I encourage people to read the Open Letter made by the "Conservative Think Tank", Covenant Communion to the issues raised in Bishop Bob Duncan's email to Bishop Gary Lillibridge. You can find it here.
I have written to some of the signers of this Open Letter who also serve with me on HOB/D - the House of Bishops/Deputies Listserv.
I have asked two issues of clarification on the first point. I'll let you know when I get a response. Meanwhile, if you have other questions, please do ask them.
We live in curious times that are getting more and more curious.
Bishop Duncan's Point #1: The first difficulty is the moral equivalence implied between the three moratoria, a notion specifically rejected in the original Windsor Report and at Dromantine.
The Open Letter States: "Actually, it is largely American and Canadian liberals that have implied a moral equivalency between the two."
Issue #1: Besides being really, really ("We didn't start it, they started it."), it is confusing. There are three moratoria, yes?. The Open letter talks about the 'moral equivalency between the two'. Which two? The two having to do with allowing the sacramental rite of ordination/consecration to the episcopacy
AND - the pastoral liturgical rite of blessing the covenants between two people of the same gender (who, BTW, happen to be baptized) -
OR - one of those two as compared with the historical ecclesiastical immorality of incursion by one bishop into the diocesan boundaries of another bishop?
In truth, all I have ever heard from my North American colleagues on both sides of the aisle is outrage that the three moratoria are held together as being morally equivalent.
Let's put the right shoe on the right foot, shall we? It is The Windsor Continuation Group and the Archbishop of Canterbury who have offered - and continue to offer - the three together, the implication being that they are equal.
Can you clarify this statement for me? To your collective intelligent minds, which "two moratoria" have moral equivalency?
Issue #2: The Open Letter goes on to ask: "Who will be the first to display an act of Christian charity and self-giving on behalf of the Communion at this critical turning point in the life of the Communion?
Well, as ordained and lay members of this church, you are, no doubt, very proud to note that TEC has already taken the lead in terms of "Christian charity and self-giving on behalf of the Communion".
Since 2006 General Convention, TEC has been in a period of official moratorium with regard to bishops and standing committees approving the consecration of elected LGBT bishops. Do I really have to mention hold-your-nose-and-vote B033?
Yes, of course, resolutions do not have the binding authority of canon. And, yes there are high hopes that this will be overturned in 2009, but the reality is that the present status is one of 'official moratoria' in this specific regard.
I know it is a matter of some controversy, but the truth is that, despite the more than a decade of effort to the contrary, there is, presently, no authorized liturgical rite of blessing in TEC for the covenants made by people of the same gender.
Yes, there are bishops (thanks be to God), who utilize the rubric in the Book of Common Prayer (page 14) and continue to provide and/or condone ("authorize") their clergy to preside at these liturgical rites.
Yes, there will undoubtedly be resolutions presented - yet again - to General Convention in 2009 to ask TEC (yet again) to ask the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop rites to bless the covenant made between two people of the same gender.
If - IF - that happens, the liturgical rite will be brought back for approval at General Convention 2012. Since this rite will need to be approved by two successive General Conventions, this will not be a reality in our church until, at the earliest, 2015 - seven years from now. Who is self-giving to whom?
I have no doubt there will be resolutions for the expansion of the Rite of Marriage to deal with those two states (CA and MA) hwo presently have - as well as the anticipated states (CN and NJ by the end of 2008) who will have - legalized the civil right of marriage for people of the same gender.
However, there are (and, I will say it again just to be clear) no officially authorized by TEC for rites of blessing covenants of people of the same gender.
Admittedly, this does not follow the 'spirit' of the request from the ABC or the WCG, but it does follow the 'law', such as it is in the Anglican Communion, of their request.
Meanwhile, the "modern innovation" of diocesan incursions continue to be a reality, despite the historic catholic tradition of the church.
Can you clarify the basis of your question about who will take the lead for me?
I have other thoughts and questions, but let's start with these two issue from this first point.
(That link again is: http://covenant-communion.com/?p=852)