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The Fall of the Windsor Bishops, the loss of the House…

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 • 7:32 am

The Response by the House of Bishops, joined with their earlier responses and those of the Executive Council, represents an utter rejection of the Primate’s request.  There is a bold commitment to permit same sex blessings. There is an avenue ripe for exploitation with regard to episcopal consents. And, as was evident in past statement and in this Response, there will be no attempt to provide adequate oversight for dissenting people, parishes, and/or dioceses. The very sad thing is that the Windsor Bishops did not lose the fight. They did not fight…


Tuesday afternoon, late, the House of Bishops’ chamber in the grand ballroom on the third floor of the Intercontinental Hotel: after at least two hours of closed door discussion, the Bishops go into open session.

Approximately thirty minutes later, since the text of the bishops’, “A Response to Questions and Concerns Raised by our Anglican Communion Partners” had yet to be sufficiently copied for distribution, the Presiding bishop begins to read the text from the chair.

About a minute into her reading, a woman walks into the chamber with completed copies for the press. I stop my live blog. Securing a copy, a colleague and I rush to the concierge on the second floor, fax the text to a second colleague standing by, who then begins to scan the document in order to email it back to me.

Meanwhile, I return to the chamber before the Presiding Bishop has finished reading.

She finishes. As I wait for the statement to be scanned, I listen to the beginnings of what I assume will be a long and drawn out debate. The statement is not yet in my email in-box, but arrives within one or two minutes. I put it directly on the net raw, without adjusting the scanned format.

The Response is moved and seconded.

I am surprised to hear the Presiding Bishop ask whether the House is ready to vote by “consensus” (or acclamation). I am even more surprised to hear a loud affirmative response.

A bishop stands to offer a minor amendment to the wording. His amendment is rejected.

Another minor amendment is accepted.

Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island stands to object. A vote by acclamation would not allow dissenting voices to be heard.

Bishop Bill Love makes the same objection, but, for some reason his present objection is voiced through another bishop (it could be that this is because he is a first year bishop and it is not customary for first year bishops to speak?)

Bishops Love and Wolf want a voice vote, not a vote by consensus.

The Presiding Bishop, for a second time, asks the House whether there is enough agreement to avoid a vote.

There is a mixed response. She recognizes that a vote is necessary.

The vote is called. The “ayes” echo through the chamber.

There is only one “no” vote.

So ends the Windsor Bishops.


What happened?

It is true that at least six Windsor Bishops: Duncan, Steenson, Iker, Stanton, Ackerman, and Schofield were not present.

It is also true, that around ten were there.

What happened?

The answer to that question is fairly clear. Monday it was widely rumored and reported that the drafting committee had been working in consultation with members of the Joint Standing Committee and that some of those members were also in consultation with the Anglican Communion Office and, perhaps, no, probably, Lambeth.

The bishops on the floor knew this. They knew the Response had been vetted and given a pass at the highest levels.

The Windsor coalition collapsed because it was compromised from the beginning. It was grounded on the foundation of continued Communion participation. The non-Network, and even some of the Network bishops in the Windsor coalition, were concerned not so much with preserving the Faith as preserving communion with Canterbury.

Once it became clear that the Response was acceptable at Lambeth, opposition to it evaporated. The Dar Es Salaam plan died.

This was bound to happen from the very beginning.

Having already rejected the Primatial Vicar plan articulated in the DES Communique, two outstanding Communion requests remained:

First:

“make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through General Convention (cf TWR, §143, 144); and…”

As has been noted elsewhere, most recently by Bishop Mouneer Anis, the intention of the DES request, as articulated in paragraphs 21 and 22, was to bring the blessings themselves to an end.

“21. we believe that there remains a lack of clarity about the stance of The Episcopal Church, especially its position on the authorisation of Rites of Blessing for persons living in same-sex unions. There appears to us to be an inconsistency between the position of General Convention and local pastoral provision. We recognise that the General Convention made no explicit resolution about such Rites and in fact declined to pursue resolutions which, if passed, could have led to the development and authorisation of them. However, we understand that local pastoral provision is made in some places for such blessings. It is the ambiguous stance of The Episcopal Church which causes concern among us.

22. The standard of teaching stated in Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998 asserted that the Conference “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions”. The primates stated in their pastoral letter of May 2003…”

But rather than complying with the standard teaching of the Communion, the Response by the House of Bishops maintains the duplicitous distinction, recently and laughably defended by Bishop Bruno, between the authorization official liturgies and the authorization of the blessings themselves. The Response makes it possible, for example, for Bishop Bruno to continue to permit same sex blessings to occur in his diocese, indeed to participate in them, so long as the liturgy used does not bear his episcopal imprimatur. Here is the relevant portion of the Response:

From the Summary:

“We pledge as a body not to authorize public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.”

And here is the explanation:

We, the members of the House of Bishops, pledge not to authorize for use in our dioceses any public rites of blessing of same-sex unions until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action. In the near future we hope to be able to draw upon the benefits of the Communion-wide listening process. In the meantime, it is important to note that no rite of blessing for persons living in same-sex unions has been adopted or approved by our General Convention. In addition to not having authorized liturgies the majority of bishops do not make allowance for the blessing of same-sex unions. We do note that in May 2003 the Primates said we have a pastoral duty “to respond with love and understanding to people of all sexual orientations.” They further stated, “…[I]t is necessary to maintain a breadth of private response to situations of individual pastoral care.”

Not only does this statement recognize that a “minority” of bishops authorize same sex blessings, but as a matter of pastoral care they can and will continue to do so within the common life of the Episcopal Church.

Second the Primates requested that the House of Bishops:

“confirm that the passing of Resolution B033 of the 75th General Convention means that a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent (cf TWR, §134);”

Resolution B033 reads:

Resolved, That the 75th General Convention receive and embrace The Windsor Report’s invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation; and be it further;

Resolved, That this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.

Because non-celibate homosexual candidates are not specifically mentioned, the resolution leaves open the (very good) possibility that the Episcopal Church might find some rationale to give consent.

The House of Bishops responded by reaffirming B033 specifically noting that the language applies to non-celibate homosexual candidates among others.

Here is the Response summary:

“We reconfirm that resolution B033 of General Convention 2006 (The Election Of Bishops) calls upon bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees “to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.”

Here is the explanation:

“The House of Bishops concurs with Resolution EC011 of the Executive Council. This Resolution commends the Report of the Communion Sub-Group of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates of the Anglican Communion as an accurate evaluation of Resolution B033 of the 2006 General Convention, calling upon bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees “to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.” The House acknowledges that non-celibate gay and lesbian persons are included among those to whom B033 pertains.”

The clincher is the last sentence. There was a behind the scenes battle over the wording of this section. It was originally intended to remain in force only until the next general convention. Reportedly, someone from Lambeth managed to have the time constraints removed. It does make the statement much more specific.

The question is whether it might be argued (and I do not doubt that it will) that the explanation is just that, an explanation, whereas the actual commitment of the House is found in the summary section. The language of the two sections is rather telling. The final sentence of the explanation is wholly passive and indicative. It recognizes a present state of affairs. It does not call the bishops to do anything. The sections that call the bishops to action are simply repetitive of the precise wording of B033.

There is space here that can and will be exploited.


The Response by the House of Bishops, joined with their earlier responses and those of the Executive Council, represents an utter rejection of the Primate’s request.  There is a bold commitment to permit same sex blessings. There is an avenue ripe for exploitation with regard to episcopal consents. And, as was evident in past statement and in this Response, there will be no attempt to provide adequate oversight for dissenting people, parishes, and/or dioceses.

The very sad thing is that the Windsor Bishops did not lose the fight.

They did not fight.

They embraced the duplicity, participated in the lie of this Response, despite the real souls and real lives at stake; because, apparently, they believe that it will win them access to Lambeth and peace for the duration of their careers.

And, of course, they are right.

And now, good bishops, think of all those people caught up in sexual sin, who are Sunday by Sunday, being led away in chains toward the darkness and away from Christ. What have you done for them?

You gave their false shepherds your consent. You stood aside. You let go the responsibilities of your office. You won a seat with Canterbury.

It is a sad, sad day.

 


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Comments:

Matt, I agree with almost every word you have written.

For me, there is no longer a group called “Windsor Bishops.” 

There are individual, very good bishops—and I mean that, and some of them even exist outside all of the conservative “groupings” like the Network and the former “Windsor Bishops”—and then there is the House of Bishops.

As far as I know, there are no longer any clusters of traditional bishops in the House of Bishops.

There is, simply, the House.

[1] Posted by Sarah on 09-26-2007 at 07:56 AM • top

Matt,
You are right in your analysis I fear.  The HoB cannot police themselves…and will not police themselves.  Each one will do what is right in their own eyes…

Future Case in point:  Rev. X (an active homosexual) is voted in a diocese to be the next bishop.  The process of consents begin…and the consents will be received…and the consecration will take place…and another seat in the HoB turns pink.

The Windsor Bishops or the Camp Allen bishops…or what is left of them…will say, “But we had a process NOT to do what we just did!!!”  But it will be over…it will be done…the the church will march on in the wrong direction.

This is a sad day for ECUSA…but a day that many saw coming…including those who think it is a great day.  The end of the line was forseen at the Righter trial when the court determined that we had no core doctrine on this issue.  It was all over but the voting…

[2] Posted by DHR on 09-26-2007 at 08:05 AM • top

In another place, I notice that there is no longer a “House of Bishops”, it is now referred to as “The Community of Bishops”..  I sense a “demotion” of Bishops to sort of a cluster, dependent on each ones views, a slipping of any authority they had, and a lowering of expectations. 

The sad thing is, they apparently don’t even realize it. 

Grannie Gloria

[3] Posted by Grandmother on 09-26-2007 at 08:06 AM • top

Agreed. The so-called “Windsor Bishops” are no more. The body of bishops that was left by the time this statement was voted on, is the saddest bunch of losers I may have ever seen. To paraphrase William F. Buckely, I’d rather be led by the first 200 names in the New Orleans phone book than this bunch of pathetic bedwetters.

[4] Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-26-2007 at 08:08 AM • top

Do we know who the ‘No’ vote was?  You were there, Matt.  Was it bishop Wolf or someone else?
Also, any explanation found yet from Howe, Wimberly, Adams, MacPherson, Herlong, Lillibridge, Love, Smith, Little, Salmon, Jacobus, or Ohl?  How could this group possibly vote yes for this, esp in light of the gaping loophole between ‘official’ rites and allowance of local pastoral response?  This is, again, the clarity that the primates wanted and which was not delivered.
I’m most disappointed in Wimberly (my bishop) who remains institutional vs pastoral.

[5] Posted by anglicanhopeful on 09-26-2007 at 08:14 AM • top

And people ask for a minority report. As I said here, one has to dissent to earn the right to write a dissenting opinion.

History did not care about the stories of the the participants in Vichy government but only “la resistance.”

Ou est la resistance? En Pittsburgh. Allons, tous les braves.

[6] Posted by rob-roy on 09-26-2007 at 08:16 AM • top

“In rejecting the truth of God’s redemption of fallen and broken sexuality they then create the only other possible pastoral response - to produce liturgies for same-sex unions and declare fallen sexuality “holy” and “blessed”. They pass scorn on those of us who claim that there is a better way, that God is good enough to either support a life of faithful chastity or even powerful enough to heal the wounds of the past.”

More of my thoughts after sleeping on it here.

[7] Posted by Peter O on 09-26-2007 at 08:19 AM • top

The “Windsor Bishops” choked and capitulated.  There’s no way around it.

A few folks have tried to mount a defense by saying, “Wait and see what they say once they’ve returned home.” 

Friends, it doesn’t matter.  The Windsor Bishops were to make a witness to the Truth, even in defeat.  That was what was required.  They were called to make this witness to the world. 

Now, they may go home and offer ‘explanations,’ but the reporters, the cameras, and the moment is over.  The world only heard the HOB in near unanimous chorus.

It’s over.  Man the lifeboats.

[8] Posted by Nyssa on 09-26-2007 at 08:23 AM • top

Who made the one “no” vote?

[9] Posted by evan miller on 09-26-2007 at 08:26 AM • top

Bennison

[10] Posted by frwalkeratsaintalbans on 09-26-2007 at 08:29 AM • top

And it is very, very hard to see any more giants arise to be bishops for heretofore conservative dioceses. Who would have the guts to be one of a very few followers of historic Christianity in such a body as the HOB. They meet twice a year; it is hard enough to sit through a diocese convention once a year for me. But this is my voice of severe discouragement. God may bring an Elijah, but would he (or she—Geralyn is reported to have said no loud enough to be heard) get the consents?

BTW, if it was Geralyn and if she did it for reasons of historic Christian belief, God please strengthen her. She will face all the snarling fury of one particular group.

[11] Posted by Gator on 09-26-2007 at 08:31 AM • top

Here for example are Bishop Howe’s words from his Sept ‘07 e-newsletter:
‘Nearly thirty of our Bishops – myself among them – have given the assurances requested, but a larger number than that have said they will never agree to these requests, and more than a third of the Bishops have yet to declare themselves.  (Note: The Episcopal Church has never officially authorized the blessings, but some Bishops have done so in their own Dioceses.)’
So my question to bishop Howe is - how does this resolution change what ‘some bishops have done in their own dioceses’, and how is this now suddenly compliance?  Do you honestly think the primates will buy this?  If it isn’t compliance and they won’t buy it, then where is your voice in dissent?

[12] Posted by anglicanhopeful on 09-26-2007 at 08:34 AM • top

I never understood why anyone had much faith in Windsor bishops. Windsor, with its moratorium (i.e. maybe someday) on SSBs, set the bar so low as to guarantee its uselessness.

