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Have Cake -- Eat It Too! [Diocese of Rochester resolution fisked]
Moving Mountains ^ | 11/21/2005 | Laurie Swain

Posted on 11/21/2005 12:12:59 PM PST by sionnsar

It appears that the Diocese of Rochester has decided that it wants to have its cake and eat it too . . .

At their diocesan convention this past weekend, Rochester passed a resolution asking ECUSA to respond to the Windsor Report in a very specific way. In addition to all the normal stuff you might expect (we're sorry you're upset . . .), Rochester goes quite a bit further offering the biggest set of contradicting terms and hypocrisy imaginable.

Here is how Rochester thinks ECUSA should respond to the Windsor Report.

First, Rochester expresses its "deep desire to remain in the Anglican Communion." They then go ahead and say that their understanding of communion is based on communion with Canterbury, and not much else. So, Global South Anglicans -- we really don't need you or your orthodox Christianity -- so there.

Of course, Rochester only wants to remain in the Anglican Communion under its own terms -- which, according to the resolution includes the right to reject any Communion teachings which they may find objectionable -- especially Lambeth '98 Resolution 1.10.

The fact that the Windsor Report specifically makes acceptance of Lambeth 1.10 a requirement for not choosing to "walk apart," appears not to matter one whit to the good folks in Rochester. You see that we have our first contradiction right up front, but there is more . . . oh, much, much more.

Next, Rochester claims that agreement or disagreement with ECUSA on its non-Biblical teachings regarding homosexuality should not impact Communion unity. Instead, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral is all we need to maintain unity. The delegates must not have read the C-LQ before they voted, or they would have seen that fundamentalists wrote its first article -- that communion first of all requires a belief that the Holy Scriptures are the "revealed Word of God." Surely, this is not what Rochester meant, is it?!?!

Since Lambeth 1.10 says that homosexual practice is "incompatible with Scripture," and, since Rochester, earlier in this same resolution, rejected that Anglican teaching, but, now claim to believe that the C-LQ (which requires a belief in those same Scriptures) is the foundation of Anglican Unity, one can only assume that either Rochester (and ECUSA) or the rest of the Communion has rejected Scripture and therefore the C-LQ. How can we base Communion on the C-LQ and still agree to disagree on the clear teachings of Scripture?

Can such a foundation undergird the entire Communion? Of course not, so, I guess we'll just have to go back to Rochester's earlier claim that Communion with Canterbury is the real source of unity. No wonder we're all so confused!!!

Naturally, Rochester also wants ECUSA's own DEPO plan to be our internal solution to internal conflict. To heck with the Windsor Report's Communion based solution, the "Panel of Reference." Again, we want to be part of the Communion, but we want to run our Province the way we want to run it without any input from our sister provinces in the Communion. How positively congregational of Rochester to make this assertion!

That's not all! Rochester, polite group that they are, accepted ECUSA's voluntary withdrawal from the ACC. Again, looking to the letter of the law rather than the clear spirit of the law, Rochester asserts that ECUSA must be invited to the 2008 Lambeth Conference, and must return to the ACC after 2008 -- apparently regardless of what ECUSA says in the end about the Windsor Report. Again, it doesn't matter what the rest of the Communion may have to say about the matter. ECUSA has the money, so we better be at the table!

Finally -- and here's the real doozy -- Rochester proposes that ECUSA clearly state that "we have no desire to impose a uniformity of position either in our own church or the Communion itself . . . "

Really?!?! . . . Well, let's just look at the rest of the resolution which contains these priceless gems:

1) Rochester urges "all member churches of the Commuion [to] include the voices of faithful gay and lesbian Anglicans" in the "listening process."

2) The resolution twice commends ECUSA's "To Set Our Hope on Christ" document as a tool for understanding ECUSA's point of view. The fact that most Primates and the ACC "poo-pooed" that document for its lack of theology and Scriptural foundation apparently doesn't matter.

3) The resolution "affirms the place of our members who are gay and lesbian, both laity and clergy."

4) The resolution asserts that the Episcopal Church has "discerned holiness in same-sex relationships," and "support[s] the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination or consecration of persons in those unions."

