Skip to comments.HOB meeting aftermath: clearer talk of a split
Posted on 03/18/2005 8:01:58 AM PST by sionnsar
An important result of this weeks Hayride to Hell (particularly ++Griswolds literal demonizing of key conservatives?) is that significant orthodox leaders are talking more openly of a split with ECUSA.
David Roseberry, rector of Christ Church Plano, yesterday wrote:
Christ Church has been making disciples since 1985. God has blessed us with growth, strength, and a clear vision. We are committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ. We will be 20 years old this June. But what is increasingly clear to me is that we are no longer able to make disciples on behalf of the Episcopal Church. It is shutting itself down and closing itself off from the great heritage and energy of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Christ Church will not follow their demise.
Ive followed Christ Church closely since the events of 2003. And I cant recall him making such a clear statement about the likelihood of a split.
There will be a forum at Christ Church on April 10th. I probably cant make it, but it should be interesting.
Bishop Duncans statements since the meeting, although gracious and restrained in tone, also acknowledged clearly the possibility of a split: Our differences within the House of Bishops, within the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), and within the Anglican Communion may be irreconcilable.
To the Washington Times , he referred to being bashed by Griswold and Robinson in saying, "As a pastor, when I hear someone say everything I'm doing is evil or 'I don't believe anything you say,' this marriage is probably beyond repair. I think our House of Bishops is finally talking about that."
Whether these statements are tipping a change of mind or are simply acknowledgements of what has been known all along, Ill leave to others. But key conservative ECUSA leaders are becoming more open about a possible split.
(And for what its worth, I think thats healthy, if sad. But thats a whole nother post.)
It looks like the Bishop in Dallas is going to be put in a squeeze. Does he split with the ECUSA or watch Christ Church leave. It looks like the time for dithering has about run out.
The Bishop of Dallas on the House of Bishops Meeting
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
A brief word on the recent Covenant put forward by the House of Bishops.
The Primates Communiqué of February called for a period of time in which the ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada could consider how to respond to the Windsor Report according to their constitutional processes.
The Communiqué also called for two moratoria: one on the blessing of same-sex unions, and one on the consecration of bishops living in a sexual relationship outside Christian marriage.
The Communiqué was addressed to the very real question whether ECUSA and its Canadian sister are willing to accept the same teaching on matters of sexual morality as is generally accepted elsewhere in the Communion. The strategies listed were intended to restore the full trust of our bonds of affection across the Communion. The House of Bishops in responding as it has by this Covenant leaves this basic question still unanswered.
The Covenant adopted by the Americans instead calls for a moratorium on the consent process for all bishops, and the House of Bishops pledges not to authorize rites nor to participate personally in such blessing services. The
first is far too sweeping in that it will, for the period leading up to the next General Convention, mean that some dioceses where bishops are required to retire (at age 72) will have no diocesan bishop. The second does not go far enough, for some bishops have already said that this provision does not apply to clergy in their own dioceses blessing such unions.
The key request of the Communiqué that ECUSA voluntarily withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council was deferred entirely to the Episcopal Churchs Executive Council. What was clearly in the purview of the House to make a recommendation to the Executive Council finds no place in the document. One is left to wonder whether this was simply overlooked or deliberately ignored.
The Covenant gives a heartfelt apology to the Communion for its part in the breach of the bonds of our affection, but the apology is couched in terms already familiar to everyone concerned: regret for the pain felt by others and repentance for not consulting our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion. This falls far short of the regret called for in the Windsor Report and of the repentance called for by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The most that can be said about the Covenant is that in taking up these recommendations, it buys some time. While it is an attempt to address the letter of the Communiqué, it fails to respond in the spirit of the Communiqué. In short, the Covenant postpones any decision by the Episcopal Church with respect to the Windsor Report until 2006 and compounds the crisis in the meantime.
It is hard to see how any of this makes much of a contribution to the continuing crisis in the Anglican Communion.
The Rt. Rev. James Stanton
Bishop of Dallas
But what is he going to do about it? Is he going to show courageous leadership, or is he going to continue be buffeted by things beyond his control.
I don't know. Our parish is prayerfully watching and believes Bishop Stanton will do the right thing.
I just pray he does whatever it is he needs to do sooner than later.
I know, I know. "Let's not be hasty."
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