[13] Posted by HumbleAccess on 09-26-2007 at 08:34 AM • top

What now, Dr. Turner, Dr. Seitz, Fr. Radner?  What now for the comcons?  Sarah?

[14] Posted by evan miller on 09-26-2007 at 08:41 AM • top

You’re absolutely right, Matt.  And it is a very sad day.

[15] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 09-26-2007 at 08:43 AM • top

Oh and to top it all off, KJS has been invited to visit South Carolina.

[16] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 09-26-2007 at 08:44 AM • top

Dear Evan—the answer for many will be as above. The Windsor Bishops were a vain enterprise. This was to be expected. The bishops are compromised and worse.

I must be away from the internet all day due to schedule. Grace and peace.

Camp Allen Bishops and New Orleans

Several have asked for a response from ACI and I offer this as a personal reflection. I am disappointed. But these are not times where one bats 500. I will be busy all day but drafted this brief reflection.

It is hard to understand the dynamics from afar. It appears that efforts were made to enclose Camp Allen influence/people in the actual statement, and those who have spoken said that the statement was more than any asked for. I assume that, having see the resolutions (as a courtesy); then seeing them in public on the internet; being aware of Gregory Cameron’s presence at the last meeting; and the presence of senior Bishops and Archbishops in previous meetings; +Schori and advisors realized this was a force that needed to be stopped.

As for a minority report. What I gather from the single bishop I have spoken with, and from the comments of some I see on line, there was limited energy; they thought they got enough; some did object; the procedures were optimal in favour of dividing and quieting, and they succeeded.

I think it would be wise for CA bishops to make a formal statement. There are details we cannot know given the compression of the language. I saw something on the Telegraph about an Episcopal plan that had +Canterbury appointing the chair. Is that right?

Is this an outcome ACI wanted and worked for through long years? No.

At the same time, the Archbishop knows well from every single private communication where CA bishops stand. What will he conclude? He will conclude much as we have. That several CA bishops tried to work in charity to find a way forward. That they have stated their willingness to comply with Communion decisions to the point of being excluded themselves from Lambeth Conference.

We are now going into the adjudication phase. The primates will be consulted and they will advise +Canterbury. I have many of the objections that have been raised on the internet, and they do not require much discernment to be fairly obvious ones. The crucial thing is what happens now. I have trouble understanding how a coherent Lambeth conference will take place. The college being formed in Pittsburgh will claim that all went horribly wrong, (and may privately hold the view that this was to be expected; after all, they left before things moved this far). The idea that a statement from New Orleans will put a stop to ‘incursions’ because there is an agreement not to elect a ‘Gay Bishop’ will come as thin soup to those who don’t believe there will be any reprisals if such a thing happens anyway. 

I hope to speak with Camp Allen bishops in the days to come. I hope they make the kind of separate statement asked for. If ‘minority reports’ were procedurally deflected, or there was not enough energy or will to write one, I doubt that +Canterbury will misunderstand what has happened. And there is nothing that prevents them writing a clarificatory statement in the days to come, and I hope they will.

This is a group of bishops who have worked harder than people can ever realize. They have been attacked by both sides, and many attack harder when they feel they are right and CA bishops ‘deserve it’ (whatever that means). I hope we hear from these bishops and that the adjudication process takes into account the work they undertook, the difficult procedural circumstances, and the previous hard work they have undertaken and the statements they have written to the public and especially to +Canterbury. The Communion presence in the United States was not mortally wounded in New Orleans, but it needs stronger confirmation from outside our borders than it has received as of this date.

Recriminations and anger are to my mind easy defaults. In this matter as in all things we should be asking what God is doing, not what we expected. I will be praying and trying to see the way forward as He sees it.

I am thankful for all the hard work of Camp Allen Bishops in the past season and hope we will hear more from them soon.

[17] Posted by zebra on 09-26-2007 at 08:48 AM • top

We have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and not because the HoB rejected the Dar demands; the HoB’s rejection was never in doubt. We have lost because, as Matt said, the “Windsor” bishops didn’t fight at all. Where were the speeches and votes against this on the floor of the House? Where is the minority report? What, exactly, did the “Windsor” bishops accomplish, after all their meetings, etc.?

By not fighting at all the “Windsor” bishops have significantly strengthened the position of those here and overseas who want to let TEC get away with its defiance. The GS Primates who are trying to help the orthodox in America have been weakened.

Rowan Williams now has one final chance to save the Communion and the office of the ABC as a focus of Anglican unity. He must call a Primates meeting, now, to discipline TEC. If he does not do this the Communion will shatter, perhaps for centuries, and his office will cease to be the leader of Anglicanism. Williams doesn’t have much time; with each passing day the centrifugal forces ripping the Communion apart grow.

Many think that Rowan Williams never intended to discipline TEC. Perhaps they are right. The point here is that the preemptive collapse of the Windsor bishops just made Rowan’s decision to back TEC much, much easier.

I want to hear from the “Com-cons”, e.g. Dr. Seitz, Dr. Radner, etc. why they believe the “communion” approach has a future now.

[18] Posted by Publius on 09-26-2007 at 09:02 AM • top

Matt:

I was deeply moved by your last few paragraphs.  There is something seriously deficient in our structure, but I think even more so in our spirituality.  Men who are focused on Christ and deeply disciplined in the pursuit of holiness could not bear to be a part of such a fiasco.  I think we all have to look closely at whether we and these men have kept ourselves accountable for our growth in Christ in the face of episcopalianism’s capitulation to so much of the growing darkness in American culture - a darkness that has affected all of us, progressive and traditional and those in between. 

I also want to say thanks so much for all your hard work over the last few weeks.

[19] Posted by young joe from old oc on 09-26-2007 at 09:04 AM • top

Sorry Dr. Seitz but I and 99% of the laypeople I’ve spoken to in the last 24 hrs remain deeply disappointed in what the Windsor/CA bishops came out of the meeting with.  Maybe forebearance is still in order - if a minority statement is soon to be released - but 09/30/07 looms large and if this is the only response it is thin soup indeed.  If orthodox bishops were as ‘prophetic’ and dogged as their counterparts this meeting might not have needed to take place.  The lone dissenting voice (someone above said it was Bennison??  - rich) says much as well.  There’s little chance that the primates will buy this explanation even with +++Rowan’s endorsement.  When even the NYTimes understands fudge for what it is you’ve got ... well, fudge.

[20] Posted by anglicanhopeful on 09-26-2007 at 09:04 AM • top

Matt+

Something you wrote yesterday about your observations of the proces and I was going reply “Politburo - where all the comrades smile & have an arm around the other embracing with the other holding the knife in each others back” (but actual work came in). I think there may have been disagreement behind close doors, maybe even heated discourse and for whatever reasons 815 gave, these self-styled “Windsor Bishops” went along with the specially crafted public display of unity.

In essence they cave on principle, but I’ll bet in a way they believe themselves justified. Unlike those who laid the foundation of the faith, they capitulated and I suspect did the exact invest of +Cranmer (held in private but cave in public verse capitulating in the cell but recant the recant in public with an immediate execution).

The sad part for me is that I bet they do not even see it.

I do too much work with the persecuted Church to write much more without letting my emotions dictate content, but it’s a very sad day when comfortable bishops can compromise at the threat of a little discomfort while other pay a much higher price to stand firm for their faith.

[21] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 09-26-2007 at 09:09 AM • top

It seems that Canterbury and his entourage likes, no, LOVES fudge. So much so that the the Windsor Bishops simply became an ingredient, no matter what strategy they believed they were party to.  As I understood it they were encouraged/supported by the ABC to hold the HOB’s feet to the fire.  You could see the strategy early on (three resolutions, including Howe’s; the absolute need for a vote count through which Lambeth invitations could be discerned, etc…).  But its appparent now that they were strategicallly played, by institutionalists (from Schori to Williams).  Brilliant strategy by the “majority culture” of TEC. Shameless, really.  I do wonder how the Windsor Bishops are coping today? As Jenkins claimed, “I believe the Anglican Communion is saved for those who want to remain in it.”  Small comfort for those of us who have already been struggling to remain.

[22] Posted by dl on 09-26-2007 at 09:11 AM • top

Community of Bishops, Communism, Totalitarianism. Its a straight line from one through to the other.

The HOB met without regards to Roberts Rules of Order. Drafts were were drafted, destroyed, and redrafted at the whim of Schori and her henchmen. No motions were allowed from the floor, no debate on the final draft was allowed. It was a done deal from start to finish. This is the way totalitarian organizations do things, not functioning democratic organizations.

The Episcopal Church that we knew is dead and gone. Time to recognize that and make other plans. Perhaps Duncan+ and the rest will come up with something workable, perhaps not. But TEC is dead as a Biblically centered expression of Christianity.

[23] Posted by BillS on 09-26-2007 at 09:16 AM • top

Once again, we must confront the facts on the ground-

1) The loss of orthodox members right now may be on the order of thousands per HOUR.  If the Windsor bishops are going to say something, they need to say it NOW.

2) Now that they have acquiesced to the “episcopal visitor” plan, they need to explain to us how they will defend themselves, and us, when a half dozen liberal bishops are assigned to each orthodox diocese as episcopal visitors.

3) TEC is playing up the participation of the ABC and ACC and primate’s standing committee for all it is worth- as though this certifies agreement by those persons and bodies with TECs actions.  IF this is not true, the parties involved need to make this clear, and I mean now.

My thanks to all, from ACI to the folks at SF, for their long toil over these many years, and especially this last disappointing week.  Hopefully, those working now in Pittsburgh will find a viable way for us to remain in communion with one another.  Else we will soon be in Rome, the East, or Reformed Churches.

Lord have mercy upon us.

TJ

[24] Posted by tjmcmahon on 09-26-2007 at 09:21 AM • top

Forebearance?  Children are being corrupted.  Our culture is being destroyed.  Souls are being lost.  And we sit, wait and trust in a few timid bishops who are afraid they might be ostacized by the lunatic fringe!  Wait until the WR.  Wait until Dromantine. Wiat until Panel of Referece acts.  Wait until DES.  Wait until the invitations to Lambeth.  Wait until CA.  Wait until Septemeber 30.  Wait until GC 2009.  Wait until Hell freezes over, that is when they will risk their salaries and perks.  As for me and my house, we go to love and to serve the Lord elsewhere.  Anglicanism was a bad idea from the start.  A political compromise is not the rock on which to build a firm foundation.  We hae reaped what we have sown.

[25] Posted by DaveG on 09-26-2007 at 09:23 AM • top

There were no surprises here for me at all. I expect not much more from the Anglican Communion either; perhaps the hope of a new province but who knows the chances of that? I definitely don’t see TECUSA getting disciplined, much less “kicked out.” I’m afraid my hope is outside the Communion. I’ll watch Common Cause and see what’s going on with that.

The most helpful piece of information I’ve gotten in the last 5 days are several hints that if enough orthodox decided to leave - with their property - at around the same time, 815 couldn’t handle the cost of the litigation. But even with that knowledge comes the sense that a good percentage won’t even take the chance, that they’ll sit there in the pews and go down with the ship. It *is* going down.

[26] Posted by Enough on 09-26-2007 at 09:27 AM • top

TJMcMahan says:

“1) The loss of orthodox members right now may be on the order of thousands per HOUR.  If the Windsor bishops are going to say something, they need to say it NOW.”

That is probably the most truthful thing anyone has said about this situation all week.  The Windsor Bishops need to say something NOW.

[27] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 09-26-2007 at 09:32 AM • top

Folks, the “minority report” is called “Common Cause Pittsburgh.”

[28] Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-26-2007 at 09:34 AM • top

I’m still more or less amazed that Integrity is satisfied with this. It’s obvious that the big push will come at the next general Convention, but their acceptance of the status quo ante surprises me. TEC has just signed off on not consenting to any more non-celibate gay bishops, which means Tracy Lind will not be elected bishop of Chicago.

I also wish I could say I am disappointed in the Community of Bishops but they did exactly what I expected them to. Deny liability, disclaim authority and pass the buck to the full General Convention.

It would be nice to see our beloved leaders actually take a stand for something other than their own self interest just once in my lifetime. Individually, I respect a few of them. I like even more of them. But as a body, they resemble an aggregation of squids: spineless and tending to obfuscate at a moments notice.

[29] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 09-26-2007 at 09:35 AM • top

Dr. Seitz: “I think it would be wise for CA bishops to make a formal statement.” If you don’t stand your ground where it counts, then what you say about it later is just a matter of “woulda, coulda, shouda” and it’s too late for that. They were rolled, pure and simple. In effect, those of us who placed any confidence in the integrity and commitment of the “Windsor Bishops” were rolled as well. A truly sad for the Episcopal Church, and for the Diocese of Western Louisiana.

[30] Posted by frwalkeratsaintalbans on 09-26-2007 at 09:38 AM • top

TEC is not going down, it has gone down. Windsor Bishops, DEPO, AC, ACC, ABC are only words and acronyms. TEC is not going to change. No matter what. TEC is not going to “repent” and change its ways, no matter what the ABC does, the GS does, invitations to Lambeth or not. TEC may shift strategy, may obfuscate with different words, change tactics, but the direction is clear.

TEC is today a secular, culture driven organization, concerned with the secular, left wing, liberal issues of the day; gay rights, racism, drilling in ANWAR, Global Warming, war in Iraq, raising taxes, nationalizing health care, supporting abortions etc etc.

A collar, vestments, and a pulpit give these left wing totalitarians a platform from which to pontificate. We have lost, they have won. Time to recognize this reality, and plan accordingly.

