Skip to comments.Out of Balance
Posted on 10/20/2005 3:03:18 PM PDT by sionnsar
When the Presiding Bishop and the president of the House of Deputies of General Convention announced appointment of a commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion [TLC, Oct. 9], it created quite a stir. In the view of large numbers of critics, the commission, charged with preparing for the General Convention to respond to the Windsor Report and other documents, is not constituted fairly.
The new commission is comprised of 14 members bishops, other clergy, and laity. It will examine the Windsor Report, the communiqué from the primates meeting in February, and the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. It will produce the Blue Book report for General Convention and will have the authority to propose resolutions.
The criticism of the appointments falls mainly into two areas theological beliefs and geographical representation. Most of the members already are on record as stating their opinions of the Windsor Report, and those opinions tend not to be in agreement with the recommendations of that report. There are some moderate voices on the commission, to be sure, but there is also a lack of representation of conservative theologians who might present a perspective closer to the recommendations of the Windsor Report.
The other concern by some Episcopalians is that the new body does not reflect geographic distribution. Three of the Episcopal Churchs nine geographic provinces are not represented on the commission, and only one member lives west of the Mississippi River. Two members represent one theological seminary, and six of the 14 reside in Province 3. While there are no stipulations that the new commission must achieve geographic or theological balance, in the interest of fairness during these days of striving for inclusivity, it would seem that greater care could have been taken in considering these factors.
This is not to challenge the worthiness or the appropriateness of those appointed to the commission. Chances are, they were chosen because they bring particular gifts to the work of this new body at a time when they are needed. But greater balance would have been appreciated.
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