9/20/2006

Well it's mostly the same old gang : Texas, round one. (Revised x 2))


Twenty-one US bishops, one bishop elect, one from Canada and two from the Church of England, attended the first day of meetings in Texas of "Windsor compliant" dioceses, according to the Living Church. Perhaps more will arrive tomorrow? (see corrections below)


Of the twenty-two from the US, 11 were bishops from Network dioceses (two from South Carolina). Of the same group 12 signed the bishops’ statement the last day of Convention 2006 which stated,

“The responses which the Convention has given to the clear and simple requests of the Lambeth Commission, the clear and simple requests indeed of the Anglican Communion, are clearly and simply inadequate. We reaffirm our conviction that the Windsor Report provides the way forward for the entire Anglican Communion, the ecumenical relationships of the Communion, and the common life of a faithful Episcopal Church. Further, we have agreed to submit ourselves to the Windsor Report’s requirements, both in what it teaches and in the discipline it enjoins. We have not changed in our commitment.”

Eight bishops are not members of the Network and did not sign the bishops statement. They are bishops Howard, Lillibridge, Little, MacPherson, Ohl Jr., Smith, Wimberly, and Wolf.

Granted it is difficult for bishops to arrange their calendars to make time for such meetings, it is significant that the Network dioceses are all represented (by eleven persons) and that only eight new names appear. About one in five diocesan bishops attended.

What will come of all this that is not driven by the Network engine? More than half the group gathered are Network dioceses or signed the bishops statement. So perhaps now the realignment crowd has grown a bit, but not by much. Some of the eight are not likely to move away from being the “loyal opposition” to being part of a second body claiming to be the Episcopal Church.

Here were the participants at the meeting. “N” preceeding the name means Network Diocese, “D” means they signed the statement of dissociation. If there are errors in this, please let me know. The "statement" is the closing message to the House of Bishops.


ND The Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy
D The Rt. Rev. Jim Adams, Bishop of Western Kansas
ND The Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield
ND The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh
N The Rt. Rev. Bertram Herlong, Bishop of Tennessee
The Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, Bishop of Florida (left early did not sign statement)
N The Rt. Rev. John Howe, Bishop of Central Florida
ND The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth
N The Very Rev. Mark Lawrence, bishop-elect of South Carolina (did not sign statement)
The Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, Bishop of West Texas
D The Rt. Rev. John Lipscomb, Bishop of Southwest Florida
The Rt. Rev. Edward Little, Bishop of Northern Indiana
N The Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop Coadjutor of Albany
The Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana
The Rt. Rev. Mark L. MacDonald (arrived late, signed statement)
The Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Jr., Bishop of Northwest Texas
ND The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., Bishop of South Carolina
ND The Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin
The Rt. Rev. Michael G. Smith, Bishop of North Dakota
ND The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas
ND The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Steenson, Bishop of the Rio Grande
The Rt. Rev. Don A. Wimberly, Bishop of Texas
The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of Rhode Island

The Rt. Rev. Anthony Burton, Bishop of Saskatchewan, Anglican Church of Canada and The Rt. Rev. Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester, Church of England also attended. I understand that Bishop Tom Wright, of the CofE joined the group Wednesday.

16 comments:

  1. Mark, Bishop Adams is a Network member personally even though Western Kansas did not join the Network.

    Also Kendall is reporting that NT Wright arrived today.

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  2. Ahhh, N.T. Wright...the bishop who never seems to be in his own diocese, minding his own danged business ;)

    As for the list, not very surprising. A bunch of "Network" bishops and those who have one foot in that door anyway (Lillibridge, MacPherson, Steenson, etc...) The usual suspects.

    I was also grumbling under my breath about this "Windsor Compliant" bunk, until some wag on the HoB/D list dubbed it "Windsor Convenient" instead :D Heh.

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  3. Just for the record, the Diocese of Tennessee is not a network diocese-- though Bishop Herlong did sign the statement after General Convention. So the N should be a D.

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  4. I respect Bishops Little, Smith & Wolf & hope that they are able to make a positive contribution. I also note the absence (so far?) of Bishop Jacobus who has sometimes attended "conservative" meetings as as self described "moderate" witness.

    But on the whole, as David Huff says, "the usual suspects."