[31] Posted by BillS on 09-26-2007 at 09:42 AM • top

But Greg, only a small fraction of the “Windsor Bishops” are in Pittsburgh.  What are the rest of them doing?

[32] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 09-26-2007 at 09:44 AM • top

I would like to hear what Dr Seiitz thinks a ‘formal statement’ from the CA bishops would accomplish.  They cannot dissent from the statement, since they did not vote against it.  Can they defend the paragraphs about incursions and SSB’s?  To give a specific example, can they sincerely defend the use of the quotes about ‘pastoral provision’ as a fair and honest reading of the documents from Lambeth and the Primates?  If not, can they claim that complying with only one of the Dar es Salaam requests is a victory or at least substantial compliance?  If not, will they admit that they were defeated, however that defeat may have come about?

[33] Posted by J Knightley on 09-26-2007 at 09:46 AM • top

TEC is today a secular, culture driven organization, concerned with the secular, left wing, liberal issues of the day; gay rights, racism, drilling in ANWAR, Global Warming, war in Iraq, raising taxes, nationalizing health care, supporting abortions etc etc.

Right, BillS.  Because we, of course, know that Jesus never sat at table with sinners, never cared about discrimination, never cared about peace, never cared about the sick.  All that Lazarus talk on this upcoming Sunday was just inserted by left-wing Gospel writers.

[34] Posted by Vintner on 09-26-2007 at 09:48 AM • top

Thanks for your prompt Dr. Seitz.  I too am bitterly disappointed with the performance of the Windsor Bishops in New Orleans.  In their defense, however, I do think it was probably fatal to their cause for their strongest advocates to leave early.  Their vote now makes it easier for TEC to say to the ABC, “See, we’re all in agreement here,” and for the ABC to refuse to discipline them (Lambeth invitations).  Of course, this won’t satisfy the more outspoken Primates, and will therefore lead to the break-up of the Anglican Communion.  I pray that I’m wrong, but this certainly looks probable at this juncture.

[35] Posted by evan miller on 09-26-2007 at 09:49 AM • top

Note to Anthony: even if they were ‘sabotaged,’ orthodox bishops are expected to stand against heterodoxy, not vote for a compromise with it.

[36] Posted by J Knightley on 09-26-2007 at 09:50 AM • top

TEC is today a secular, culture driven organization

Don’t forget, tax-exempt, probably makes it pretty valuable to the libs.

[37] Posted by Enough on 09-26-2007 at 09:54 AM • top

I’m still more or less amazed that Integrity is satisfied with this.

Humph. Integrity is satisfied because they know that the liberal Bishops have and are lying through their teeth and will do nothing to stop any of Integrity’s satanic agenda no matter what fudge they pack into any public statements.

AP+

[38] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 09-26-2007 at 09:58 AM • top

But Greg, only a small fraction of the “Windsor Bishops” are in Pittsburgh.  What are the rest of them doing?

Caving, evidently.

[39] Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-26-2007 at 10:00 AM • top

I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like for a faithful priest who has given his life to this church to live with such betrayal.  Priests vow to obey these “fathers” who condone, nay promote, immorality.  Pray for them that they might be strengthened in their resolve to lead their flocks.

[40] Posted by DaveG on 09-26-2007 at 10:04 AM • top

The first thing to ask if you talk to a Windsor/CA Bishop who voted for this thing is when do they intend to start allowing their pastors to provide SSBs “pastorally”. If they aren’t they should explain what their justification is. They can’t claim it’s wrong to and do nothing about their fellow Bishops. If you voted for this document then you clearly endorsed the idea that pastors alone decide whether or not a SSB is an allowed pastoral response.

[41] Posted by Rocks on 09-26-2007 at 10:04 AM • top

Smuggs,

Certainly Jesus sat with sinners and we are all sinners. However, drilling in anwar is not sin, low tax rates are not sin, and so on. I can (and will if you really want) make the case that low tax rates are good for poor people because they stimulate the economy, drilling in Anwar is good for the poor and dispossessed because it lowers energy costs, and so forth on each issue that TEC seems compelled to take a position on.

My point is not that I am right and TEC is wrong, although I believe this to be the case. My point is that the first duty of TEC and Christian churches is to help each of us find Christ and follow in his ways. TEC has not only failed in this regard, but is giving up the effort. And I do not mean every single person within TEC, I mean as an organization.

TEC has no special expertise on oil drilling and energy economics, tax policy, health care, global warming, that allow it as an organization to take a position that means anything. The area where TEC as an organization is suppose to have expertise, finding and following Christ in our lives, has been completely abandoned or perverted. We have TEC as an organization professing expertise were it has none, and abandoning the historical teachings of Christ where it is suppose to have expertise. The world is upside down.

My main point, whether you agree with my politics or not, is that this is the secular path that TEC is on, and it is not changing, and we each to to recognize this reality as we each make individual decisions about where to go from here.

[42] Posted by BillS on 09-26-2007 at 10:06 AM • top

NB&S;and GG - In my line of work—there usually chorus making kissing noises to explain what the rest of them are doing.

[43] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 09-26-2007 at 10:07 AM • top

Dr. Seitz,

Good and accurate statement, and I don’t think in conflict in its essence with Matt’s fine analysis.

The Windsor Bishops did do faithful and hard work in their meetings, but are themselves hamstrung by serving in divided dioceses, each caught in no win situations.

I would ask you to reexamine your own perspective of Common Cause and its potential to offer the foundation for a revitalized and faithful historic Anglicanism with all its global connections intact.

In the same way ++Rowan lacked the courage to stand up to revisionist ideologues last week in New Orleans, so he will lack the courage to stand up to the Global South’s establishment of a truly Anglican province in North America—so this potential reality is fully in play and is in fact happening.

The question I have is what effect on our own souls does it have to remain Anglican if TEC remains undisciplined in that larger system?

We look forward to more thoughtful reflection from ACI—and thank you for your hard work in these difficult days—it is ACI that has won the intellectual argument for conservatives—and thrust the liberals into mere process-speak to explain themselves, and for that we are thankful.

[44] Posted by Don Armstrong on 09-26-2007 at 10:10 AM • top

Sounds like everyone was given an up-or-down vote on something they didn’t debate or see a final draft of until the very end, and a voice vote that kind of psychologically discourages calling out a “no.”  Brilliant steamroll by 815, and disappointing weakness by Windsors.  I don’t think they agreed with it so much as they were deer in headlights (which is not that much better).

Common Cause will of course be rolling something out, so the game goes on.

[45] Posted by Reason and Revelation on 09-26-2007 at 10:12 AM • top

To those within TEC attempting to witness, I’m sorry. It appears that the CommCon effort is quite dead.

I tried, for about 3 years to work these issues as a CommCon, but in the end was so frustrated by the institutional mindset present therein that I had to walk. Being a member of CANA and by definition a FedCon has brought me much peace.

My prayers to those abandoned within TEC by this horrid piece of fudge signed by your HoB. May God have mercy. Even if you don’t leave TEC, I invite you to find a CANA or AMiA church and rest your soul and spirit for a time.

[46] Posted by TnCANA on 09-26-2007 at 10:16 AM • top

Speaking of Common Cause, after the extensive N.O. coverage there isn’t much public commentary..is that just from folks being tired and needing rest and not having others to cover for them, or what?

[47] Posted by tdunbar on 09-26-2007 at 10:16 AM • top

Lost in all the focus on this is the fact that a *woman Archbishop* is leading this circus. Something that would have been unthinkable a century or even a few decades ago. Not only are women ordained to the priesthood, they are now bishops and even archbishops. Because the heretics have moved the fight so far into sinful territory, this fact isn’t even mentioned. This fact alone proves the complete heresy of this ‘denomination’ the TEC. Mormons are more orthodox than this sad church.

[48] Posted by Joel on 09-26-2007 at 10:18 AM • top

I mean seriously Matt, Sarah, and the like… what did you expect?! I have been asking family, friends, and clergy for a while now “what does it mean to be a windsor bishop anymore?” The answer… absolutely nothing. Did you honestly, truly expect something different from this gathering? If you did, I really feel sorry for you. The Epsicopal church did not die yesterday. It has been dead for quite a while, and everyone knows it. All the commentary, all the analysis, all the speculation, all the drama… for what? A heretic church. To call it anything else or continue to try to explain or excuse is FOOLISH!! Please people, get it through your head. IT’S OVER! Back your bags and head for the Catholic Church, a non-denominational church, or move to Africa. I just pray that my rector and vestry has the faith to lead us out.

This entire thing was nothing but a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

[49] Posted by hookem1175 on 09-26-2007 at 10:24 AM • top

RE: “What happened to the Windsor bishops is that their strongest leaders and most eloquent speakers all thought it would be smart to leave town before the discussion.  The Windsor bishops were sabotaged by the Network.”

WHAT?  You mean . . . the really smart, strong, and eloquent bishops are actually just the Common Cause Network bishops?  They were the only ones who could actually resist and stand?

Then frankly, the “Windsor bishops” didn’t deserve the Common Cause Network bishops to pull their fat from the fire by standing and speaking and resisting.

If out of all the 25 or so “Windsor bishops” grouping there were only five “strongest leaders and most eloquent speakers”—and those just happened to be the Common Cause Network bishops . . . then what does that say about the remaining “Windsor bishops?”

No, “Windsor bishops” is no longer a group of concern or interest to me.  There are a number of marvelous and godly bishops in the HOB—but at the end of the day it’s merely “the House of Bishops.”

[50] Posted by Sarah on 09-26-2007 at 10:28 AM • top

We should be clear what the bishops did yesterday.  They firmly preserved the status quo:  B033 on bishop elections; blessings will continue unabated without formally-approved rites; no meaningful provision for the orthodox.  This is the same status quo that existed after GC2006, which was itself essentially the status quo that existed before then.  It was this state of play that the Primates demanded be changed.  It will not be.

It is clear when viewed in this light that Rowan Williams’ enigmatic efforts in NO were a complete failure.  His job was not to get ECUSA to keep doing what it was doing, but to get it to change.  Rowan Williams deserves this outcome.  For years he has toyed with the Communion like a cat playing with a mouse—a simile that has become a jaded cliché, but the gruesome power of which is still apparent to those who have cats and mice.  The best that could be said of the ABC is that he had no effect.

But lest anyone take that as justifiable praise, we should also remember another aspect of the status quo:  ECUSA is sick unto death, with members, parishes and perhaps dioceses leaving in droves.  The bishops’ odd decision to reinforce this fact publicly yesterday indicates their own awareness of the seriousness of this problem.  This status quo has not changed either.  The disease will worsen at an ever-quickening pace and has already metastasized to other parts of the communion.  Likewise, Rowan Williams’ paralysis of leadership has spread to paralyze the entire communion, as Dr. Radner intimated last night.

It is one thing to run out the clock when you are ahead, but it is always disastrous to do so when you are behind.

[51] Posted by wildfire on 09-26-2007 at 10:28 AM • top

Joel; personally I agree with you. And I could say quite a lot more. But to save Greg the trouble of coming in, one of the rules of this site is that Women’s ordination issues are discussed here.

[52] Posted by Boring Bloke on 09-26-2007 at 10:28 AM • top

Reason and Revelation: “Deer in headlights”—Best analogy so far for the Camp Allen bunch at the end. They may have done good work at the camp, but they didn’t have a tactical plan for the end game. I can only add that the deer were also worn down by the process.

[53] Posted by Gator on 09-26-2007 at 10:30 AM • top

BillS, I believe you’re wrong.  TEC can and does speak and apply the Gospel message to each and every place where practices of injustice and discrimination are occurring.  Your argument belies the notion that church leaders should only speak to religious subjects and that there should be no connection between church and state.  The church, as I have heard it defined, is the conscience of the state and thus can speak to the plight of the poor, the exploitation of creation, bigotry and hatred wherever and whenever it is practiced.  Conservatives decried the Viet Nam War being spoken against from the pulpit because TEC was not considered to be expert in governmental policies.  We are not to keep the Gospel indoors and to ourselves.  We are to go out, make a difference, touch the hurting and rectify the wrongs in the name of Christ and His Church.  We certainly disagree on how this is to be done but to say that the Church has no business dealing with these issues is an idea that is, I believe, totally misguided.

[54] Posted by Vintner on 09-26-2007 at 10:30 AM • top

I think it would be a little unfair to blame all this on Windsor Bishops.  The Episcopal Church has been gunning for moderates for a long time.  I thought we were pretty moderate in the House of Deputies in 1997.  Remember that year that the only thing on sexuality that went through was the recommendation to the Church Insurance Company to allow dioceses to buy health insurance for “domestic partners” if the dioceses so wished.  I had no problem living with the compromise resolution of 2000 (without the 8th resolve that did not pass).  But the ship has been getting closer and closer to the iceberg for a long time.  This foolishness did not happen overnight or even in the last six years.

I used to say that our problems stem from our theological learning’s being here (hold out left hand) and our pastoral practice’s being here (hold out right hand).  Now it’s pretty clear that our theological learning may be here (where I am in my office) and our pastoral practice is a couple of blocks away.

Rudy+

[55] Posted by Rudy on 09-26-2007 at 10:31 AM • top

Thank You Matt for all of your hard work! Your forceful closing sentences regarding the “Fall of the Windsor Bishops” may be too kind:

“They embraced the duplicity, participated in the lie of this Response, despite the real souls and real lives at stake; because, apparently, they believe that it will win them access to Lambeth and peace for the duration of their careers.

And, of course, they are right.

And now, good bishops, think of all those people caught up in sexual sin, who are Sunday by Sunday, being led away in chains toward the darkness and away from Christ. What have you done for them?

You gave their false shepherds your consent. You stood aside. You let go the responsibilities of your office. You won a seat with Canterbury.

