My Thoughts On the Fudge Baked At The New Orleans House of Bishops Meeting

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
care.”

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.

13 Responses to “My Thoughts On the Fudge Baked At The New Orleans House of Bishops Meeting”


  1. 1 InNewark September 25, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    A comment by the Elves at SF indicates that the no vote was +Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island. She is a lady of great integrity, and I can see where much of this would be troubling to her, despite her liberal leanings.

    On a practical basis, this offers absolutely no comfort or refuge for orthodox parishes persecuted by revisionist bishops. Also, it will be interesting to see what happens in Chicago, where a partnered lesbian is a candidate for bishop.

  2. 2 The Anglican Scotist September 25, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    This will not be of much help to those who have already split from TEC or who are seriously contemplating a split in the near furure.

    Not that they would have thought the HoB would go 180 degrees, but they might have hoped against hope that the balance of the Anglican Communion led by the ABC would work together to do something–anything–that might promise a future 180 degree turn. The problem for them will be that the ABC and a considerable chunk of the AC seem willing to go along with this document.

    In the very near future, either the Evangelical wing of the CoE will bring enough pressure to bear on Williams that he will get much toughter on TEC, or else, if that fails, there will be a fracuring of the AC. Where the rip will travel exactly is anyone’s guess at this hour.

  3. 3 Liza September 26, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Brad, Good summary. One thing: Fudge is “cooked” not “baked”. Ask your wife.

  4. 4 descant September 26, 2007 at 1:34 am

    Liza (can’t believe you abbreviated your name):

    Not bad for a hand-waving pentecostal who doesn’t know about the Book of Common Prayer, despite being a cradle Episcopalian, unlike some folks I know.

  5. 5 Bettina September 26, 2007 at 3:56 am

    Liberals probably think of it as one step back and two steps forward.
    The powerful lobby group “Integrity” is already planning to overthrow B033 at General Convention 2009:
    “Integrity expects General Convention 2009 to be a tipping point for equality. We will be working hard in the months ahead to repeal B033 and to authorize development of a rite for blessing same-sex relationships as steps toward the goal of the full inclusion of all the baptized into the Body of Christ.”

    http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/6343/

  6. 6 owshf September 26, 2007 at 4:17 am

    Baked, cooked, quick-dried or roasted on the barby it’s some tough fudge to choak down if you were hoping to something new and different out of the HOB. I just hope the conclusions drawn from this statement by the wider Communion are accurate, based on the message behind the message.

  7. 7 robroy September 26, 2007 at 5:08 am

    Did the Camp Allen Bishops who stayed pass the Latimer and Ridley test? Did they play the man?

  8. 8 Scout September 26, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    I don’t see that the HoB’s statement regarding the application of B033 changes anything at all. There is no direct acknowledgement that non-celebate gay behavior presents a challenge to the wider church, and therefore practicing gays and lesbians should not be consecrated. As is typical of HoB pronouncements, this convoluted language is capable of another interpretation that fits squarely with TEC’s agenda — simply that B033 applies to practicing gays and lesbians, just like everyone else. It’s a justice thing. So, if there is something about the manner of life of a practicing gay or lesbian that presents a challenge to the wider church, then that person should not be consecrated. I presume that’s why Integrity is comfortable with the statement.

  9. 9 robroy September 26, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Brad this is a repeat, but I wanted to bring it to your attention directly because you are confused.

    OK, of the three DeS requests, only the request to not ordain homosexual bishops is complied with, that is to say it is 1 for 3. BUT they do this in a fashion that depends on the existence of B033. After these perfidious bishops have had their tea in 2008, they will rescind B033 in 2009. And we have a big zero for 3.

    And MacPherson is “okay” with this? Pathetic.

  10. 10 Peeps+ September 26, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Bishop Howe told his clergy in an email that he was the “no” vote; voting against the statement because it did not go far enough to prohibit same-sex blessings.

  11. 11 Kendall Harmon September 28, 2007 at 3:19 am

    I think we need to be honest with our differences here. Brad has done a poor job of interpeting the document, I am sorry to say. Of the three major requests the bishops said, yes, sort of, but on a short time frame and on our terms, and with the expansive language used against Mark Lawrence by some kept in, not the precise language of windsor, then they said no and on to 2 and three.

    BUT:

    They also did and said nothing about the lawsuits

    AND:

    They insist on two things that they said were necessary in precise and clear terms

    AND in my mind worst of all”

    They pretended the two nos were yeses, and misrepresented the degree to which their first yes was qualified.

    By any fair evaluation, this is ANYTHING BUT “half good.” Yes, they tried hard. Yes they worked together more than in the past. But this was a last ditch effort to seek to enable healing in a very deep wound.

  12. 12 descant September 28, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Kendall:

    That was my early analysis on the first day. I agree that they did nothing about the lawsuits and that is probably the worst part. The second worst part is that the statement is basically a lie when it comes to same sex blessings.

  13. 13 Mrs Motherline BEA KUKOSI July 16, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    FROM: MRS Motherline BEA KUKOSI

    ADDRESS: Rue 12 Secogi Cocody

    ABIDJAN COTE D’IVOIRE

    Dearest in Christ,

    I am Mrs Motherline from KUWAIT . I am married to Mr. GODFERA BEA KUKOSI who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for eleven years before he died in the year 2005.We were married for Eighteen years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christian.

    Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$ 6.8 million dollars in a Bank here in Abidjan Cote D’IVOIRE . Presently, this money is still in bank.

    Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, WIDOWS, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained.

    The Bible made us to understand that “Blessed is the hand that giveth”. I took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don’t want my husband’s efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don’t want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision.

    I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that “the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace”. I don’t need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband’s relatives around me always. I don’t want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible.

    As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank here in Abidjan Cote D’IVOIRE . I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth.

    Please always be prayerful all through your life.

    I hope to receive your reply.

    Remain blessed in the Lord.

    Yours in Christ,

    Mrs Motherline BEA KUKOSI.

    Note: Please any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. REACH ME WITH THIS EMAIL ADDRESS (motherline_beakukosi@centrum.sk)


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