March 23, 2017

June 14, 2007


Today I’m Very Proud of My Bishop

From this article at ENS:

In other business, the Council:
...
- reviewed an explanatory letter sent by NAC committee chair John Vanderstar to Mississippi Bishop Duncan Gray, who had written to Council criticizing the Episcopal Church’s representation in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). Vanderstar wrote that the Church’s membership is related to its “long history of supporting a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding a pregnancy.” The letter also notes that the Church has not been involved in the RCRC’s lobby efforts against specific U.S. Supreme Court nominees, an activity which Duncan criticized in his letter.

Thank you, Bishop.

UPDATE: Some follow-up here.


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43 comments

Oh, please!!!!! Putting the church’s name prominently associated with what IS a pro-abortion lobbying group is participating in lobbying! Plus, I saw the pics of an RCRC rally protesting the partial-birth abortion decision and there was an Episcopal priest featured as a main speaker.

Blessings on Bishop Gray for calling them on this travesty! I hope he continues to shine a spotlight on what these leaders are supporting in our names!

[1] Posted by teatime on 6-14-2007 at 07:13 PM · [top]

Yes, I agree!  In fact, this may be the worst thing the Episcopal Church has done, forcing the laity to be complicit with this movement basically behind our backs.  Read this group’s literature if you want to make yourselves sick.  I would even say that it glamorizes risky sexuality and abortion.

[2] Posted by Paula on 6-14-2007 at 07:36 PM · [top]

Forgot to add—Way to go, Bishop Gray!

[3] Posted by Paula on 6-14-2007 at 07:37 PM · [top]

I clicked on “this article” but it did not take me to anything about Bishop Grey. 
It is good to hear that Bishop Grey criticized the Episcopal Church’s membership in RCRC. I have a new sense of respect for him and hope he will inspire others to examine Tec’s unholy alliance with RCRC.

[4] Posted by Betty See on 6-14-2007 at 07:42 PM · [top]

Why was this on the agenda now? What’s up?

“The Council passed Resolution NAC023, reminding dioceses that they are required to “accede” to the Constitution and Canons, and declaring that any diocesan action that removes that accession from its constitution is “null and void.” That declaration, the resolution said, means that their constitutions “shall be as they were as if such amendments had not been passed.”

“Resolution NAC023 names the dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, San Joaquin and Quincy.”

Any ideas?

[5] Posted by JanDioMA on 6-14-2007 at 07:58 PM · [top]

JanDioMA- from the ENS story on TEC’s website-
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_86899_ENG_HTM.htm

Lexington Bishop Stacy Sauls, who helped to draft the resolution, said it was important to name the dioceses, in part because a judge in any future legal action connected with the dioceses’ actions might ask why the Church never made a statement against those constitutional changes.

In essence, they are planning to seize the property of those 4 dioceses should they indeed do something in concert with the Network and Common Cause, and they are hoping that this ex post facto resolution will give them more standing in court when they sue said dioceses.

[6] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-14-2007 at 08:09 PM · [top]

Vanderstar wrote that the Church’s membership is related to its “long history of supporting a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding a pregnancy.”<blockquote>

Is this bunch utterly ignorant of history? The Church’s “long history” has been overwhelmingly opposed to killing human beings—both born and unborn. It goes back to the Didache and before. Even form most of the PECUSA’s history, it was opposed to aborting unborn children. And when the radicals took over, the most they got were *resolutions* (which we all know are not binding on anyone) to the effect that in rare instances where difficult choices (such as between the life of the mother and the child or pregnancy resulting from incest and rape), the matter should be treated pastorally (which means one is dealing with bad alternatives).

If we want to talk about “women’s rights” perhaps we should turn to the concern of none other than the United Nations which is reporting “60 million missing women in Asia” because of abortion and infantcide.

<blockquote>The letter also notes that the Church has not been involved in the RCRC’s lobby efforts against specific U.S. Supreme Court nominees, an activity which Duncan criticized in his letter.

Poppycock! If you are involved in the RCRC, you are involved in their lobby efforts.