It is a sad, sad day.”

I was amazed, and did not really believe it, when I was told several years ago that an invitation to Lambeth was more important to an Episcopal Bishop than anything else in this fallen world. This is indeed a sad state of affairs. However, I believe that from an eternal standpoint, an invitation to Lambeth is of no consequence. A Bishop’s violation of his ordination vows are matters of everlasting life and death, both for him and for those he “oversees”: 

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.


“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where
  ” ‘their worm does not die,
    and the fire is not quenched.’ Everyone will be salted with fire.
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

Mark 9: 35-50

[56] Posted by stancase on 09-26-2007 at 10:39 AM • top

Matt+,
  I think this Malaysian report came to a different conclusion:
[url=“http://story.malaysiasun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/b8de8e630faf3631/id/285487/cs/1/”]
Church once again bans gay clergy [/url]

It’s a hoot, apparently TEC is going to stop everything.

[57] Posted by Rocks on 09-26-2007 at 10:42 AM • top

A vote by acclamation would not allow dissenting voices to be heard.

So much for the listening process. They’re a bunch of hypocrites!  What else would one expect to happen in New Orleans?  Drunks seen walking out of bars on Bourbon Street; the sun rose in the east.  I’m not really shocked.

[58] Posted by Piedmont on 09-26-2007 at 10:47 AM • top

Smuggs,

I understand your point. Here is the difficulty. Let’s assume that we both agree that Christ is the only way to the Father, resurrection of Christ from the dead, and so forth.

TEC teaches that the war in Iraq is wrong and we need to bring home the troops, a position that I assume you agree with. I believe that ridding the world of a Saddam Hussein, a murderous dictator who raped and tortured women and children, murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people using chemical weapons (remember Chemical Ali?), attacked his neighbors, and threatened the world was the right thing to do morally and geo-politically. Further, I think that staying in Iraq is essential so that Iraq has the opportunity to become a peaceful, functioning democracy as totalitarian Germany and Japan did in the years after WWII. The world is better off now and for the future with Saddam gone and US troops helping Iraq manage the transformation to a democracy.

Now, you may disagree with this political assessment. I would hope that we could both be members in TEC and take communion together because of a shared belief in Christ and following his ways, even if we disagree politically on war in Iraq, tax rates or whatever.

As soon as the Church as an institution takes a position on Iraq, tax rates, etc, now the Church has introduced a political division on top of the theological divisions within the Church, further subdividing the congregation, and is in effect telling me that my support of Bush and his policies is sinful in the eyes of the Church. Now we can no longer join each other at the alter rail, and that is a shame, if not itself a sin.

[59] Posted by BillS on 09-26-2007 at 10:47 AM • top

The ABC wanted to deal with TEC as a whole - have us solve our issues. The piecemeal approach didn’t work for him - which I can appreciate. He wanted the different sides to “show up” together. This statement was the best the group can do as a whole. There is some sense in saying the group now has to stand together as a whole. Now it is up to him - hopefully in consultation with the other primates - to decide whether this is enough. Enough in simple terms is - does this response help us grow as a communion? (How one defines the term grow I will leave open at the moment - it is necessarily ambiguous ie grow closer to each other - grow closer to Christ - grow in numbers etc. the definition may drive the answer). We have tried to relate as brothers and sisters in Christ. I would presume that the TEC’s statement will be honored - the question is will it be embraced. If it is embraced then…..

[60] Posted by Paul PA on 09-26-2007 at 10:56 AM • top

I am still wondering what happened to the Windsor bishops, those still in the room, and why did they disappear as a force.  Dr. Seitz commented on the loss of energy, and I recall the Stockholm Syndrome, wherein hostages locked up with their captors eventually adopt the captors’ attitudes.  I have seen it in other settings, particularly long meetings with lots of people. Your own attitudes and judgments are worn down, and eventually you just want to be part of an overall “good ending.”  Faithful Windsor bishops were coopted, pulled into the drafting process, worn down by the this six-day siege, and in the end did not even have the energy to rise and say This is wrong, or to speak No at the appropriate time.  Very sad.

[61] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 09-26-2007 at 10:57 AM • top

With my strategy hat on, 815 have played this one quite well. Reaffirmed their moratorium (without teeth, ie, no impact), bought time, listed some gripes (VGR and Lambeth, incursions), leveraged what was wasted ammunition from the Subgroup, kicked the can to General Convention…. They have also divided the opposition (Windsor v. Network/CC), and by keeping so-called conservatives (even just a few) they can claim inclusivity, room for the orthodox, etc. Even with a few PR flaps (Bruno’s obvious lying, KJS “Secret Church of Jesus” remark, and general smugness about departing brethren), 815 played it well.  Integrity is happy, since the inevitable remains so and they won’t be stopped getting most of what they want in the meantime. Louie Crew may be angry at the lack of principle and smokescreen, but I suspect he’s in the minority among progressives.  Also, now Common Cause and the most-reasserting dioceses and leaders have their cards on the table and must play out the hand under very uncertain conditions…. ABC doesn’t have to call primates meeting before/if Pittsburgh splits, and the Episcopal visitor plan makes sure TEC has someone to be the “interim” B. of Pittsburgh.  Barring a surprise fit of leadership from the ABC (and a departure from his normally indecisive style), the Primates are it.

[62] Posted by TWilson on 09-26-2007 at 10:59 AM • top

Peter Ould’s reflection is deeply stirring.

[63] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 09-26-2007 at 11:01 AM • top

There was no point in making a dissenting voice.  Any bishop that has been involved with TEC knows as much.  There was no point in remaining aside from making a sentimental gesture for the church we once knew.  That has long passed and sentimentality becomes in the end nothing but baggage. 

Find yourselves a church and get on with your Christian pilgrimage.  This has become like a divorce where you cannot know your wife because she is the temple prostitute and already booked.  Your actions determine whether you bind yourself to the fate of Eli’s sons or go with Samuel.  I pity Eli in hearing the fate of his sons.  I pity the bishops who have contributed to the downfall of those given into their charge.  But I no longer join myself to perdition willingly or intentionally.  I suppose it is a lesson in knowing our need of God.  It is an object lesson in obedience to Holy Scripture.  But the later state will be worse than the first if you identify the problem and chose not to exorcize it from your lives.  Best, move forward toward a place where God beckons and not just away from trouble.

I found the one holy, catholic and apostolic church over ten years ago with the Antiochian (Eastern) Orthdodox Church in North America.  It wasn’t just a refuge ... it was coming home. Yes, it is more work than Epicurian Christianity. It takes work to learn to participate and cooperate in God’s work of salvation.  You have heard an eloquent witness from +Steenman.  I’m sure almost anywhere among biblical, historical churches would be more healthy than sitting around going to TEC in a handbasket.  Do not join your body to a prostitute.  Get right with God and get going.  As the kids say today, “Just do it”.

[64] Posted by Pernoctate on 09-26-2007 at 11:06 AM • top

The House acknowledges that non-celibate gay and lesbian persons are included among those to whom B033 pertains.”

I still can’t get over how people are missing the point of this.
The HOB admitted that B033 includes non-celeibate LBGTs. In other words B033 applies to everybody.
Where does it say that being a non-celibate LBGT means you are a ” candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion”????

All any Bishop consenting to a non-celibate LBGT elected has to say is that they don’t see a problem with their manner of life.

[65] Posted by Rocks on 09-26-2007 at 11:10 AM • top

“This has become like a divorce where you cannot know your wife because she is the temple prostitute and already booked. “

LOL…..first one of the day!

G+

[66] Posted by frwalkeratsaintalbans on 09-26-2007 at 11:14 AM • top

DickM - You have described perfectly what progressive think happened in Tanzania and why the Primates given half a chance now in the cool of the day will not “discipline” TEC.

[67] Posted by C.B. on 09-26-2007 at 11:18 AM • top

I never expected the HOB to do other than it has done: exactly what it has been doing.  I am deeeply disappointed that the Camp Allen bishops and Windsor bishops have acted only on the principle of go-along-to-get-along.  No dissent.  No demand for a voice vote and accountability.  Only one person had the voice loud enough to dissent and that was the paragon Bennison?

I have been suckered by these bishops for 3 years.  I have prayed for them.  I have hoped and believed they would do at least vocal opposition.  Put not your trust in kings or any child of man, for sure.  Why didn’t I listen to that text?  I really wanted to believe there were the few, the loud, the upholders (whether successful or not) of the Faith.  Delusion.  My delusion is at least as strong as those advocating the currently winning agenda and for the same reason: it was about what I wanted, not reality.

Lord, have mercy on us all.

[68] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 09-26-2007 at 11:27 AM • top

Greg said:

The so-called “Windsor Bishops” are no more. The body of bishops that was left by the time this statement was voted on, is the saddest bunch of losers I may have ever seen. To paraphrase William F. Buckely, I’d rather be led by the first 200 names in the New Orleans phone book than this bunch of pathetic bedwetters.

Wow.  And I thought I was harsh!  (But I heartily agree.)

[69] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 09-26-2007 at 11:28 AM • top

I am sure that I am as disappointed as anyone with the parliamentary outcome to this meeting, and the statement offered by the House.  Where were the Windsor Bishops?  Some were in Pittsburgh, some had announced their intention to leave Anglicanism, some were in negotiation with their colleagues, some were here, some were there.  They were clearly not together.  That is a statement of fact, and it includes, I am afraid, all of them (including Common Cause folks).  What shall I say to that?

Most of us have read our lectionary this morning, and are aware of 1 Corinthians 5:11.  Alas, for all our sakes, it includes in the list of those with whom one “should not even eat”, the “revilers”.  I shall try to keep my disappointment, therefore, from descending into such a place of disapprobation.  Souls are indeed at stake.  I take it, therefore, that there is more that God will be doing with us than we can at present fathom.

I believe that that, under the present circumstances especially, Kendall’s radical proposal is first step needed:  the Americans cannot do what is demanded of them, no matter who they are.  Let us all be left to swim in our own juices at this time.

[70] Posted by Ephraim Radner on 09-26-2007 at 11:34 AM • top

Let’s cut to the chase:

On Monday, was it likely ECUSA would consecrate another openly gay bishop in the next three years?  Yes.
Today, is it likely ECUSA will consecrate another openly gay bishop in the next three years?  Yes.

On Monday, could one “marry” his or her SS partner in an ECUSA church without much effort?  Yes.
Today, can one “marry” his or her SS partner in an ECUSA church without much effort?  Yes.

On Monday, was the Schori/Beers axis empowered to “ethnically cleanse” ECUSA of conservatives?  Yes.
Today, is the Schori/Beers axis empowered to “ethnically cleanse” ECUSA of conservatives?  Yes.

[71] Posted by Phil on 09-26-2007 at 11:37 AM • top

Thank you Ephraim.  How can Kendall’s proposal (which was also yours) take place at this point?  If we will not voluntarily absent ourselves from Lambeth, will RW?  Is it then the same proposal?  Maybe if we don’t have the requisite humility, it needs to be forced on us.

[72] Posted by Walkerhound on 09-26-2007 at 11:42 AM • top

Sarah wrote:

There are a number of marvelous and godly bishops in the HOB—but at the end of the day it’s merely “the House of Bishops.”

A whole that is less than the sum of its parts.

Which statement is also accurately applicable to the House O’ Primates, no?

[73] Posted by Africanised Anglican on 09-26-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

Why did the Common Cause bishop walk out. Why did they decapitate the leadership of the CA Bishops at the moment that if anything positive for the conservatives within TEC was ever going to happen could possibly happen?

Simple - they didn’t want it to happen. They have never wanted it to happen. They want something else.  The question is did they in effect hurt their own chances of ever getting it.

[74] Posted by C.B. on 09-26-2007 at 11:46 AM • top

Matt is saying, surely, that the collapse of the Windsor Bishops was because they knew that this Response was OK with Archbishop Rowan, so there was no point in struggling because this represents the thinking at the top.

Am I missing something, or is that what Matt is saying?

And if that is what he is saying, and if it is the case (it certainly makes sense), isn’t that profoundly disturbing for everyone. Does it mean that, where Archbishop Rowan failed to get his Primate’s Sub-Group Report through at D-e-S, he has succeeded now in getting what he failed to get then? Does it mean that Archbishop Rowan has made his decision at last and that he wants Canterbury + TEC and not Canterbury + GS

Or am I looking at this the wrong way round? (I hope I am - so I hope someone will give me a reassuring answer to those question).

[75] Posted by William S on 09-26-2007 at 11:55 AM • top

Thoughts of Bishop MacPherson, Stanton, etc: “Well, Bishops Duncan and Iker aren’t here. I guess I just have to vote for this travesty.” ...NOT!

Quit excusing the Vichy Camp Allen collaborating bishops.

Kendall’s proposal??? The usurpers, after assuring their invitations and humiliating the Camp Allen bishops, are now going to voluntary withdraw??? What folly even to give it a second thought.

[76] Posted by robroy on 09-26-2007 at 12:01 PM • top

I think the Windsor bishops “believed,” and were persuaded based on what they heard from the draft committee, the JSC and “people” from Lambeth (the ACO?) that the Response was sufficient for Canterbury. Whether Canterbury was directly and personally involved, I do not know.

[77] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 09-26-2007 at 12:03 PM • top

The Windsor Bishops were sabotaged by the Network? 

Are you telling me that these Bishops, these leaders of whole Diocese, could not function in a convention setting without Duncan, Iker, etc. at the helm?  Please.

These are adults.  Folks who are the heads of the church.  Folks who know the parliamentary games.  If they cannot speak up on their own, they deserve whatever they get.  But they can speak up.  They just chose not to. 

