Sir Walter Scott
It is absolutely outrageous!
The news is this:
The House of Bishops Theology Committee is refusing to release the names of members of a sub-committee it has appointed to study same-sex relationships. The existence of the panel was first reported in the Blue Book, which contains information relevant to General Convention, 2009. However, the Rt. Rev. Henry Parsley of Alabama, chair of the Theology Committee has refused several requests to disclose the names of its members.
Refused. SEVERAL requests.
You can read a statement from Susan Russell, President of IntegrityUSA and The Chicago Consultation over at Episcopal Cafe.
Susan says, “If this isn’t the height of absurdity and insult I don’t know what is,” adding,
“If this important work is to have any credibility whatsoever, it is critical that the work be done in a context of honesty and transparency. A "closeted" sub-committee studying same sex unions seems too bizarre a thing to even make it into a Monty Python episode, much less be a course intentionally taken by a church that committed to full and equal claim for its gay and lesbian baptized 33 years ago."
Louie Crew, founder of IntegrityUSA, deputy to General Convention and former member of the Executive Council says: "[I] find that decision [to be] an abomination. LGBT in life commitments face huge hostility in this church, and yet those who "study" us need to be secret?!"
The Report of the House of Bishop's Theology Committee is listed in the "Blue Book" (the report to General Convention) says this:
We have been asked by the House of Bishops to undertake a theological study of same-sex relationships in the life of the church. This is designed to reflect a full spectrum of views and to be a contribution to the listening process of the Anglican Communion, as well as to the discussion of this subject in our province. A diverse and balanced panel of theologians has been appointed by the Committee and is presently beginning this work. This is a long-term, multi-step project that is designed to be completed in 2011.The Membership of the House of Bishops Theology Committee is reported as including:
The Rt. Rev. Henry Nutt Parsley, Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rt. Rev. David A. Alvarez, email@example.com
The Rt. Rev. John C. Bauerschmidt, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rt. Rev. Joe G. Burnett, email@example.com
Dr. Ellen T. Charry, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Dr. Sathianathan Clarke, email@example.com
Dr. Stephen E. Fowl, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb, email@example.com
The Rt. Rev Robert W. Ihloff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Charles T. Mathewes, ctm9d@Virginia.EDU
Dr. Joy A. McDougall, email@example.com
The Rt. Rev. Steven A. Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Kathryn Tanner, email@example.com
It's anyone's guess as to who is on the sub committee.
What can you do? Well, if you're an Episcopalian, please write to or call your bishop(s) to express your distress and insist that s/he advocate for transparency and full disclosure.
And, of course, write to members of the committee. I know many of them and they are good, reasonable people.
It's said that we're only as sick as our most strongly held secrets.
Well, children, if you ask me, this is pretty sick.