In addition to these four items, which clearly contradict the earlier statement promising to not "impose uniformity," the Diocese of Rochester, in a separate action, voted to expel All Saints Irondequoit from the Diocese because it is an orthodox parish that has refused to pay its apportionment. How's that for not imposing uniformity?!?! If this is the way Rochester wants ECUSA to avoid imposing uniformity on the rest of the Communion, we'd all better be watching our backs, or there will soon be knives sticking out of them.

The other ultimate irony is that, regarding All Saints' expulsion, several delegates were quoted as saying something akin to the idea that "the Diocese didn't really expel All Saints, they chose to go their own way." This is essentially true since All Saints is still Christian and Anglican, and is choosing to walk in that direction -- the opposite direction of the Diocese of Rochester and the ECUSA. In that case, congratulations to All Saints Irondequoit! God is with you and you will be blessed!

The resolution itself is a real indication of the confusion and hypocrisy that results when the Church abandons its foundation in Scripture. There is nothing guiding ECUSA or the Diocese of Rochester aside from their own immediate feelings and desires. Therefore, it would be too much to expect a clear, straightforward, honest and truthful response to the Windsor Report. Anyone expecting much more from GC06 is in a fantasy world.

Here is the full text of the resolution:


A Resolution Responding to the Windsor Report for the 2006 General Convention
Resolved, That the Secretary of the 2005 Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of
Rochester submit the following resolution to the 2006 General Convention of the
Episcopal Church meeting in Columbus, Ohio:

Resolved, the House of ____________ concurring, That this 75th General Convention adopt the following statement as its response to the Windsor Report:

The 75th General Convention expresses its deep desire to remain a member church of the Anglican Communion, which we understand to be a fellowship of churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, committed to mission together for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a spirit of mutual respect and forbearance. We understand and regret that decisions made at the 74th General Convention have caused a strain in this spirit and, indeed, been received by many in the Communion as an unacceptable deviation from Scripture and the tradition of the Church. We acknowledge that this is true even within our own church. We wish to state clearly that we have no desire to impose a uniformity of position either in our own church or the Communion itself on these matters.

We cannot, however, as a church, receive the statement of resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, “rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture,” as definitive Anglican teaching on this matter. We do not believe that the current controversy regarding different understandings of the place of our members who happen to be homosexual in their orientation is a
matter on which our essential unity depends. We believe that our unity as a Church is best expressed by our commitment to serve together in mission to the world, and that the theological essentials that unite us are best expressed in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.

We acknowledge the House of Bishop’s Delegated Episcopal Oversight Plan (DEPO) as an important tool for maintaining our essential unity in a time of strain. We also accept the Executive Council’s decision to voluntarily withdraw our members from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) until the Lambeth Conference 2008. However, we look forward to our full participation in that Conference and our return to full participation in the ACC following it.

We also acknowledge the listening process begun by the ACC in 2005 and urge
that in all member churches of the Communion it include the voices of faithful gay and lesbian Anglicans. We commend the document To Set our Hope on Christ as a positive contribution of the Episcopal Church to this process.

Finally, we affirm the place of our members who are gay and lesbian, both laity and clergy. In this affirmation we believe the words of To Set Our Hope on Christ, to be an accurate description of the experience of a majority of us that “For forty years, members of the Episcopal Church have discerned holiness in same-sex relationships and have come to support the blessing of such unions and the ordination or consecration of persons in those unions” (section 2.0).

Proposed by the General Convention Deputies

The 2006 General Convention will consider many responses to the Windsor Report and the subsequent meetings and actions of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC). Chief among these will be the Episcopal Church’s presentation to the ACC, To Set our Hope on Christ. Several dioceses have already proposed resolutions to the General Convention, and these will be addressed by a special legislative committee. We think that it would be helpful to add the voice of the Diocese of Rochester to the mix at the General Convention. We therefore propose this resolution believing that it reflects the experiences and the perspectives of our diocese.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 11/21/2005 12:13:00 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 11/21/2005 12:13:34 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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