The only smart ones seem to be the five that left, knowing it was over before it began.

[78] Posted by Nyssa on 09-26-2007 at 12:05 PM • top

A non-invitation of all American bishops is in Canterbury’s hand.  The Camp Allen bishops (including those who left the HoB early) have already stated to Canterbury, in a letter, their willingness to accept, for themselves, such a non-invitation.  I believe that Rowan Williams should indeed rescind all such invitations to American bishops, of any stripe.  We have created a mess that we are thus far unwilling to clean up, leaving the room and hoping someone else will walk by with a mop.  Apparently that won’t happen, either because no one else knows how to wipe things up, or no one else really wants to get us off the hook.  Let us live with the mess until we make the effort to get the mop ourselves.  If, in the meantime, Anglicans in North America would rather do mission by mitosis, or die from the bloatedness of being liturgical couch potatoes, so be it.  There are other, non-Anglican, options if we don’t like it.

[79] Posted by Ephraim Radner on 09-26-2007 at 12:14 PM • top

Hindsight is always wonderful, if only our foresight were better.  Quite honestly, by 2003 it was already too late.  Revisionism was too entrenched and rampant.  None the less, I am disappointed there were no dissentling vioces to be heard.

[80] Posted by Nikolaus on 09-26-2007 at 12:21 PM • top

Such revocation of all US invitations would be a bold step.  But what if the ABC does not?  What if the ABC and the ACC declare that the TEC resolutions are just fine, and the global south declares they are not?  Frankly, these seem to me far more likely.

[81] Posted by pendennis88 on 09-26-2007 at 12:22 PM • top

Rob Roy, Even though I can’t read French, I believe your comparison of the Vichy government with The House of Bishops is appropriate. I get the impression that you will opt for a Common Cause Church and I wish you the best. Thank you for defending the faith wherever you go.

[82] Posted by Betty See on 09-26-2007 at 12:28 PM • top

I am trying to temper my frustration with things and hope that a greater calling is ahead, whatever form it may take.  Practically speaking, I am inclined to agree (as usual) with Dr. Radner.  The HoB failed collectively, and needs to bear the consequences collectively.

[83] Posted by BCP28 on 09-26-2007 at 12:29 PM • top

It was clear from the outset that the conservatives/Windsor bishops would not prevail.  Surely the objective was to try to persuade as many bishops as possible to agree to what the Dar communiqué asked of TEC.  Short of accomplishing that objective, what was required was for these bishops to give a “No” vote when the crucial time came.

They completely failed in this regard.  Instead they sided with the majority.  We all know what the majority of TEC stands for.  As several have already said, you don’t present a minority report when you vote with the majority.  It really doesn’t matter how much work the Windsor/CA bishops have done if, when the moment to stand came, they refused to do so.  Any statement or explanation they may give at this point is of no consequence.  They refused to stand in opposition to the lie that the bishops’ statement really is and their lack of resolve and courage will result in more confusion.  As Matt said, they are putting many more souls in danger because of their participation in this prevarication.  The Lord have mercy on them and the Lord have mercy on us all.
 
I pray for the Common Cause partners and the orthodox Primates of the rest of the Communion that they will stand firm.  I pray for Archbishop Rowan.  We should also pray for the newly elected Primate of South Africa, who was the only conservative candidate, that he will be confirmed and that he will add his voice to the calls for reform and renewal of the Anglican Communion.

Nancy McCall

[84] Posted by wildfire on 09-26-2007 at 12:30 PM • top

C.B., you asked:


Why did the Common Cause bishop[s] walk out[?] 

Maybe it’d have been a little clearer if they’d paused at the door, before leaving the convention, removed their shoes, and read aloud from Matthew 10:14 ?

Or, if you’d like a more-detailed, poetic explanation:


O alienate from God, O Spirit accursed
Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall
Determined and thy hapless crew involved
In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread
Both of thy crime and punishment. Henceforth
No more be troubled how to quit the yoke
Of God’s Messiah. Those indulgent laws
Will not be now vouchsafed- other decrees
Against thee are gone forth without recall;
That golden sceptre which thou didst reject
Is now an iron rod to bruise and break
Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise;
Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly
These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath
Impendent, raging into sudden flame
Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel
His thunder on thy head, devouring fire.
Then who created thee lamenting learn
When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.

    —John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book V

[85] Posted by Africanised Anglican on 09-26-2007 at 12:35 PM • top

I don’t think it is likely that RW will rescind any invitations.
I do not see him inviting VGR as anything except a guest. He will probably invite the GS US Bishops as guests also. I think he sees all of those as being irregular by the Canons of the churches from who they represent. Instead RW will note the progress TEC made with this statement but did not fully address DES, Windsor or Lambeth 1.10 and refer it to the primates. If the Primates wish to take further steps regarding TEC through ACC, etc then they are welcome to do that but the Primates have no say in who goes to Lambeth. I think RW will announce that rescinding invitations is no longer even any option as it his not his job or desire to exclude bishops who were canonically chosen or elected and are at the time members of the AC. It is his job to invite, Bishops are free to come or not and he those that decide not to attend will be sorely missed.
I think RW needs this to end and it’s clear TEC will not help to make that happen.

[86] Posted by Rocks on 09-26-2007 at 12:45 PM • top

Does anyone have a contact for me with the PCA?

[87] Posted by JerryKramer on 09-26-2007 at 12:56 PM • top

I am so grateful to this website for helping me keep up with what was taking place in New Orleans, the writers were splendid in their performance as journalists, even with a bias they allowed the truth of what was happening to remain untarnished and clear —- an unusual gift, as yet not mastered by most media—- you are to be commended by all.
  On the other hand, I am pleased with the answer that the HOB’s has given, even if it is not perfect. If it allows the Communion to hold, well, then, to be honest, my prayers are answered. Our Episcopalian polity is so scattered and unfocused at present (as Bishop Steenson states so much more charitably in his letter) that for the HOB’s or General Convention to meet without a major muck-up is a phenomena in and of itself—- worthy of note! Bringing together either is, as an old friend used to say, “like trying to herd cats.”
  Assuming what I read is true, and this is an acceptable answer to the Communion, thanks to the help of the ABC, and others, that is a good thing. It also points out that (especially given how widely liberal many in the HOB’s are, and that the more conservative bishops shirked their responsibility, and broke faith, by leaving before the end of the meeting) unity and communion is greatly valued by the bishops present—- beyond their own personal agendas in many cases.  I am stunned at how (relatively speaking) moderate the response was…I think it shows the HOB’s, and especially given those present, have been remarkably responsible to those traditionalists left in the Church—- they could have willfully destroyed the relationship we have with Canterbury, and they chose not to do so—- and should be commended. I think, collectively speaking, they have acted selflessly, and even out of character. My prayer is that the rest of the Communion will continue to bring pressure on TEC, while at the same time interact with us, that a true conversion can take place, and that we can work together for the spread of God’s Kingdom with a unified voice in our branch of the Catholic Church, and ultimately as one with “all who profess and call themselves Christians…”

[88] Posted by FrVan on 09-26-2007 at 01:00 PM • top

The Archbishop of Canterbury may want it to end but it will not end because the Episcopal Church lobbying group “Integrity” (and other special interest groups) will not let it end. They are already campaigning to repeal B003 at General Convention 2009.
They seem to have enough power to keep the show on the road forever.

[89] Posted by Betty See on 09-26-2007 at 01:03 PM • top

Sarah, opening the thread, sadly concluded

As far as I know, there are no longer any clusters of traditional bishops in the House of Bishops.

There is, simply, the House.

You’re behind the times, hon.  It’s now “the Community of Bishops”, like “the Community of the Oimiakon Gulag.”  Nice and warm and fuzzy and unthreatening because it’s completely, totally under the control of <strike>the Party</strike> 815.

[90] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 09-26-2007 at 01:11 PM • top

>>A non-invitation of all American bishops is in Canterbury’s hand.<< So is a non-invitation to those American bishops who have repudiated Lambeth 1.10 in word and deed. I reject the moral equivalence of Schori and Duncan, or Bruno and Minns. I know of no one who is more an historic Anglican at heart than my bishop Bob Duncan; I know of no one who tried harder to work the system within the Diocese of Virginia, the General Convention and the Lambeth Conference than Martyn Minns. I think feisty African bishops like Peter Akinola and Henry Orombi would gladly submit to a Canterbury who stood for the faith with the grace and firmness of Mouneer Anis. So if RW has all the cards in his hand, let him invite the Common Cause bishops to Lambeth and let the Windsor bishops join the party.

[91] Posted by Stephen Noll on 09-26-2007 at 01:14 PM • top

Based on comments made by ECUSA bishops prior to the New Orleans HOB meeting, the results of the meeting should surprise no one.  The theme of “Keep on Keepin’ On” was playing before they go off the plane. 

However, thanks to the Stand Firm crew we got to hear, see, and read the public utterances of many the bishops.  I think for many of us, these communications were surprising, even shocking, as to both tone and content.  The pompous and blustering demeanor, the intellectual vacuity, the base political nature, the arrogance and disingenuousness, of the HOB were on display for the world to observe.  I expected a few more Steensons, and fewer Brunos.  I was obviously disappointed.

A further service of the Stand Firm crew may be needed.  The respect, credibility and admiration that the Stand Firm crew has earned could be put to use in exploring options for those of us who consider ourselves orthodox Christians.  Sarah might explain why she has decided to go the nondenominational route; Fr. Kennedy, when he releases his decision, might give some detailed explanation for his decision, etc.  I plan on attending my ECUSA parish on Sunday and listening to my rector.  I would love to stay in that parish, but I suspect I will spend my last Sunday in an ECUSA parish this Sunday.  I am awaiting the response by the Primates and my parish before I do anything rash, but I can no longer participate in even an orthodox parish of ECUSA.

[92] Posted by ConsProf on 09-26-2007 at 01:15 PM • top

Hosea 6:6 writes: “I do too much work with the persecuted Church to write much more without letting my emotions dictate content, but it’s a very sad day when comfortable bishops can compromise at the threat of a little discomfort while other pay a much higher price to stand firm for their faith.” This, I think, is the American Churchs’ dirty little secret. A lack of courage-even intellectual conviction-when so little, comparatively speaking, is at stake personally, does not bode well for the church in America. Hopefully, Bishop Duncan and Common Cause can craft a TRUE way forward for a vibrant, uncompromised Anglican Christian witness in North America. This is sorely needed. I began reading Ezekiel today, and Gods words in Ezekiel 2-3:1-11, hit me like a cold shower. We live in a world which is increasingly more hostile, day by day, towards God and His household. Speaking of the US in particular, athiests, darwinists, pagans, along with the popular media and culture are becoming more vicious, more unrestrained in their licentiousness, more vocal in their hatred of things Christian than I’ve ever seen. The days when Christian thought and precepts of morality had some preeminance in the public arena (or were at least paid some respectful sounding lip service) are rapidly fading in the rearview mirror, and Satan would like nothing better than to confuse, cow, and marginalize Christ and His people [look at what the devil has done to ECUSA in a few short decades]. May God indeed be pleased to bless and guide the efforts of the Common Cause partners as they meet even now in Pittsburgh. Its going to be a long, hard road ahead for all Christians in North America, and the church of Jesus Christ will need all the support, blessing, courage and guidance that the Holy Spirit can give us for the decades ahead.

[93] Posted by Bob K. on 09-26-2007 at 01:16 PM • top

Dr Noll wrote:

So if RW has all the cards in his hand, let him invite the Common Cause bishops to Lambeth and let the Windsor bishops join the party.

Maybe we could re-name it:  ‘Rowan & Martyn’s Laff-In’ ?

[94] Posted by Africanised Anglican on 09-26-2007 at 01:22 PM • top

Luke writes: ““Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?”  That is precisely what we have been given to eat, snake, oil and all.  How could we expect any more?  Canterbury agrees with TEC’s theology, he just doesn’t have the fortitude to act upon his beliefs.  And so he strings the faithful along, paying lip service to the faith once delivered, but instead acting the role of the Manchurian Candidate.  We ask for spiritual food and instead we got a steaming mound of @@@@!
The Emperor has no clothes, but the “Windsor”  Bishops are too firghtened of losing their perks, to tell him to put on a pair of pants.

[95] Posted by DaveG on 09-26-2007 at 01:29 PM • top

I would like to relate the sad tale of the life and death of a man named Des.

Even before Des was born, an evildoer tried unsuccessfully to prevent his birth by feeding the mother abortifacients by only allotting 4 hours for the American question and releasing a perfidious subcommittee report. In Des’ infancy, the evildoer tried to poison him by avoiding a set deadline.

In what should have been, Des’ prime of life (his occupation was reconciliation), the evildoer succeeded in poisoning the unfortunate with the early invitations. Des did not die but led a sickly life after that.

At his end of life, more poison from the evildoer in the form of changing the term deadline to ultimatum, denying this straw man and stating it was only a beginning of discussion.

The poor patient Des was now in the ICU under life support. The evildoer the sneaked in and held a pillow over poor Des till he breathed his last. The pillow was a finely crafted document that rejected two of the three requests outright and the third request being fated to be rejected with the overturning of B033 in less than two years time (but after the tea party).

This is an extended chronology of of the life and now death of the DeS communique which was started here. I objected to continued turning a blind eye to the obvious subversion of the DeS communique to which Ephraim replied and Kendall saw fit print Ephraim’s reply but not my original post. In particular, Ephraim stated that he and others weren’t </i>blind to the shortcomings</i> of the ABC. Of course, I did not say blind but “turning a blind eye”. People who do the later are well aware of the what they are doing.