    Considering the covenant process announced at Kigali, this (unfortunately secret) meeting & its resolutions may be moot.

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  5. This whole attempt to dismiss the Texas meeting reveals more about those who are doing the dismissal then about the meeting. The network holds to what might be called conservative ecclesiastical position, if one is inclined to use those terms. This meeting is of what could be called moderate to conservative Bishops. To dismiss this as the same old gang is a very wrong characterization.

    I see the posting has having the underlying theme conservatism lost, get over it, and shut up. While maybe an over simplification and maybe a bit of overstatement, this theme has become apparent. ECUSA has made a choice and those who disagree should take a hike would appear to be the true message of the posting.

    David said: “Ahhh, N.T. Wright...the bishop who never seems to be in his own diocese, minding his own danged business”. I would say the same thing of Vicky Robinson. He said he was not going to be the Bishop of New Hampshire. He has been on the road much promoting his position as the Church’s acceptance of sodomy.

    I see the Texas meeting as an attempt to find a way to restore ECUSA to a position within the Anglican Communion and the Christian Church. Within the Anglican Church there has been a history of compromise. Not the kind of compromise which allow for sin to be blessed, but compromise of a significant sort. This meeting could be a first step in such a compromise.

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  6. anonymous, surely you realize that the "compromise" you suggest violates the conscience of people who don't see things the way you do?

    I'm sorry you can't see that your gay brothers and sisters in Christ aren't really any different from you in any way that matters. But that, I think, is the core of the matter; you act as if we are. You make one set of rules for heterosexual people, and another for homosexual people. Gay people can't convert to Christianity under your rules because you effectively tell them that they have to leave their partners and their families in order to belong. Who would want to be a member of such an organization?

    I do continue to find it amazing that Bishops in TEC and the Network and the Global South group never cease meeting to talk and talk and talk about us, but never actually talk with us. What are you all so afraid of?

    In any case, if TEC "compromises," it won't stop gay people from being Christians; it will only chase us out of the church again. I'm beginning to think that might not be such a bad thing, either; if the love of Christ for us can't be found inside the church, we are better off outside, where it can be.

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  7. David Huff21/9/06 1:28 PM

    I suppose I should be thankful that bls got to "anonymous" before I did. Good job, bls - and Amen.

    I'll add that it's a bit disingenuous to call the Camp Allen crowd "moderate" to conservative. More like conservative to extremely conservative, with a small handful of (possible) moderates thrown in.

    And the snarky way you used Bp. Robinson's first name + the way you threw around the word "sodomy" was truly disrespectful and in extraordinarily poor taste (to put it nicely). Shame.

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  8. another anonymous21/9/06 2:23 PM

    bls,

    You are missing the point. You are equating your sexual expression with your identity. And not only that but you are saying that you MUST express your sexual desires. That is bondage to sin type thinking.

    You do not have to be bound to ALWAYS express your desire. That is the good news of Jesus. He frees us from our sinful desires. That starts with celebacy if your desire is sex.

    Who you are and what you do are different things. Your sexual expression is not your identity.

    This what the orthodox folks are saying. God is big enough and good enough to redeem your sinful sexual desires.

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  9. (Dave)
    I hear in the complaining voices, echos of the 1960's. As we protested the VietNam war, we heard "America - love it or leave it." I hear the same thing now. "We voted! You lost! These are the canons. Do it our way and if you don't like it, leave!"
    It may well come to that, but how does
    it feel to be the current incarnation of Spiro Agnew?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Again, this is a separate set of rules for gay people, "another anonymous." You seem to be saying that gay people are about nothing but our "sinful sexual desires" - that our relationships are entirely based in sex. It's actually you who is "equating my sexual expression with my identity." If I suggested that your marriage, say, was entirely or mostly about "expression of sexual desires," you would call me crazy.

    You don't seem to see us as human beings like yourself, or care about our partnerships that last for 20, 30, and 40 years. That we adopt children, and take care of one anothers' families and for each other, until death us do part. That our partnerships are actually about love.

    Let me ask you a question: what would you do if a gay couple and their 2 children showed up at your parish door? Tell them they have to split up? Would you even consider doing this, if the couple were heterosexual? Of course not; just the opposite, in fact. You'd do everything you could to help this couple stay together so they could care for one another and for their family properly.

