These were the questions asked of Canon Kenneth Kearon by Executive Council. More later on his responses.
There is a covenant being considered that has in it certain processes, some of which have caused great concern for some of the provinces on how fairly they would be applied. For example, the Province of New Zealand gave only partial approval to the covenant, with members of its General Synod noting that Section 4 could “get into a situation where we sanctify a process of exclusion or marginalization” and that it might be implemented in ways that are “punitive, controlling and completely unAnglican.” Do the recent actions of the Archbishop of Canterburygive credence to these concerns? [Canon Rosalie Balletine, Esq., Chair of the World Mission Legislative Committee, Diocese of the Virgin Islands]
There are always consequences to living authentically as Christians. Within relationships among Christians, however, we ought to have opportunity to question those consequences, lest all end up walking on eggshells. Is there such a process now? And, do you foresee a season of such sanctions or is the removal of ecumenical committee appointees from The Episcopal Church an isolated event? [President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson, Diocese of Michigan]
You have stated that The Episcopal Church does not “share the faith and order of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion.” Given the place of the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral in our common life as The Episcopal Church, how was it determined that The Episcopal Church does not share this faith and order? [Blanca Echeverry, Esq., Diocese of Colombia]
I am Jim Simons, a priest resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh which, as I’m sure you are aware, went through a recent and painful schism. Currently, there are over 100 priests, deacons and one bishop canonically resident in the Province of The Southern Cone as well as another Bishop canonically resident in the Province of Rwanda functioning in our diocese without licenses and laying claim to some of our parishes. This is in clear violation of the canons and it is also not unique to our diocese. What if any disciplinary action do you anticipate toward provinces who engage in such jurisdictional incursions? [the Rev’d James Simons, Diocese of Pittsburgh]
As a lesbian priest, in a 20-year relationship, legally recognized civil union in my state for ten years , and serving in a congregation, I ask this question because inclusion is very important to me. In his Pentecost letter, the Archbishop of Canterbury said, “We are praying for a new Pentecost for our Communion. That means above all a vast deepening of our capacity to receive the gift of being adopted sons and daughters of the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It means a deepened capacity to speak of Jesus Christ in the language of our context so that we are heard and the Gospel is made compelling and credible.” Removing people by executive action seems counter-intuitive to furthering inclusion. How is the exclusion of Episcopal Church members reconciled with the language of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Pentecost letter? [the Rev’d Canon Lee Alison Crawford, Diocese of Vermont]
The Church of England remains in full communion and ecumenical dialogue with the Old Catholic Church, which blesses same-sex unions, and the Church of Sweden, which has a partnered lesbian bishop and blesses same-sex marriages. Given this fact, how are we to reconcile the removal of Episcopal Church members from ecumenical bodies? [the Rt Rev’d Wendell Gibbs, Bishop of Michigan]