It is time to call the ABC out. The despair and disappointment of the faithful to the HoB meeting are in part the responsibility orthodox leaders who persisted (and still persist) in stating the ABC must do, has to do, or will do the right thing. He simply will not. Be forthright to your congregations. The ABC and so-called Windsor bishops who stayed in New Orleans have betrayed the orthodox. Any other statement is pastoral malfeasance.

[96] Posted by robroy on 09-26-2007 at 01:38 PM • top

So what did you people really expect ? TEC is neither the Roman Catholic Church, nor is it the “Southern Baptist Church - Anglican Rite” (or whatever). You will never get the sola scriptura, socially & politically conservative church of your heart’s desire here. Episcopalians just don’t do that.

And since this is supposedly a “no-whining” zone, when can I finally expect you guys to stop whining and find the cajones to leave us awful pagans & start your pure church anyway ? You’ve been yammering about it for ages…

[97] Posted by Planonian on 09-26-2007 at 02:13 PM • top

First, I want to deeply thank the stand firm “crew” for doing such an important and significant job of reporting from NO.  Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made to make this information available to us.  Secondly, I have attended an Anglican church for the past year.  I have prayed for, hoped for, longed for vis-a-vis CC, CANA, ACN or whatever vehicle availed itself to become a part of an Anglican/Orthodox church in the US duly recognized by the ABC and thus, the worldwide Anglican communion.  I now find myself questioning why I would ever want to be part of a communion headed up by someone like Rowan Williams.  This thing was brokered long before RW’s plane left the NO airport.  While not a politician, I am not totally naive to the ways of those who wield power.  Even TEC with all its brazenness would not have manufactured this “in your face” document without knowing RW was on their side.  The corruption is complete.  I can see no way I would ever again want to be part of the worldwide Anglican communion, unless it was headed up by an Orthodox bishop, such as ++Mouneer or ++Orumbi.  I’m going to look at the Baptist church schedules.

[98] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 09-26-2007 at 02:21 PM • top

I think a lot of people expected that Group of Bishops A, who find Group of Bishops B’s theology false, abhorrent, and dangerous to souls, and who are quite well aware of the fact that Group of Bishops B finds A’s theology to be the same, would not speak and vote as if both Groups were on the same team arguing about fine details.

Instead, a bonhomie and collegiality that one would think would have to be false, given each group’s previous statements, has prevailed.

[99] Posted by Ed the Roman on 09-26-2007 at 02:31 PM • top

To d NH E: If you’re thinking of going that route, consider the Calvary Chapels. I’ve been to both Baptist Churches and CCs, and find the CCs to be more lively and fairly charismatic in worship/preaching, minus the charismania, and the teaching itself as true to Scripture as you’re likely to get anywhere, IMHO.

[100] Posted by Bob K. on 09-26-2007 at 02:37 PM • top

But Greg, only a small fraction of the “Windsor Bishops” are in Pittsburgh.  What are the rest of them doing?

They are at home composing pastoral letters to their flocks stating that, “All is well.  Wait till GC 2009 and everything will be fixed.  We are still listening.”.

Meanwhile, the CC bishops are in Pittsburgh attempting to accomplish something meaningful.  God help us all if their efforts are as useless as the HOB’s.

[101] Posted by terrafirma on 09-26-2007 at 02:40 PM • top

Community of Bishops, Communism, Totalitarianism. Its a straight line from one through to the other.

The HOB met without regards to Roberts Rules of Order. Drafts were were drafted, destroyed, and redrafted at the whim of Schori and her henchmen. No motions were allowed from the floor, no debate on the final draft was allowed. It was a done deal from start to finish. This is the way totalitarian organizations do things, not functioning democratic organizations.

I’m impressed by clarity of this statement.  we recently got a new priest in our historically anglo-catholic parish—I mean actually anglo catholic, not we like vestments anglo-catholic.  He was officially our choice but we drew from a list of folks provided by the bishop, since the parish was in financial straits.  point is, we have this new person, a priest in charge who reports to the bishop.  his stance is open.  he says he wants to build consensus.  he talks about diversity and conversation and our common life.  he actively contrasts himself with our former priest, who was a serious anglo-catholic.  unlike his predecessor, he is not an authoritarian.

funny thing about that.  when the so-called authoritarian was here, everything was discussed publicly.  we held monthly forums where parishioners raised concerns, talked about the things that were important to them.  All of that has ceased since the new priest arrived.  there is no discussion.  no input.  no democratic spirit.  vestry meetings are hush hush, minutes shouldn’t be left lying around for just anyone to see.  the only public votes taken are done without discussion, without preparation, always by a voice vote and presented such that consensus is assumed, acclamation expected.  you couldn’t dissent if you wanted to. 

and people buy it.  all of it.  from that this new priest is open where the last was oppressive to that they actually have anything to say about what happens in our parish anymore.  what they don’t understand is that the structure provided by robert’s rules of order preserved spaces for discussion and dissent.  without it, we are at the mercy of our leader.  and so he leads us back into the mainstream of TEC.  That, my friends, is how the bishop of atlanta destroyed the only true anglo-catholic witness in his diocese.  and the once dyed in the wool conservative parish thanked him.

honestly, if I ever had any doubt about the validity of the orthodox position, the duplicity, the lies, the downright shady manipulation these folks participate in at every level would convince me otherwise.  I do no believe the Holy Spirit goes by deception.

[102] Posted by AnnieV on 09-26-2007 at 02:40 PM • top

AnnieV, I used to belong to Our Saviour in Atlanta. I still get the newsletter even though I haven’t attended an ECUSA church in over two years. I assume that I’m still on the membership rolls.

Bishop Alexander has indeed brought about agreement and consensus in the Diocese of Atlanta. It’s a pity that it’s been at the expense of Christian belief and practice.

[103] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 09-26-2007 at 03:08 PM • top

Amen, AnnieV.  I’m sorry to hear about the undermining of your parish.

We need to have an oral history project with the remaining Anglo-Catholics before they’re all gone for good, kind of like some are doing with the last WWII vets.

[104] Posted by Phil on 09-26-2007 at 03:12 PM • top

I’ve thought about this today, and what bothers me is that the Windsor Bishops went to NO with no plan (if I’m wrong, I hope they will correct me). I mean, how hard is it to come up with a singular draft resolution to be ready to present for vote? You hand it to the resolution work group, give it to the press, and then wait. If the the final resolution verbiage is anything less than DES compliant or HOB won’t allow a vote, you walk out, hold a press conference, announce that at CC the CA bishops will be meeting to select a candidate to present to the primates for PV and hope that the TEC PB will consent to the PV scheme. You shut your dioceses to 815, set a time for a response from the +++ABC and the primates. Hate to be simple, but there it is. It’s still not too late to do the later.

[105] Posted by Festivus on 09-26-2007 at 03:13 PM • top

Festivus,

Preach it!

[106] Posted by Nyssa on 09-26-2007 at 03:15 PM • top

A complete American disinvitation from Lambeth would not need to indicate “moral equivalence”—a very strange worry among Christians, anyway, where “levels of being bad” have never been at issue, except among the most wooden and stereotyped penitential manuals.  It points, simply, to “shared responsibility”.  I believe such shared responsibility is a fact, and includes us all. 

Of course, discriminations must be made, pragmatically, or no one would go to Lambeth at all (maybe not a bad idea at this stage).  But I think the American poison apple has been nicely passed around by more than the liberals in this case.  The problem is that the responsible and honest differentiation that was asked for from the House of Bishops didn’t take place, and that is because all the bishops, including Common Cause (because they left), made a decision not to carry through with that articulated differentiation within the forum asked of them.  This would be less significant were it not for the fact that this way of acting has been consistent among our bishops for too long. 

It is a hard truth, but one that must be said:  Common Cause (including TEC/Network Common Cause bishops) have not supported non-Common Cause Windsor Bishops, and vice-versa, for some time.  The complete failure of this witness within the HoB is the fruit of such long-standing alienation. At the root of this mistrust—at least one of roots—is the reality of “border-crossings” that have troubled many an “orthodox” diocese, done without discussion or permission or constraint (in the view of local bishops).  None of this has every been sorted out, and it remains an Achilles heel of the conservative movement within North American Anglicanism from 2000 onward.  Of course, the main impetus to this mess has come from the slide into semi-Christian religiosity by ECUSA popular devotion and pastoral practice.  But aspects of that slide have touched conservatives too, if in different ways than liberals.  Morally “equivalent”?  The language is irrelevant here.  There’s plenty of blame to go around in a church that has been fighting now, both secretly, publicly, and without honesty, for so long.

Canterbury and the Primates have yet to respond as THEY have been asked to do—together.  Whether they do or not is anybody’s guess, let alone what they might say if they did.  But until they do or acknowledge that they will not, I am certainly not about to jump on the “insult-Rowan Williams” wagon.  I am disappointed, as I have often been, in his slowness and diffidence.  But until this point, things have not gone so badly, after all.  Lambeth I.10, which, as Dr. Noll points out, is a key standard rightly understood as such in the present context, continues to maintain its place within the Communion’s public teaching and discipline, largely through his own leadership.  I may not stay there, to be sure.  But that is judgment to made after the fact, not before it, as so many here seem to wish to do. 

I would hope that, should Canterbury not call the Primates together, that they come together anyway, in New York or London (just to make sure that there is no travel obstacles for the Americans and English).  Someone must do their duty here, and not leave it to the next person, or simply leave altogether, which often amounts to the same thing.

[107] Posted by Ephraim Radner on 09-26-2007 at 03:20 PM • top

Festivus:  there WAS a plan and a draft resolution, carefully worked out and shared with those who needed to know about it in the Communion, and it was made public a day or two into the meeting.  What happened to it is a mystery that I hope someone will explain.  So far, I take it, no one is talking.

[108] Posted by Ephraim Radner on 09-26-2007 at 03:23 PM • top

The ABC played a key role in this disaster by issuing the Lambeth invitations in advance of the meeting, and in his communications with TEC leaders before and during the meeting.

To suggest that this is the fault of the common cause Bishops is astonishing.  The HOB was never going to comply with Dar. Indeed, the purpose of the leaked resolution was to get an “up or down” vote on Dar, to make TEC’s non-compliance manifest and undeniable and force Canterbury and others to impose discipline.  All the remaining CA Bishops had to do was to publically say “no” to the fudge compromise.  They didnt.  They even lent their names to the farce of the visiting Bishop plan.

The “interventions” are the only game in town.  Any remaining doubt on the part of observers on this site disappeared on Monday.

[109] Posted by Going Home on 09-26-2007 at 03:32 PM • top

This is the most ridiculous part of the whole thing: 

“In addition to not having authorized liturgies the majority of bishops do not make allowance for the blessing of same-sex unions. We do note that in May 2003 the Primates said we have a pastoral duty “to respond with love and understanding to people of all sexual orientations.” They further stated, “…[I]t is necessary to maintain a breadth of private response to situations of individual pastoral care.”

The first sentence is a lie; the subsequent phrasing is a spin of the primates’ words in a sick attempt to justify American behavior. 

I have been in a perverse(for many reasons) diocese where blessings were done.  Thank God, now I am not.  But, I can tell you that there was nothing “private” or “individual” about them. The “couples” requesting them wanted nothing less than public services, in the church sanctuary, right in everyone else’s face and rammed down everyone’s throat.  They didn’t want Vestry consideration of their requests(read: demands), they wanted rector roll-over and automatic sacramental response. 

No Anglican on Earth is entitled to a blessing or a wedding, gay or straight.  And all of these manipulative, dishonest machinations go far in reinforcing to me, once again, that all of this is not of God’s Kingdom, but of the devil.

Someday this “church” will reap everything it has sown.  And I hope, by then, that I am long gone. 

God help us all—

TS

[110] Posted by Passing By on 09-26-2007 at 03:37 PM • top

I completely reject contentions that boundary crossing is part of the problem.  It’s part of the solution. 

Yes, it’s messy.  Yes, it steps on toes.  Solutions to situations as bad as the current one are rarely neat and clean.

I better stop there as I am fed up with those who undercut Common Cause.

[111] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 09-26-2007 at 03:43 PM • top

All day I have been thinking of lines from Prufrock:
  And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
  And in short, I was afraid.

[112] Posted by Judith L on 09-26-2007 at 03:47 PM • top

I would like to second the request of ConsProf.  While appeals to leave TEC or appeals to joins a specific church have been ruled out as in bad taste in comments I think a thread dedicated to options/reasoning for those considering leaving TEC is an interesting idea.  Hopefully it would be enlightening and not ugly.  I would find such a thread interesting because this HOB fiasco was the final straw and my family will definitely be leaving TEC.  We won’t do anything rash but the time has come to start searching…

[113] Posted by Nevin on 09-26-2007 at 03:55 PM • top

Quit complaining about the Common Cause Bishops. A man like Jack Iker only has to be told to “go blow smoke out your a++” once and he gets it. He has been told that a number of times; the last when the HoB met in the last session. He knew nothing would change with this session. If your going to blame them for something blame them for taking TCGC for what it does and what it is, not what it says. God bless ‘em, says I. Onward and upward.

[114] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 09-26-2007 at 04:01 PM • top

mousetalker, if you get the newsletter, you’ve read my work.  its the only space left where I can talk about real theology.

[115] Posted by AnnieV on 09-26-2007 at 04:18 PM • top

Festivus, there was a plan according to Seitz-ACI who kept repeatedly talking about all the “hard work being done by the CA bishops.” I believe the Howe proposal was the “hard work.” It was a good proposal and didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being considered. One would hope they would have gone to the next step. When (not if) the proposal got laughed out, we will [fill in the blank]. The business about blaming those the handful that left for Pittsburgh is nonsense. Bishops Iker and Duncan announced their intentions months ago. So when they takeoff, as everyone knew they would, the remaining Camp Allen bishops are “lost”, and they don’t have any other choice but to cave??? I don’t think so. As I said above, it is time for orthodox rectors to forthright with their congregations.

