are considered introverts. The problem with that analysis is that it comes from bishops who for a variety of reasons believe Griswold has botched the job, and who assign the problem to personality type rather than how one’s personality is handled in this very public, political and spiritually important position.
Then there are the factional issues: As I read it, Jenkins, who was nominated from the floor with what seemed to be the endorsement of thirteen conservative bishops (unnamed) stands to the right. Parsley and Duque are moderate right, Gulick is middle. Jefferets Schori, Alexander and Sauls are the flag bearers of the middle to the left, probably in that order.
So, this fine Sunday morning, what do we know?
- How long will an election take? There are seven ballots prepared for today and most folk I talk to say it will take at least several to shake things out and several more to make the choice. I’m thinking five ballots at least, maybe more. Part of the problem is that many of the retired bishops are here and voting. Their votes are not all of one sort, of course, but because they have not all been present in the workings of the House of Bishops as they meet between sessions of General Convention, they are a less well known entity.
- Who will be the Presiding Bishop? No one has any idea. I have my wish list, and my personal racing form, but not for publication!
- What will be the effect of the election on the debates following regarding the Windsor Report resolutions? Again, this is unknown. But the possibility is that the Presiding Bishop elect will yield to the temptation to try to influence the debate. To their credit, none of the nominees have mucked around much in the matter so far. Jefferets Shori, who was on the Special Commission, has been properly reserved about the resolutions that came forward from that Commission.
In the House of Deputies, where I am a member, we will be about the discussion of various resolutions waiting to see what comes from the Bishops. When a name is given us, we will perhaps debate the matter of consent. Almost all the nominees will rile some deputies, but not I think to the point of rejection. A more interesting scenario is that the Bishops might not be able to elect in seven ballots. If that happens they have to start again tomorrow. It will be an interesting day.