Apparently Vanderstar has either checked his brain in at the door of the PECUSA or else thinks Episcopalians are utter fools.

[7] Posted by Ken Peck on 6-14-2007 at 08:21 PM · [top]

Oh good, another chance to quote from the Gonzalez v. Carhart opinion. 

The RCRC filed an amicus brief in opposition to the federal ban on partial-birth abortion in the recent Gonzalez v. Carhart case.  Here is the procedure the RCRC—and by extension TEC—wished to keep legal, as described in a nurse’s recounting of the abortion of a 26 week fetus:

“Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby’s body and the arms—everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. . . .  The baby’s little fingers were clasping and un-clasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby went completely limp. . . . He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used.

That an institution purporting to be of the Body of Christ would defend this procedure is just mind-blowing.

[8] Posted by Steven in Falls Church on 6-14-2007 at 09:03 PM · [top]

So the excutive council can resolve anything, but the HoB can’t… and a diocese must submit to the Committee? This is a church?

JanDioMA- from the ENS story on TEC’s website-
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_86899_ENG_HTM.htm

‘Lexington Bishop Stacy Sauls, who helped to draft the resolution, said it was important to name the dioceses, in part because a judge in any future legal action connected with the dioceses’ actions might ask why the Church never made a statement against those constitutional changes.’

In essence, they are planning to seize the property of those 4 dioceses should they indeed do something in concert with the Network and Common Cause, and they are hoping that this ex post facto resolution will give them more standing in court when they sue said dioceses.(tjm)

thanks for throwing this in tjm.

And as for Bp. Grey, I thank God for any bishop speaking for plain Christianity.

[9] Posted by southernvirginia1 on 6-14-2007 at 09:53 PM · [top]

Several others have tried as well.  The recently retired Bishop of TN, Bertram Herlong, in concert with 2-3 other bishops, authored a resolution in GC2003 to repudiate the RCRC, and TEC’s membership.  It never made it out of committee, and the same half-truths and falsehoods were used to defend the RCRC then.

[10] Posted by APB on 6-14-2007 at 10:02 PM · [top]

Anyone who still thinks TEC has anything whatsoever to do with true Christianity should re-read the very timely post of Steven in Falls Church (above) again. It is horrible to be reminded of exactly what TEC supports, even advocates, but we need to be. “What you do to the least of my brethern…..”

The darker the night, the brighter and more wonderful the dawn. However, something needs to happen very soon. I think it will. I think it already is.

[11] Posted by rkreed on 6-15-2007 at 03:10 AM · [top]

Good for Bishop Gray! May he have peace against any mud-balls thrown at him because he did what is right & stood up for the innocent.

[12] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 6-15-2007 at 06:55 AM · [top]

The point is quite simple. It was not a General Convention that instituted and then affirmed TEC’s membership in the RCRC, it was the Executive Council acting between Conventions and it was conducted in a most sneaky fashion. Few Episcopalians had a clue that they had even done this, or what it could mean ethically.

FACT: When resolutions to withdraw from the RCRC were legally drafted and brought to the last two G.C.‘s regarding this “RCRC membership,” they were never permitted to get out of the Urban and Social Issues Committee for a vote on the floor of the Convention. (They were killed in Committee).  This form of political (read:“worldly power”) manipulation does not reflect “the mind of the Church” in any matter.

It is my opinion that a policy needs to be enacted which states: “Any and all decisions of the Executive Council acting in recess of the previous General Convention, which have extended binding authority or commitment, must be confirmed by the subsequent G.C., or be revoked.”

It might not change the outcome, but at least we can have some level of honesty, with a good deal less of the back room workings of the 815 crowd. Maybe, just maybe the 815 and the E.C. don’t constitute the mind of this Church.

[13] Posted by Albeit on 6-15-2007 at 08:05 AM · [top]

Again I note that ECUSA expects us to be embarrassed at Peter Akinola while it promotes the goriest forms of infanticide.  No Christian organization could do what ECUSA does as regards cheelerleading for abortion.

[14] Posted by Phil on 6-15-2007 at 09:26 AM · [top]

I’m proud of my Bishop too!!!  # loud cheers for Duncan Gray!