[116] Posted by robroy on 09-26-2007 at 04:27 PM • top

“As for a minority report…I gather…there was limited energy; they thought they got enough”—-Fr. Seitz

If true, how sad. Think of the martyrs who proclaimed the faith in the face of torture and flames. Think of the myriads of soldiers, sailors, doctors, and parents who rose to challenges far more daunting than a bishops’ meeting. (At a more prosaic level, I once handled an 80-hour series of legislative negotiations during which I got 2 hours of sleep on an anteroom bench; life went on and the product remains law to this day.)

One might think tired but determined orthodox bishops could either write a 200-300 word dissent or seek technical assistance by telephone or Internet from internationally known experts (some of whom have commented on this thread) who would no doubt rejoice at being of service.

[117] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-26-2007 at 04:33 PM • top

Howe proposal was obviously not the hard work. That was work at NO. The resolutions were posted. I wrote the preamble, and etc. Everyone saw them. What is the confusion? This was also the 4th such meeting and a series of hard work communications went straight into Lambeth. Gomez, Mtetemela, NT Wright, Scott-Joynt all worked very, very hard. What happened in NO? Hard for me to say. Grace and peace.

[118] Posted by zebra on 09-26-2007 at 04:54 PM • top

All of this hullabaloo about Windsor Bishops is like worrying about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  The TEC ship has sunk.
The Anglican Communion ship is sinking.  Find another ship with a sound theological hull.

[119] Posted by Anglican Observer on 09-26-2007 at 05:01 PM • top

As to the Windsor bishops caving, we are unlikely to find out anything useful about what really happened until one of them retires and writes his memoirs, though +Steenson is now in a safe place, at any rate.

One point that should be remembered, though, is that from the start of the meeting, 815—utterly terrified by the idea of the HoB actually getting to choose how it wanted to respond to Dar—kept the whole thing locked down tighter than a drum.  The Windsor Bishops never had a (parliamentary) chance—Mrs. Schori, among her other qualifications for office, is experienced and highly skilled at manipulating meetings from the chair, as we in Nevada have seen.

So I personally will hold off on venting my frustration at the Windsor boys until we have a better idea of what went on.  More productive would be addressing the question of how to counteract the ACO’s influence on +++Rowan and help him see that failing to discipline ECUSA will spell complete catastrophe for the Communion, millions in funding to the contrary notwithstanding.

[120] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 09-26-2007 at 05:03 PM • top

All this talk about “border-crossings” being part of the problem is, of course, just so much expected bluster when coming from KJS and various half-crazed ECUSA liberals; but it is VERY disheartening to hear such a thing come from those who should know better. The border-crossings were made necessary by TECs growing apostacy. I think of them as concerned, compassionate outreaches by genuine, stalwart Christian leaders who were willing to lay down their lives for the bretheren. Remember, men like ++Akinola didnt HAVE to take this burden on. They had enough to do in dealing with the various challenges present in their immediate jurisdictions, thank you-but thank God, they rose to the occasion, and stand in stark contrast to the North American Bishops who sold Christs flock out to ravenous wolves speaking lies, and not sparing the flock. We should be rejoicing that God in His mercy has seen fit to send true shepherds to care for His flock (Jeremiah 23:1-4) instead of questioning their actions and joining in the recriminations made by wolves in sheeps clothing.

[121] Posted by Bob K. on 09-26-2007 at 05:03 PM • top

If the border crossings were not happening, would the errant TEC have any motivation whatsoever towards compromise with the so-called Windsor bishops??? Of course not. It is precisely the existence of the border crossings that even brings the TEC to the table. I am incredulous that the so-called windsor bishops don’t see this.

The institutionalists have failed miserably. There failure makes them a mockery. How do they proceed from here? Bp Steenson’s gracious departure is a good model.

[122] Posted by robroy on 09-26-2007 at 06:17 PM • top

This Jezebel of a church could not even discipline Bishop Pike in the 1960’s for denying the Trinity - do you think it’s going to be any better today? The only solution is to rebuild a new Angicanism, parish by new parish, in the USA. Thank God for the foresight of the AMiA back 7 or 8 years ago - where was everyone then? Calling them “un-Anglican” etc. If not for the ‘violations’ of territory, there would be no Anglicanism left in the USA, just the sodomite approving TEC.

[123] Posted by Joel on 09-26-2007 at 08:12 PM • top

From the Dio. of West Texas website:
Tuesday, September 25

The House of Bishops adjourned shortly before 6 p.m., and the statement from the House is below.  I encourage you to read it prayerfully and carefully. 

Bishop Reed and I will issue a more complete statement on Thursday when we return to the office. However, we promised to keep you informed during this meeting so I am sending you this brief message with the statement itself.  Let me say that the statement is somewhere between more than I thought we were going to get after yesterday’s difficult conversation and less than I had hoped for when I arrived last week. 

As I have stated from the outset, we are part of a larger process and conversation throughout the Anglican Communion.  Now that we have issued our response to the questions asked of the House of Bishops, we will await the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Joint Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates.  Their response will be key to the next steps for the Communion and the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Lillibridge”

I use to live and worship in this diocese and always appreciated the communication the bishops provided when they went to TEC meetings. Bishop Foltz was very candid; I hope Bishop Lillibridge is the same. I will be interested to read his thoughts tomorrow.

[124] Posted by teatime on 09-26-2007 at 08:33 PM • top

Some thoughts on this disaster.

1. I agree with Craig Goodrich that we need to find out what happened to the CA bishops.  But we need to find out soon, because I think the CA bishops’ evaporation is - without question - the major disaster in all of this.  I have no doubt that they had no chance to get the CA resolution voted up or down - I agree with Craig that KJS and her handlers would have prevented that.  It is also pretty clear to me that this meeting was manipulated to the hilt by the 815 handlers.  What I don’t get is why the CA bishops did not stand up and be counted in the final vote, and then release a pre-agreed upon minority statement.

2. Unless the CA bishops explain themselves, their evaporation is a major disaster - for several reasons.  First, it dealt a serious blow to the hopes of comm-conn laity in TEC.  Second, it dealt a serious blow to orthodox leadership in TEC.  Third, it has provided TEC with a big argument against meaningful discipline by the AC.

3. If RW lets TEC off the hook, then the Communion is lost, at least for now.  What I mean by that is not that the GS will “seperate” from Canterbury, or anything like that.  They won’t.  What I mean is that if RW does nothing and the primates are hobbled, it will have de facto converted the Anglican Communion into the Anglican Federation and will have removed any credibility of RW and of the disciplinary process within the AC.  The AC will simply be in a state of anarchy - no Province will be kicked out no matter what they do, the ABC’s office will remain but have no moral suasion until a new incumbent is able to rebuild its credibility, the Lambeth Conference will be ignored as a nice but totally irrelevant gathering, while the Primates meeting will become the subject of a good deal of politicking.  Who will tell the GS they can’t create a new Province?  The ABC?  The Primates?  I don’t think so.  Anarchy is anarchy.  Talk is cheap, everyone knows that there will be no discipline.

4. I am not ready to believe that RW will let this happen, but I have no confidence that he won’t either.  If he does nothing, I think that the primates should meet - as Dr. Radner suggests - but I think that the primates should also - at that meeting - pass a motion of no confidence in the leadership of Rowan Williams and politely ask him to step down, thanking him for the work he has done to date, but calling for the leadership that must be offered.

5. This is probably the worst possible result for TEC.  I think it has demoralized the moderate conservatives who had hoped that the CA bishops offered a Communion-centered way forward.  Unless we hear something very soon, the moderate orthodox way forward is no more.  I expect to see the momentum out of TEC increase, but largely to other non-Anglican entities.  TEC itself will continue to bleed, and within 10 years will undergo a pretty stunning contraction as the elderly givers die off.  My prediction is that there will be within 5-8 years, a steady stream of dioceses going bankrupt and folding back into each other.  TEC is a slow moving train wreck.

6. If RW doesn’t act as he must, what will nominally be called the Anglican Communion, but what will defacto be the Anglican Federation, will be an organization without any central discipline or doctrine.  There will be a growing GS based affinity within, which will create a North American Province, but it is yet unknown how successful that will be in bringing together all the disparate groups.  They will bide their time, knowing that TEC is withering on the vine.  Opposing them will be a TEC led affinity.

7. If RW doesn’t act now, the next decade or two will be very grim for Anglicanism.  But there is perhaps long term hope for something called the Anglican Communion in terms of 50-100 years from now.  I think that the TEC will collapse as being anything other then a small boutique church in 10-20 years.  Parts of TEC are flush with money, but that money won’t last all that long if there is nothing coming in.  Once TEC is a small boutique church without the power of money, its influence in the AC will become nil.  The question then will go back to what the GS has done - it will win out in the end, of that I am sure.  But what kind of Anglicanism will they be working towards?

8. I think that this is the question we orthodox need to start thinking about.  “What kind of Anglicanism and Anglican Communion do we want to work towards 25-50 years out?”  and “What can we do now that will accomplish that goal?”  We already have some incredibly learned and wise men in Drs. Radner and Seitz.  Things don’t seem to have played out as they would have hoped, but it is the posts of these two men that have inspired me over the last six months.  Let’s start the process.  It will be a long road ahead.

[125] Posted by jamesw on 09-26-2007 at 08:56 PM • top

jamesw—

Excellent outline.

For all:  the “fudge” moniker is wrong, at least about this report.  The bishops DID clearly declare their minds and that of TEC.  Let’s review:

* We reconfirm that resolution B033 of General Convention 2006 (The Election of Bishops) calls upon bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees “to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.”

The bishops were not able to agree on a clear statement that would capture the whole of the HoB.  That is the plain truth (no pun on the unlamented late religious group intended).  So they resorted to the formulation used in B033.  They would agree on that wording, but will not agree on the meaning.  (Classic Anglican behavior, no?).  We will see consents, probably well before 2009, and we will hear some amazing fisks on this language. 

* We pledge as a body not to authorize public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.

We can all see through this creative accounting.  We will see rites in public, with bishiops presiding (and probably with a Presiding Bishop presiding).  Some whoppers will be told.  But this will merely be the status quo ante,with the organization biding its time until GC2009. 

* We commend our Presiding Bishop’s plan for episcopal visitors.

Yes, this is a throw-away boilerplate, with little hope or expectation for implementation.  But this does represent the mind of the overwhelming majority of the HoB.  They do not as a group want to see an “appeal to Caesar” or any other oversight from outside this Province.  We disagree, but their intent is clear.

* We deplore incursions into our jurisdictions by uninvited bishops and call for them to end.

Folks, this one point was unanimous.  All of the HoB in attendance were wholehearted fans of this statement.

* We support the Presiding Bishop in seeking communion-wide consultation in a manner that is in accord with our Constitution and Canons.

This won approval from a wide majority.  It costs nothing but keeps the wheels spinning.  As if more spinning were needed.

* We call for increasing implementation of the listening process across the Communion and for a report on its progress to Lambeth 2008.

This is in fact a primary concern of the HoB and of the majority of active Episcopalians. 

* We support the Archbishop of Canterbury in his expressed desire to explore ways for the Bishop of New Hampshire to participate in the Lambeth Conference.

This was and is a preoccupation for most of the HoB.

* We call for unequivocal and active commitment to the civil rights, safety, and dignity of gay and lesbian persons.

This is the dominant “social action” project for TEC today.

Finally, it seems naive to believe anything other than that ABC was involved.  If this language had his express approval (and I think it must have), then the ACI’s project truly is to look 30 to 50 years out.  But please remember that some of us are interested in a shorter term.  For one thing, you don’t get to the long term unless you survive the short term.  For another, most of us, not just the TEC donor base, will not be here then.

[126] Posted by Paladin1789 on 09-26-2007 at 10:11 PM • top

If RW lets TEC off the hook, then the Communion is lost, at least for now.  What I mean by that is not that the GS will “seperate” from Canterbury, or anything like that.  They won’t.

The GS is already ignoring Rowan Williams. They will not come to his tea party. Is this not separation? As I said before, he has openly subverted the DeS communique from before it inception to giving it the coup de grace with this document which is apparent that he helped craft. The GS have lost all trust in RW just like the TEC.

If RW doesn’t act now, the next decade or two will be very grim for Anglicanism.

What a western-centric point of view. The Anglican Church is exploding in the GS. It is dying in the west. Rowan Williams had a choice between life and death. He chose death.

[127] Posted by robroy on 09-26-2007 at 10:38 PM • top

But until this point, things have not gone so badly, after all. Lambeth I.10, which, as Dr. Noll points out, is a key standard rightly understood as such in the present context, continues to maintain its place within the Communion’s public teaching and discipline, largely through his own leadership.  I[t] may not stay there, to be sure.  But that is judgment to made after the fact, not before it, as so many here seem to wish to do.

This is not a time for bickering or blame-casting. I do think that IF – and it’s a very big IF at this point – IF TEC is disciplined and does not attend Lambeth, a huge amount of the credit will go to those Global South and Common Cause leaders who consistently stood for the moral principle that homosexual practice is contrary to Scripture and therefore cannot (cannot!) be part of a faithful church’s or Communion’s teaching and practice. This principle, which is stated with adequate clarity in Lambeth Resolution 1.10, is not going to change in 2008 or 2009 or ever.

