Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"It ain't over till it's over."

Note: Bishop C. Christopher Epting, left, is the Presiding Bishop's Deputy for Ecumencial and Interfaith Relations and the retired Bishop of Iowa. You may recall that he was present, and gave a presentation, at the Primate's meeting in Dar Es Salaam. This is from his blog, "That We All May Be One."

What The Bishops Didn’t Do
March 22,
by ecubishop

There seems to be a good bit of reaction already to statements and decisions coming out of our recently completed House of Bishops meeting. A summary of those actions can be found in prior posts…and on through the releases over Episcopal News Service.

What we did NOT do was to foreclose discussion on the Episcopal Church’s response to the main requests of the Primates’ Communique. We have not “ruled” on whether or not to reassure the Primates that General Convention meant what it said when it asked us and our Standing Committees not to give consent to any bishop-elect whose manner of life might prove of concern to the wider Anglican Communion and to clarify for them the status of the blessing of same-sex relationships in this church.

That is not our decision alone, and the Executive Council has already set into motion a study and consultation process which will continue through the summer. Similarly, the House of Bishops Theology Committee is at work on a study document to assist in this process.

As to the proposed “Pastoral Council” and its relationship to any “Primatial Vicar” the Presiding Bishop might appoint, we believe it is unconstitutional, uncanonical, and of potentially great threat to the Episcopal Church. We have said so and urged Executive Council (our highest legislative body between General Convention) to decline to participate in it.

We had to make our mind known on this because the appointment process to the proposed “Pastoral Council” is already underway and our Presiding Bishop needed some kind of guidance as to whether or not to appoint the minority of members the Episcopal Church is supposed to provide to this novel and quite unnecessary proposed body.

What the Episcopal Church’s bishops did not do is claim some kind of prelacy like the Primates have done, and to act in a high handed manner not permissable under the polity of either the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion.


Bill said...

I think that what our Bishops have done is told the Anglican Communion that the Episcopal Church in the United States follows the same democratic principles of the United States. We have a system of checks and balances. We do not have, nor do we need a king. That was our break from England. That was our initial break from the Anglican Church. We share communion with the Anglican Church, but we are not ruled by them. We have our own system of self government. We will solve our own problems, thank you very much.

Ann said...

If he thinks they did not make a statement about full inclusion and the Primates requests for moratoria - he is dreaming. He needs to look at the headline - "bishops vote for gay unions" bishops stand up for equality" "bishops vote for justice" -- there is no going back.

Share Cropper said...

Chris is a person who will dot every i and cross every t. Tact and kindness are his trademarks. For most of his life, he has stood on the conservative side of the middle, and perhaps still does. But, he continues to be honest and points out the details that some of us wish to overlook.

The HOB meeting included bishops across the spectrum of liberal/ conservative, and what they really said was "This is not our way of doing things." They did not answer questions that rightfully belong to the entire Episcopal Church.

While this response from the HOB may hasten actions of the Primates, the Episcopal Church is proceeding decently and in good order. Our polity reflects our culture, and I believe that following our canons will result in answers that will uphold justice and love. Others, within and without the Episcopal Church, may do as they see fit.