    This is what I mean; you have one set of rules for yourself, and an entirely different - in fact, an entirely opposite - set for us. By doing this, you are cutting gay people off from the life-giving love of Christ; nobody in his or her right mind would leave the person they love and have committed to, to be part of an such an organization. Would you?

    I'm not very worried about this anymore, though. If you won't support us or nurture us spiritually, we'll simply find another way. We'll become part of Holy Church the Greater - lovers of Christ, wherever we happen to find ourselves - and leave Holy Church the Less behind.

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  11. Anon. and Another Anon.,
    It never ceases to amaze me that folks with such ardent beliefs in the Bible and the need to make all others conform to their particular way of looking at things in order to be saved feel the need to hide behind the name Anonymous.
    It smacks of cowardice.
    Susan H.

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  12. Another Anonymous21/9/06 3:52 PM

    bls,

    Once more with the missing the point. There are no two sets of rules. No one is implying there are. In fact by stating that homosexual acts are sinful I am explicitly inplying ONE set of rules. Sinful for me and sinful for you.

    You are operating under the assumption that it's OK to be gay. That idea is only that...an assumption. But your choice of belief is up to you. If you do not choose the truth that is your choice.

    If a gay couple showed up at the parish door with their 2 kids I would say "Glad your here, stay as long as you want. Would you like to come to my house for dinner?" Would I let said couple teach about a faith they do not understand. Absolutly not! Blind guides are spoken of very harshly by Jesus. Sinners lead and teach people all the time, but they are repentent sinners.

    You are so very human...you fall prey to temptation and get lost in sin... same as me. But you fall further into sin when you say that such sin is good and right and accepted by God. Jesus is only as far away as you push him and all you need do is repent. It's never too late.

    Susan H.(who),
    I am Peter, Mary's son. Who are you?

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  13. (sigh) "There are no two sets of rules. No one is implying there are. In fact by stating that homosexual acts are sinful I am explicitly inplying ONE set of rules. Sinful for me and sinful for you."

    You do realize, don't you, that this is like the illegality of sleeping under a bridge: just as illegal for Bill Gates as for a homeless man. The analogy could be extended to cover many the other impediments with which LGBTQ people are confronted. It may be law, but it is not just.

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  14. Back to the list: as noted, in one sense or another, folks who have already expressed a particular perspective, as in the Disassociation statement.

    I do wonder about Bishop Wolf's participation - which almost certainly shows some prejudice on my part about women in orders. However, I wonder just how much unanymity there is in this group about what it means to "Windsor compliant." For example, with due respect to Bishop Steenson, having been elected well after the confirmation and ordination of Bishop Robinson, he has not been challenged about expressing "Windsor compliance" in the same way as his predecessor. Bishop Wolf and her deputation in 2003 did vote to confirm Bishop Robinson, but she continues to assert "Windsor compliance." (I certainly think a bishop can meet the requests of the Windsor Report, by the way, without holding with the Network.) So, what might "Windsor compliance" actually mean?

    Since the Windsor Report is intended as a step toward maintaining "the highest level of communion possible," reaffirms the Lambeth call for listening to GLBT persons, and affirms the integrity of provincial boundaries and processes, I think there's a question of whether a bishop who sought to take a diocese out of the Episcopal Church wasn't crossing the bounds of actual compliance with the Windsor Report and the Windsor Process.

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  15. Peter, Mary's son22/9/06 9:32 AM

    oriscus,

    That law is not made by man. If you take issue with homosexuality being sin, then I suggest you ask God about it and his ear goes by the name of Jesus.

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  16. I couldn't agree more with the comments of A. Nonymous -- dismissing this Texas meeting is insulting to those of us in the Episcopal Church who love it, and are staying at the table, but who aren't Leftists. While I would have rather seen more non-Network bishops, I am grateful for the bishops of Alaska, Texas and Rhode Island. These non-Network folks are hardly the "same old gang," and they are the ones we somewhere in the middle look to for guidance. The arrogant dismissal of such efforts are exactly the kind of thing that has worsened not bettered this period of crisis and acrimony.

    ReplyDelete

OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.