I disagree that RW has been a key upholder of Lambeth 1.10. While acknowledging its force, he has never, to my knowledge, attempted as a theologian and bishop to defend it. He has never renounced “The Body’s Grace” just contextualized it; he never tried to respond to Robert Gagnon’s critique of his Toronto essay on hermeneutics (yes, he is a busy man, but he did have some down time this summer and Gagnon is a biblical scholar who has put his life on the line on this issue). He could have and should have said to the HOB what Abp. Mouneer said, but he didn’t.

Look, I have been following this debate for almost 20 years now, and the one constant in it is the purpose of Louie Crew and those who agree with him to normalize homosexuality in the Episcopal Church and now more boldly in the Anglican Communion. (When Louie is through, we shall indeed have a purpose-driven church!) Louie is quite willing to wait out the conservatives. Louie can wait a couple years to have another GLBT bishop – note there is no mention by the HOB that there will be any cessation of ordinations of homosexual priests! I think Louie would be quite willing to see Lambeth 08 reaffirm Resolution 1.10 – so long as nothing is done about it. Louie knows a Munich when he sees one.

So the point, Dr. Radner, is not whether the ABC is standing behind the letter of Lambeth 1.10, but whether he is willing to take the actions necessary to give it reality, to give it force. I am sure I tire with the childrearing analogy, but when a child has been sent to his room (call it the Windsor Room) and told he cannot come to the dinner table until he says “I’m sorry for what I did and I won’t do it again,” then the parent who invites him back with at best a mumbling, sullen visage is not a good parent, he is an enabler. TEC has made clear repeatedly that a mumbling, sullen response to the “house rules,” i.e., God’s house rules – is the most we’ll get. Therefore the only appropriate moral response is to let them stay in their room and invite those who will abide the rules to the table.

I see little indication that RW is prepared to do that. Indeed, most signs point in the opposite direction. However, all will be forgiven (yes, I WANT to see a reformed Canterbury-led Communion remain standing!) IF he summons the Primates and upholds Lambeth 1.10 both in word and deed.

[128] Posted by Stephen Noll on 09-26-2007 at 11:34 PM • top

Ephraim writes, “But until this point, things have not gone so badly, after all.”
Jamesw writes, “Things don’t seem to have played out as they would have hoped.”

Talk about undestatement! The institutionalists have failed miserably. Dar is dead. And it appears obvious that Rowan colluded to kill it by helping to create this HoB document.

Rowan about Lambeth 1.10, “I believe that Lambeth 1.10 is still the teaching of the church.” This is about the most tepid “upholding” of Lambeth 1.10 imaginable. And reading through his essay, “The Bible Today: Reading and Hearing” makes it an extreme stretch to say that he is “upholding” 1.10.

[129] Posted by rob-roy on 09-27-2007 at 12:25 AM • top

jamesw wrote:

I think that this is the question we orthodox need to start thinking about.  “What kind of Anglicanism and Anglican Communion do we want to work towards 25-50 years out?” and “What can we do now that will accomplish that goal?” We already have some incredibly learned and wise men in Drs. Radner and Seitz.  Things don’t seem to have played out as they would have hoped, but it is the posts of these two men that have inspired me over the last six months.  Let’s start the process.  It will be a long road ahead.

I definitely expect to be alive in 25 years and (with the blessing of good health) might even still be around 50 years hence. I don’t think I can describe what I would like to see take shape in that time any better than S Noll’s “a reformed Canterbury-led Communion”. I hope to see in North America an entity which lives out, and passes on to future generations, the distinctive Anglican form of Christianity found in the BCP and the 39 Articles, and has retained its continuity with centuries past. It lives up to the oft-repeated claim that “you don’t have to check your brains at the door”, because it’s the church of C.S. Lewis and other Christian thinkers. It builds up the church, educating the members of the body in biblical literacy and Anglican history and doctrine, fostering holiness of life, and assisting them to carry the Gospel into all the world, starting next door. It is active in works of mercy befitting Christians but does not consider them its mission. It has learned a lesson from the events of the last half-century or so and given itself a form of church government, and a seminary system, that is resistant to takeover by a tiny group of activists, but quickly spots and corrects any tendency to drift off-course, away from the historic Christian faith. It does this at parishes within a reasonable travel time of most people in the US and Canada, and is one of a worldwide Communion of similar bodies. And, (just my personal preference) you don’t need to wear hearing protection during the service.

So, how do I help this happen? I am one layperson in a split parish in a liberal diocese. I’ve been a diocesan convention delegate for two or three terms, and last year participated in a small and unfortunately unsuccessful conservative Anglican conspiracy to scotch an anti-B033 resolution at the diocesan convention. There is a Network parish near here, but it was still in TEC the last time I heard anything. That could change soon depending on what happens with Common Cause, Anglican Communion reactions to the HoB statements, and so on. I hope to retire from my job in the next three or four years, move to a more rural area, and “downshift” to working only part time. As far as I know, the nearest orthodox Anglican presence is an ACA or APA (I’ve forgotten which) parish about 60 miles away. There are several small TEC parishes of unknown orthodoxy in the region, which I think are probably all on life-support from the diocese, which cannot continue for too much longer if current budget trends continue. There was a Network church-planting seminar here in May which I attended. I could afford to go to General Convention as a Deputy but doubt if I could get elected. What’s my next move?

[130] Posted by kyounge1956 on 09-27-2007 at 01:40 AM • top

I’m in the Dio. of Northwest Texas, not far from Ft. Worth’s boundaries.  If Ft. Worth leaves, will they reach out to us and help us plant orthodox churches? Not necessarily with funding—I mean with organizational help? I met folks when I first moved here who were long-time members of the Episcopal church in town but fled to the Presbyterians. Others have fled to the Baptists. Still, they expressed sadness because as nice as folks have been to them in their new churches, they miss Anglican worship and the sacraments.

A lot of us live in rural areas with the closest break-away Anglican churches being at least 60-70 miles away. We need to work together to ensure that orthodox folks have access to resources and guidance. I’m willing to help start a new church in my area—I’d be happy to put an ad in the local newspaper asking for people who would like to start an Anglican church here to call me. But, then what? I have no clue!

[131] Posted by teatime on 09-27-2007 at 02:48 AM • top

BTW, the orig article mentions, “It is true that at least six Windsor Bishops: Duncan, Steenson, Iker, Stanton, Ackerman, and Schofield were not present.”

This report is not accurate WRT my bishop. A person of great integrity I know who observed the vote has told several of us that +Stanton was in the room, and rose to offer an amendment or request a clarification just before the vote took place.

And we all know there was only one dissenting voice, and no one I know who was present has identified +Stanton as that voice.

[132] Posted by Planonian on 09-27-2007 at 08:26 AM • top

Hmmm… OK, I’ll modify my stmt above.

Our bishop’s own reflections on the meeting are up on his website, and there he states: “I had to leave the meeting in the afternoon before any vote was taken, in order to catch my plane.”

So it looks like, even if he did rise to speak during the pre-voting discussion, he was not there after all. Mea Culpa.

[133] Posted by Planonian on 09-27-2007 at 08:32 AM • top

Teatime,  Fr. Tom Herrick of the Network conducts a fabulous church plant workshop.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  You can contact him through the Network website.  I wouldn’t want to think of planting a church without participating in his workshop.

[134] Posted by Judith L on 09-27-2007 at 11:47 AM • top

RobRoy:

<blockquote>
If RW doesn’t act now, the next decade or two will be very grim for Anglicanism.

What a western-centric point of view. The Anglican Church is exploding in the GS. It is dying in the west. Rowan Williams had a choice between life and death. He chose death. </blockquote>

What I meant by my statement is that it will be very grim from a united Anglican Communion witness - from Anglicanism being a disciplined, doctrinally orthodox, ordered Communion.  What it will be is a Federation.  I do NOT believe (and Akinola has made it plain) that the GS will not formally cut ties with Canterbury.  The formal organization called the “Anglican Communion” which is centered in Canterbury will remain, and TEC and the GS will both be nominal members thereof.  It is THAT “Anglican Communion” that will be grim.

I also stated that there will be a GS centered affinity group within, which will FUNCTION like its own Communion.  This affiinity group will be growing and robust, but may have the tendency to Protestant division.  It is this group which will emerge triumphant in 25 or so years time to reforge the wider Anglican Communion.

The other affinity group within the “Anglican Communion” will be a TEC centered affinity group.  It will be a group that will start out with lots of money, but as time goes on that money will run out as they try to buy themselves favor with individual parts of the GS affinity group.  This TEC affinity group holds the power of great destruction, and the question is how much destruction will they cause before they run out of money (and hence influence)?  Once this affinity group runs out of money, their paltry numbers will result in the collapse of their influence in the “Anglican Communion” as a whole.

It is at that point that the GS affinity group can step in and a new Anglican Communion as COMMUNION can be reforged.

[135] Posted by jamesw on 09-27-2007 at 12:24 PM • top

JameW - According to Bishops Lillibridge and Reed of West Texas -There will be a meeting of the Windsor Bishops if the HoBs response is found wanting by the Primates, at which time there will be issued at “minority” statement.

“Another minority report [now]isn’t going to have much effect at this point. If the House’s response is deemed inadequate, there will be an effort to gather a significant number of bishops to discuss the next steps. This gathering would likely be larger than previous Windsor gatherings.”

[136] Posted by C.B. on 09-27-2007 at 02:49 PM • top

C.B., where did you hear this about Bishops Lillibridge and Reed?

[137] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 09-27-2007 at 02:54 PM • top

The Bishops reflections on the meeting are posted on “Covenant” blog here: http://covenant-communion.com/

[138] Posted by C.B. on 09-27-2007 at 03:20 PM • top

What happened exactly? I know Stanton, Love and Howe are Network bishops who were present there. Did they actually vote in favor of this? And what about Bishop Beckwith of Springfield? Was he there, or is he in Pittsburgh? I can’t imagine he would have supported this. Would Bishop Steenson have even voted? Who are the Network/CC bishops nowadays anyway? This is all very confusing and very disheartening.

[139] Posted by Anglican4Christ9 on 09-27-2007 at 05:15 PM • top

JudithL wrote:

Fr. Tom Herrick of the Network conducts a fabulous church plant workshop.

I second that. I attended a church planting workshop here in Seattle last spring which he gave at the local Network parish.

[140] Posted by kyounge1956 on 09-28-2007 at 12:57 AM • top

The Diocese of SC’s site has a letter from Bishop Salmon who said:

In my address to the House, I said that I appreciated the hard work that had resulted in the document that was before us.

I also stated that I could not support it for the following reasons:

1. It did not respond as requested to the three points raised by the Anglican Primates in Dar es Salaam.
2. It did not provide alternative oversight that met the needs of those who asked for it.
3. It placed the condition that our responses must be in keeping with our Constitution and Canons. The chaos we are in requires tremendous grace, not law.
4. There is oppression of those not in agreement, often unaware to those responsible.
5. Statements by our leadership saying that 95% of the Church was doing well or that only a small percentage were affected makes discussion impossible. The Episcopal Church Foundation says we are in a systemic decline which is significant.

The whole letter is at:  http://www.dioceseofsc.org/
Tami

[141] Posted by Tami on 09-28-2007 at 06:40 PM • top

Jamesw, you wrote:
” I do NOT believe (and Akinola has made it plain) that the GS will not formally cut ties with Canterbury.”
But then your next sentence seems to support the idea of TEC and GS BOTH remaining at least “nominally” part of the AC.
IOW, at first you seemed to say you DON’T believe that GS will NOT cut ties (in other words, they will), then contradicted this.  Which is it?

[142] Posted by HeartAfire on 10-01-2007 at 06:30 AM • top

I regret that many of the orthodox bishops left to go to Pittsburgh. It may have been that if they had stayed they could have given more courage to the Windsor Bishops. ” When you are in the driver’s seat, drive”. Never give up your seat to the opposition no matter what. They should have stayed and helped to bring the Liberals out of the closet

[143] Posted by Forever Anglican on 10-05-2007 at 01:33 AM • top

They weren’t in the drivers’ seats.  There are things the Church is not competent to do qua Church.  Bishops cannot declare sin and disordered personality to be from God.  They cannot depart from the Faith, proclaiming heresy and enacting schism - as bishops.  For reasons of pornia and abandonment, God has made their orders null as if they never were bishops.  Those who are in communion with heretics are themselves heterodox at minimum.  I don’t mean any are thereby damned but they put themselves outside the Church and like St. Mary of Egypt before she repented, relish their corruption as Bennison here does. 

The only bishop who has stood up and spoken the truth is Steenson and even so he remains at present in communion with heretics and apostates even within the HoB.  Does anyone believe he can be a partaker of the Body of Christ by virtue of having correct theological beliefs alone?  That he is married to another man’s wife because he commits adultery with her?  It is the HoB who now wash their hands saying “What is truth?”.  It is they who hand over their flocks to the power of death and they have the greater responsibility before God.

Sadly, it was thought by some that a Concordat would add to the fullness of the Faith by combining Lutherans who actually believe in Holy Scripture with Episcopalians who have the outward sign of laying on of hands but no valid orders as proclaimed by their mother church, Rome, from whom they departed, nor even faith in the Resurrection ... Show me how the Concordat has made the HoB any more faithful or catholic - much less provided greater authority to claim apostolic succession.  So where does apostolic succession come from?  Under a rock in New England?  Not from participation in the college of bishops from whom their orders derive for they have rejected this.

It certainly sounds like the bishop’s claim to apostolic authority comes from a “seeing stone” in their hats ... a Gnostic trick learned from Joseph Smith.  “I found Peter’s rock and by putting it and my face in my hat, I can translate Holy Scripture to mean God blesses sin.”  I don’t think so.  God prunes sin and God apparently is pruning off the diseased foliage.

[144] Posted by Pernoctate on 10-05-2007 at 12:06 PM • top

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