[15] Posted by church lady on 6-15-2007 at 10:30 AM · [top]

By the way, seven TEC bishops allowed their names to be listed specifically in the RCRC’s brief as amici seeking appearance at the Supreme Court.  Those bishops were: +Chane, +Creighton, +Cronenberg, +Dixon (Jane Holmes of EDoW), +Harris (Barbara, again of EDoW), +Jelinek, and +McLeod (Mary Adelia, of Vermont (retired)).

[16] Posted by Steven in Falls Church on 6-15-2007 at 10:32 AM · [top]

Bishop Duncan M. Gray III caught quite a bit of flack from some of the folks in Mississippi in ‘03 for saying, after voting against Gene Robinson’s election, that the church wasn’t quite ready for a gay bishop rather than taking a stronger stance.  Some people speculated that he may vote differently in the future. In my humble opinion, he made an understatement in order to be tactful and diplomatic.  However, he voted the right way which is fine with me.

[17] Posted by Piedmont on 6-15-2007 at 11:12 AM · [top]

I am pleased that Bishop Gray, III has taken this stance and wish I could read the letter that is referenced in the article at ENS.  Anyone know a link to that letter?  Take this with a grain of salt though because one never knows what side of the reasserter/reappraiser fence Bishop Gray will wake up on from day to day.  In private he is a strong advocate for full compliance with Windsor but many of his actions among fellow Bishops are not as supportive.  Maybe the difference is whether the venue has him as a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?  Who knows but we’ll take positive action in any form and this is a positive.

[18] Posted by fsbill on 6-15-2007 at 12:42 PM · [top]

I wonder if the good bishop prevents any diaocese money from going to RCRC.  If not then no one should give any money to the diocese.  To do so would be supporting abortion and I think the Lord will deal harshly with that.

[19] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 6-15-2007 at 02:03 PM · [top]

In essence, they are planning to seize the property of those 4 dioceses should they indeed do something in concert with the Network and Common Cause, and they are hoping that this ex post facto resolution will give them more standing in court when they sue said dioceses.

I was under the inpression that cannon which conficates parish property did so for the diocese and not for the national church. If that is the case, an a whole diocese chooses to leave the church, it would appear to me that the national church has no right to the property since it is in the hands of the diocese.

Or is TEC going to doubletalk and double-cross again?

[20] Posted by Forgiven on 6-15-2007 at 03:27 PM · [top]

Been There asks:

Or is TEC going to doubletalk and double-cross again?

When has TEC done anything else? Certainly not in the last 40+ years.
cool smirk

[21] Posted by Allen Lewis on 6-15-2007 at 03:42 PM · [top]

Been there,
I think it goes without saying that TEC will fight tooth and nail to hold on to every communion wafer in the diocese of Pittsburgh, not to mention every maniple, thurible, votive candle, and the windex used to clean the stained glass windows. And the vestries had better be able to show that every phone call made since the mid 19th century was business related.

[22] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-15-2007 at 03:53 PM · [top]

I wonder if the Council has even looked at the RCRC website?
Here’s some interesting details:

http://www.rcrc.org/pdf/wordsofchoice.pdf

Among other things, abortion is an option if you are poor, already have children, are a single parent, are in school, or have a demanding job. Those reasons certainly seem to fall under the category of “abortion for convenience” to me, which is also specifically opposed by the Episcopal Church.

Aligning with this organization is a big mistake, and goes beyond the authority of Council, as it is contrary to numerous resolutions passed at General Convention.

[23] Posted by FrJake on 6-15-2007 at 04:04 PM · [top]

But the Executive Council doesn’t care—they want TEC associated with the RCRC and the leadership at 815 must as well, since every resolution brought to GC06 to either drop our membership or allow a full vote of both laity and clergy on this membership was killed or buried in committee. And this is why I have given no money since GC06 to my parish, because I cannot have anything going to the national church when they willingly support this. And this, for me even more than +Robinson’s consecration (which I am opposed to for numerous reasons) is why I will soon be leaving TEC (just as soon as I can find a place to go). Yes, I tried to defend this little stone bridge at the diocesan level and the national level, but to continue to associate with church-sanctioned abortion on demand at any time is truly evil.

