Unlike most conservative bloggers, I imagine, I don’t think this statement is completely bad. Frankly, it is half good. It is better than what was produced at GC2006. I actually think they have made it clear that they will not consent to another actively gay or lesbian bishop. They acknowledged that B033 applies. One small step for man, one giant leap for episco-bishopkind. Here is the salient text:
The House of Bishops concurs with Resolution ECO 11 of the Executive
Council. This Resolultion commends the Report of the Communion
Sub-Group of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative
Council and the Primates of the Anglican Communion as an accurate
evaluation of Resolution B033 of the 2006 General Convention, calling
upon bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees “to exercise
restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to
the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider
church and will lead to further strains on communion. The House
acknowledges that non-celibate gay and lesbian persons are included
among those to whom B033 pertains.
On the other hand, half is absolutely awful, in that the bishops say they won’t authorize public rites of same sex blessings – which they technically haven’t done anyway. This is just status quo ante. Here it is:
We, the members of the House of Bishops, pledge not to authorize for
use in our dioceses any public rites of blessing of same-sex unions
until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action. In the
near future we hope to be able to draw upon the benefits of the
Communion-wide listening process. In the meantime, it is important to
note that no rite of blessing for persons living in same-sex unions has
been adopted or approved by our General Convention. In addition to
not having authorized liturgies the majority of bishops do not make allowance for the blessing of
same-sex unions. We do note that in May 2003 the Primates said we have a pastoral duty “to respond
with love and understanding to people of all sexual orientations.” They further stated, ” …
[I]t is necessary to maintain a breadth of private response to situations of individual pastoral
So, same sex blessings will continue unabated, they will continue to be public and announced in the paper and presided over by Episcopal clergy, including Bishop Bruno, the biggest liar I have ever seen and I am lawyer – I’ve seen some liars in my time. The fact that he said what he said in a press conference to the New York Times and everybody just boggles my mind.
All I can think to do is point out to the wider Communion how completely full of baloney this resolution is, because same sex blessings will continue unabated.
Of course, this will not succor the Episcopal far-left, and imagine their reactions will be fairly stinging. I have to admit I get a perverse pleasure out of knowing that, stemming from feelings like well, if I’m not happy, at least they aren’t happy either. But, as somewhat of an ideologue, I have to recognize that the unhappiness of both sides stem from the same place – our bishops refused to stand for what they believed and tell the Anglican Communion we aren’t going to accede at all to the requests from the Primates, or truly stand for unity in a way that would keep the Anglican Communion together by outright stopping the same sex blessings.
I am sure my bishop voted for this, as did the Network bishops still present. The one no vote Matt Kennedy heard was probably Joe Morris Doss or someone like that. The bishops will have a great deal of explaining to do when they get home. Bishop MacPherson told me that he would be issuing a pastoral letter in the next day or two, and I’ll post it as soon as I have it.
UPDATE: One further thought on why you would vote for a resolution like this – I voted for Bo33. I can see why someone would make a last gasp at Christian unity – being the emotional lug I am – on the last day of an important meeting where you are exhausted, physically and spiritually. In the case of a voice vote, well, that just makes it all the easier to say “aye” or say nothing at all.