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Survey, Archbishop Carey Draw Presiding Bishop's Ire
The Living Church Foundation ^ | 3/13/2006

Posted on 03/14/2006 12:19:18 PM PST by sionnsar

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has written to the House of Bishops discouraging their participation in a three-question survey endorsed by a former Archbishop of Canterbury and distributed by a previously unknown organization, “Lay Episcopalians for the Anglican Communion.”

In his letter to the bishops, Bishop Griswold said he has also written privately to the Most Rev. George Carey, who retired as Archbishop of Canterbury in 2001, chiding him for allowing himself to be used by others whose political ambition is to sow division.

The authors of the survey offered few clues as to their identity in the mailing, except to disavow affiliation with any Church organization beyond their local parish. In an e-mail dated March 8, Bishop Griswold said he was “suspicious of anything that is anonymous and that the questions themselves lead me to believe the intention of those who have asked [Archbishop Carey] to circulate the questionnaire is far from benign.”

Archbishop Carey’s blessing on the survey arose during his recent stay as a theologian in residence at an Episcopal Church in the Washington, D.C. area according to Jim Ince of Bethesda, Md., one of the organizers. Mr. Ince said Archbishop Carey agreed to endorse the survey after he saw the questions and understood what the group was trying to accomplish.

Archbishop Carey “sees it as a badge of honor” to support the work of lay Christians in the U.S., and had subsequently written that “he is happy that he did it and was not too upset” by the controversy, Mr. Ince said. Archbishop Carey was not available for comment.

Mr. Ince disputed the Presiding Bishop’s speculation of their motives, telling The Living Church he was disappointed that the Presiding Bishop was not more supportive.

“I think it is an interesting and good idea to see where things are,” he said, noting “we will do everything with truth and clarity.” The group promised to send a copy of results to every bishop after the March 15 survey deadline.

The questionnaire asked participants how they might vote “today in secret balloting” on three questions: the affirmation of the election of V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire; permission for diocesan bishops to allow the blessing of same-sex unions; and if they felt a stronger tie of loyalty to the Episcopal Church or to the Anglican Communion.

Mr. Ince said the authors of the questionnaire were a “lay-led group” that was “responding to the pleas from all sides” for honest conversation within the Episcopal Church. The members of the group came from across the Church’s political spectrum and “from across the country.”

“We’re keyed in with a lot of groups on both the orthodox side and the discerning side,” Mr. Ince said, specifically denying any affiliation with the American Anglican Council or the Anglican Communion Network. “No one contacted us” to ask about the survey or its organizers or “has written except in the business reply envelopes we sent,” which will not be opened until the survey is tabulated.

Mr. Ince said frustration with the opacity of the deliberations and the lack of leadership from the Episcopal Church’s hierarchy prompted the questionnaire. “The clergy just don’t want to get involved in anything,” he said.

“We have had many dozens of responses already”, he said. “We sampled the entire universe of the House of Bishops” and he expects the number of responses to be significant.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 03/14/2006 12:19:18 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 03/14/2006 12:20:14 PM PST by sionnsar (†† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006)
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