[24] Posted by Branford on 6-15-2007 at 04:17 PM · [top]

Maybe someone needs to send them a copy of the 1994
resolution?

In part:

...While we acknowledge that in this country it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion, as Christians we believe strongly that if this right is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations. We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience…

[25] Posted by FrJake on 6-15-2007 at 04:26 PM · [top]

Fr Jake -
Believe me, they know this. They don’t care.

[26] Posted by Branford on 6-15-2007 at 04:29 PM · [top]

Bishop Gray is to be commended for his stance and statement against the RCRC and its endorsement by the Episcopal Executive Committee.

[27] Posted by MasterServer on 6-15-2007 at 04:31 PM · [top]

Actually, I shouldn’t say they don’t care, I should say, they don’t see a problem. Having worked on this issue at the diocesan and national level, and having talked with a rector who personally called members of the Executive Council to protest this membership, I know that most members of the Council didn’t understand what the concern was—to them, this was a natural association for TEC. A few members weren’t happy, but not enough to protest in any meaningful way.

[28] Posted by Branford on 6-15-2007 at 05:06 PM · [top]

The link I gave to the RCRC document no longer works.  They took down the link…imagine that.  But google is our friend.  It still exists, and RCRC’s name is all over it.

[29] Posted by FrJake on 6-15-2007 at 05:23 PM · [top]

Aligning with this organization is a big mistake, and goes beyond the authority of Council, as it is contrary to numerous resolutions passed at General Convention.

We may have different reasons for coming to similar conclusions, but I do concur with you FrJake excaim

[30] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 6-15-2007 at 05:31 PM · [top]

Thank you for speaking out, Bishop Gray and Fr. Jake.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

[31] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 6-15-2007 at 09:50 PM · [top]

“The chair of Executive Council’s National Concerns Committee has written to the Bishop of Mississippi informing him that while The Episcopal Church does not support every action of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), Executive Council has no intention of withdrawing its membership.”

The letter is signed “Steve Waring”  - Who is Steve Waring?  What is his position in the church?  I can understand that he is explaining the status quo but where does he derive the authority to make decisions about the “intentions” of the Executive Council? 
He seems to be quite dismissive of Bishop Grey, I hope Bishop Grey is not easily intimidated.

[32] Posted by Betty See on 6-15-2007 at 09:51 PM · [top]

Father Jake,

Thanks for the links.  For any church to support the killing of the preborn must horrify God.  To whom much is given, much is expected.  We have been given the Truth that God knows us and loves us from the moment we are conceived.  How we can ever say that it is right to kill these innocents is beyond my understanding.

Life matters.  God bless you.

[33] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 6-15-2007 at 10:46 PM · [top]

Please read the document to which that Fr. Jake has linked.  It is full of distortions, misinformation and lies.  It is extremely hostile to the prolife movement and villifies any attempt to regulate abortion.  This includes attempts to ban the late term abortion procedure commonly known as partial birth abortion.  Attempts to allow conscience clauses for medical providers.  Attempts to require parental consent and waiting periods.  Attempts to inform woman about the procedure.  In fact I think they would happily defend a law allowing a pregnant woman to strangle her child while giving birth provided only the head had been delivered.

Read carefully their statement about crisis pregnancy centers.  No doubt the idea that a woman is given the support and information needed to choose life enrages them.  Abortion is a big business and every baby that is allowed to live till term means less money in the pot for them.  Herod was a piker compared to these cretins.

  God stay their hands from slaughtering your children.  Protect your innocent ones in the womb.  Soften their hearts so that they come to see life is sacred.    For Jesus’ sake amen.

