Full Compliance is Sought

On Wednesday night, June 14, in the Hyatt Ballroom in downtown Columbus, more than 1,500 people came to hear testimonies before the Special Committee on the resolutions of the Windsor Report concerning the blessing of same-sex unions, election of bishops in same-sex relationships, and the need for repentance. Seventy people were given two minutes each to speak to the committee. Less than half of those who testified expressed an orthodox stand.

Network bishops and affiliates urge full compliance with the Windsor Report so that ECUSA’s may remain in fellowship with the Anglican Communion. Network bishops, priests, deacons and lay persons believe that the resolutions as they stand fall short of what the Windsor Report requires and have asked for clarity and honesty. This is the time when it must be made clear whether ECUSA chooses to walk with or apart from the Anglican Communion.

The Windsor Report is the work of a special commission called for by
the Archbishop of Canterbury in response to the unprecedented actions of the General Convention in 2003 in approving the consecration of an openly homosexual bsihop for New Hampshire, in contradiction to 2000 years of Church doctrine and discipline. The Windsor Report recommendations call for a moratorium on the blessing of same-sex blessings, a moratorium on the election of bishops in same-sex relationships, and a statement of regret for these actions which have “torn the fabric” of the Communion.

The Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, Canon Theologian for the Diocese of
South Carolina asked, “Where is the clarity? Where is the honesty? Windsor
uses clear language like ‘moratorium’ which are not present in these
resolutions. Our relationship with the Anglican Communion is in
separation, moving towards divorce. Let’s be honest, let’s be clear.” He wanted to know why the rsolutions don’t use more of the specific language contained in the Windsor Report.

A deputy from the Diocese of Albany expressede this: “If we want to truly repent, which is my hope and the hope of many, let us say so. If it is the mind
of the church not to repent, say that. Together or apart, but
honestly.”

The Rt. Rev. John Lipscomb said: “The Windsor Report’s recommendations are the place where healing can begin.”

The WR is recognized by conservatives and moderative liberals to be an instrument that would provide a pathway forward, create space to heal and to continue to discuss the significant differences within ECUSA, and to consult with our Anglicans brothers and sisters worldwide.

The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Moderator of the ACN said, “I believe, with the greatest of heartbreak and sadness, that the day has arrived where those who have chosen the Episcopal Church because of its catholic and evangelical reliability, and those who have chosen the Episcopal Church for its revolutionary character, can no longer be held together. For which Episcopal Church will the Committee, and then this Convention, decide? The future in
Communion rests only with the former of the two. It cannot be both ways into the future. We’ve reached a moment where it is very difficult, indeed I think we’ve reached an impossible moment, in holding it together.”

The Rt. Rev. John Howe, Diocese of Central Florida said, “If our resolutions
are not in fact Windsor-compliant, we will in effect be choosing to walk separately, no matter how loudly we protest otherwise.”

The Rt. Rev. William Skilton, Suffragan of the Diocese of South Carolina reminded us: “I said in 2003 that the damage would be irreparable. Now, the church is damaged, hurt, in this country and beyond. Here I am in 2006, and what I plead for is that this church affirm completely the Windsor Report so that we can come back together.”

Of the representatives from the Anglican Communion , Archbishop John Sentamu made the most emphatic plea: “Will it be sufficient?” Archbishop Sentamu, asked. “I am doubtful. Why? These resolutions do not meet the standard. You must be careful. You need to ask, do these resolutions show us Christ? Do they show the marks of our own affliction as part of the body? Do they show us to be those whose tears are wiped away when Christ returns?
Friends, we follow a crucified savior. In Anglicanism, truth and unity
are not separate. I am not sure that your resolutions will create the
space necessary for communion. If they do not, you must strengthen
them.”

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