It appears I was wrong. There has been a change. Whether or not it is a step back, you decide.
The step back by the Bishop or Diocese concerns the language of one of the resolutions being presented. It now simply states its case that it is part of the Anglican Communion. No reference to the Episopal Church, its Constitution or Canons. That's the point, of course. The letters from the Presiding Bishop and Mr. Beers concerned issues of conformity to the Constitution and Canons and related vows. Geting rid of Episcopal Church references in the Constituiton of the Diocese is precisely the issue.
I don't see this as a step back, but simply a step to the side. The Dance goes on.
I want to thank Jim for doing some hard work getting this matter clarified. He was able to get the revised standard version of the resolution out on the web quickly. Now we can understand why the reporters thought this was a change. His solid and brief piece on this may be found HERE.
Episcopal leaders make concessions to conservatives" and then, Episcopalians reach out to conservatives," both dated November 30th.
An example of the first was posted on the TimesLeader web pages An example of the second was posted on Houston Chronicle online (Chron.com) . The times of the two articles are hours apart. Titusonnine posted the TimesLeader version. Daily Episcopalian posted the Chron.com version.
The later (Houston) article changes several sentences: The lead, from"Episcopal leaders offered conservatives more independence from the national church Thursday, just ahead of a California diocese's vote on whether it should split from the denomination." to "Episcopal leaders offered conservatives more independence from the national church Thursday, as a California diocese quietly backed down from its threat of a swift break with the denomination." A second sentence was deleted from the story and then the last sentences a major shift, from
"San Joaquin, which includes 48 congregations in central California, will vote on its ties with the denomination during a diocesan convention. San Joaquin is one of three Episcopal dioceses that opposes ordaining women.
Any break would be finalized in a vote at another convention next year. If delegates approve a split, a protracted legal battle is expected over the diocese's assets, which are worth millions of dollars."
"A spokesman for the Diocese of San Joaquin, the Rev. Van McCalister, would not elaborate Thursday on why his diocese changed course on breaking away. Two weeks ago, Jefferts Schori told San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield in a public letter that leaving would put "many people at hazard of profound spiritual violence" and was akin to violating his ordination vows."
The difference in the two articles, separated by only two hours, led to the conclusion that some new information had been found to the effect that the Diocese had "changed course." Much of the core material was exactly the same. There is no mention in the article of a source for the proposition that San Joaquin's Bishop or diocese had "changed course."
Perhaps there is more here, but I see only misplaced zeal and fresh headlines, moving from "making consessions" to "reaching out." Perhaps I am wrong. (That sometimes happens!)
All this gives added appreciation for just why textual criticism is such a pain.