[34] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 6-15-2007 at 11:13 PM · [top]

Paula,
I clicked on that site but that page no longer exists. You can google the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice or go to http://www.rcrc.org  to get to their site .  They not only oppose the Supreme Courts recent ruling against partial birth abortion, they are also angry that doctors are refusing to perform abortions for reasons of conscience. It seems that they think doctors should not refuse to “provide care” (euphemism for abortion) for women. If they had their way it sounds like doctors would be forced to provide abortions. I wonder if many doctors who belong to the Episcopal Church realize that their Church is an official member of this organization.

[35] Posted by Betty See on 6-16-2007 at 01:26 AM · [top]

I know this is off topic, but does anyone know what EC decided about the Covenant? Did anything of substance get decided? I partly ask because I sent a letter to EC stating my opinion of the Draft Covenant, letting them know along the way my very low opinion of our current leadership. Dave

[36] Posted by DavidSh on 6-16-2007 at 02:29 PM · [top]

Sorry, my 6/15/07 post was mistaken when I said: Who is Steve Waring?” - the letter seemed to be signed by Steve Waring (the reporter) but the letter to Bishop Gray was written by John Vanderstar, committee chair. I would like to know something about John Vanderstar.
The following statement in the letter seemed very dismissive of Bishop Gray and to be a warning not to bring up the subject again because they have “no intention of withdrawing its membership”.

“The Episcopal Church does not support every action of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), Executive Council has no intention of withdrawing its membership.”

[37] Posted by Betty See on 6-16-2007 at 03:58 PM · [top]

John Vanderstar, retired partner of the law firm of Covington & Burling, and member of the Executive Committee of The Episcopal Church USA (Province III), spoke this morning at the National Press Club as part of Virginia Theological Seminary’s Faith, Work, and Vocation breakfast series. Vanderstar focused on the “trajectory of faith” that ultimately led him to a life devoted to social justice.

“It [is] my firm conviction,” stated Vanderstar, “that the true meaning of the Gospel is not found in a story here or a phrase there, but in the underlying search for social justice.”

Born in an ethnic, working class community in Jersey City, New Jersey, and raised in a non-religious household, Vanderstar began his faith story as “a scornful nonbeliever”. He stated, “It might not be surprising to learn that I grew up with all the prejudices that were part of the fabric of American life in the 30s and 40s – anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia… in due course, I was astonished to learn that many people based these prejudices on the Bible!”
You can read it here.

[38] Posted by JackieB on 6-16-2007 at 10:43 PM · [top]

Interesting, Jackie.

Have you noticed when a reappraiser talks about the Bible, they always talk about how dangerous, oppressive, horrible, inaccurate, mistranslated, and unknowable it is.

When a reasserter talks about the Bible, they talk about how truthful and timeless it is, how liberating it is and how it has changed their life.

Hmm.
Dow

[39] Posted by DietofWorms on 6-16-2007 at 11:42 PM · [top]

A few members weren’t happy, but not enough to protest in any meaningful way.

And, this is exactly how we reached the point at which we are today. In the 60s I wasn’t happy but not enough to protest; in the 70s, I wasn’t happy, but just enough to make a few blown-off inquiries; by the 80s, it was too late to protest because the radicals had taken control of the church.

And not only have they stolen it, they’ve euthenized it as well.

May God have mercy on this wonderful old church and eventually bring it back to faith.

[40] Posted by Forgiven on 6-17-2007 at 06:49 AM · [top]

I think we all know that some of the very same people who support partial birth abortion would go ballistic if a similar thing where done to an animal.

[41] Posted by Albeit on 6-17-2007 at 10:56 AM · [top]

“. . . even more than +Robinson’s consecration” —Branford

I agree with Branford that this stand on abortion—against the church’s own resolutions and generally behind our backs—is worse than the consecration.  I consider it the last deal-breaker between the people and the church’s powers-that-be—and yes, it is the main reason I am leaving the Episcopal Church.  If more people knew about it and the way it was brokered and defended, they would be leaving, too.  Many do not yet know, but they are finding out.  I think this is the really big bombshell about the Episcopal Church.  (And I don’t think it’s the only sleeper out there.) Thanks to Paula L., FrJake and all who are in any way opposing this membership in the RCRC.

[42] Posted by Paula on 6-17-2007 at 11:51 AM · [top]

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