Yesterday (Tuesday July 14) the House of Deputies passed again a slightly revised version of resolution D025 given back to them by the House of Bishops. The sequence was this:
Sunday, HoD passed Do25
Monday, HoB passed D025 with amendments
Tuesday, HoD passed D025 with amendments
On Monday morning we arose to find this headline on our computers: Archbishop of Canterbury 'regrets' TEC move to gay ordination. Ruth Gledhill reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury said,
"As for General Convention it remains to be seen I think whether the vote of the House of Deputies will be endorsed by the House of Bishops. If the House of Bishops chooses to block then the moratorium remains. I regret the fact that there is not the will to observe the moratorium in such a significant part of the Church in North America but I can't say more about that as I have no details."
This was read here prior to the vote by the House of Bishops, where by a vote of 99 to 44 the House passed this resolution with two amendments. The Archbishop words seem not to have had much effect.
More interestingly, it had no effect on the voting in the House of Deputies the next day. When the HoD voted to pass D025 with amendments the votes held. There was little or no movement.
Here is how the voting went:
Sunday: Lay Yes 77, No or Divided 31 72% in favor
Clergy Yes 74, No or Divided 25 74% in favor
Tuesday: Lay Yes 78, No or Divided 30 72% in favor
Clergy Yes77, No or Divided 30, 72% in favor
Here again the Archbishop's words, now very much in the news at General Convention, had little effect. It was clear to those reading Gledhill's article, as well as her larger article in the Times, "Schism 'inevitable' after US bishops approve gay ordination", that the Archbishop had made his remarks without being brought up to speed on the doings in Anaheim. The Bishops and Deputies at General Convention decided that his uninformed opinions were not of much value in the workings of General Convention.
All of this is remarkably sad, given the extraordinary efforts by the Presiding Bishop and both Houses to reaffirm again and again the strong ties The Episcopal Church has to the rest of the Anglican Communion and to the work of mission. The carefully stated resolutions in D055 are meant to describe the realities of The Episcopal Church and our engagement in the Anglican Communion. But no word comes from Canterbury concerning these pledges. The resolution says nothing about B033 or moratoria although the clear implication of D025 is that bishops and standing committees are encouraged to follow the Constitution and Canons and engage the mystery of ordination and then vote for consent or not as they are given the light. And yes, this is not a moratorium. B033 was not one either, but it was more like a pledge to one. D025 returns us to the restrictions of canon, conscience and faithfulness to the mystery that is the gift of ordination and says that is enough.
But nothing of all this seems to be of great value to the Archbishop who otherwise is given to nuance.