Admiral of Morality: Preliminary notes on the House of Bishops statement

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Preliminary notes on the House of Bishops statement

The statement:

• demonstrates the bishops' strong commitment to the Communion, and to full participation at Lambeth;

• uses ringing language, quoting the Gospel, to establish the imperative for the full inclusion and protection of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, in the life of the Church and the community at large;

• reaffirms the "manner-of-life" provision of B033, noting that its language in fact is broader than that requested by Windsor;

• rejects again the proposed "pastoral council" of the primates, which the bishops already rejected in March, and which the Executive Committee rejected in June, in favor an episcopal visitor plan composed of bishops subject to our Church, and international consultations;

• pledges to work to ensure full participation for +New Hampshire, Gene Robsinson, saying: "We are mindful that the Bishop of New Hampshire has not yet received an invitation to the conference. We also note that the Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed a desire to explore a way for him to participate. We share the Archbishop's desire and encourage our Presiding Bishop to offer our assistance as bishops in this endeavor. It is our fervent hope that a way can be found for his full participation."

For those in our Church and Communion who strive and pray to ensure the highest degree of Communion possible with our Anglican brothers and sisters, this statement is a welcome development.

For those who strive and pray to ensure the dignity and inclusion of all persons, it is a welcome development.

The statement reaffirms our historic ties, reasserts our historic and regular discernment, and affirms that the two are intertwined and essential to the other.

Update: A few links to keep us all reading. Note the somewhat varying emphases, signalling that the statement is indeed a compromise one.

USA Today: "Episcopal leaders promise restraint on electing gay bishops"
NPR: "Bishops move to ease concern on homosexuality"
New Orleans Time-Picayune: "Episcopal bishops decline to roll back inclusion of gays"

Naturally there are the excellent comments and perspectives to be had at The Episcopal Cafe, Fr. Jake Stops the World, and Preludium.

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