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House of Bishops Concludes Puerto Rico Meeting [ECUSA]
American Anglican Council ^ | 9/29/2005

Posted on 10/03/2005 5:57:01 PM PDT by sionnsar

The public face presented at the conclusion of the Sept. 22-27 meeting of the House of Bishops at the Ritz Carlton San Juan Hotel Spa & Casino in Puerto Rico revealed an Episcopal Church that is focused on the injustices magnified by Hurricane Katrina, while privately there is widespread consensus that the Church is directionless and in danger of being processed to death, according to a number of bishops representing widely diverse theological positions. None was willing to speak for attribution.

“What did we accomplish?” one bishop wrote in response to a question from The Living Church. “You will have to ask others. I have no idea.”

A significant number of bishops have concluded that the twice-a-year gatherings are a waste of time and money so they rarely attend. Others, including a majority of bishops affiliated with the Anglican Communion Network, perceive the meetings to be a hostile environment where they are pushed to the margins because of their theological convictions.

Others who do attend are frustrated by the frequent absence of their colleagues and have concluded that comprehensive and meaningful discussion of critical issues is much more difficult without full participation. As the San Juan meeting got underway, a group of 30 bishops, including 19 diocesans, reaffirmed “our support for the Windsor Report” and pledged “to continue to walk with those in communion with the See of Canterbury.”

There was “remarkably little said about the Windsor Report in plenary sessions,” according to another bishop who wrote TLC. In a report to the Church released Sept. 27, the bishops said, “We will continue to encourage the Church to read and discuss the Windsor Report and will re-engage our own conversation about this report at our meeting in March of 2006.”

The three-page report focused significant attention on the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

“The harsh wind of Katrina exposed fundamental injustices and environment neglect and abuse, and blew away any pretense that the inequities of race and class have been overcome in our nation or among ourselves,” the statement from the bishops said. “A crisis like Katrina strengthens our resolve to challenge racial, economic and other social injustices, and to respond to unmet needs around the world, as well as close to home.”

The first day was devoted almost entirely to discussion of the storm with bishops from the three hardest-hit dioceses—the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Jenkins III (Louisiana), the Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray III (Mississippi), and the Rt. Rev. Philip M. Duncan II (Central Gulf Coast)—providing the house with sobering accounts of the destruction. After their presentations, the three bishops returned to their dioceses.

Following the presentations, many bishops whose dioceses were not significantly affected by the storm expressed a desire to help. They were encouraged to work through a new church-wide system titled “We Will Stand With You” that is to be administered by the Bishop Suffragan for Chaplaincies, the Rt. Rev. George Packard. The new program will include a comprehensive map of resources and needs which will be published on the internet at

Nearly half of the five-day meeting was left open for informal consultations similar to one that led to near-unanimous approval of a moratorium on the consecration of any new bishops in response to the Windsor Report at the spring meeting held at Camp Allen last March. The good will and trust established last spring and built upon in subsequent meetings was challenged on Sept. 23 after the Associated Press published an interview with the Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, in which he revealed details about the July 18-21 meeting of 19 bishops in Los Angeles and said he was no longer optimistic that the Anglican Communion would be able to settle differences concerning faith and order without splitting up.

The comments were “a complete violation of the covenant the 19 who participated in the meeting made with each other,” a third bishop told TLC. “Some of [those bishops] are, in their own words, ‘livid’.” Not all of the 19 bishops attending the Los Angeles meeting were present for the meeting in Puerto Rico, but those who were met on Sept. 26 and reportedly addressed the disclosure. They also agreed to meet again without making public the date or location.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 10/03/2005 5:57:02 PM PDT by sionnsar
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2 posted on 10/03/2005 5:57:40 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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