Skip to comments.Open Letter to the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies [ECUSA]
Posted on 04/05/2006 9:25:45 PM PDT by sionnsar
OPEN LETTER TO THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS AND THE HOUSE OF DEPUTIES
MEETING IN COLUMBUS OHIO
FOR THE GENERAL CONVENTION
OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH U.S.A.
The General Convention of the Episcopal Church U.S.A. meeting in Columbus Ohio in June of 2006 constitutes a watershed in its history and in the history of the Anglican Communion. Will the dioceses that make up ECUSA continue as full members of the Anglican Communion or will the status of some or all of them within that communion be radically altered? Will Anglicanism continue as a communion or will it fragment and become at best a loose federation held together by a rapidly fading historical memory?
The recent address of the Bishop of Exeter, the Rt. Rev. Michael Langrish, to ECUSAs House of Bishops clearly poses these issues and asks of the delegates to the upcoming General Convention the most careful consideration of the choices that lie before them. Bishop Langrish made it clear in his address that he was speaking as the representative of the Archbishop Canterbury. At various points, Bishop Langrish made it clear that his remarks were based on personal observation, but we may nonetheless safely assume that their general direction reflects the views of the Archbishop.
In his address, Bishop Langrish stated clearly that should the General Convention either give its consent to the consecration of another bishop in a same sex relationship or approve the blessing of such unions, the Anglican Communion will break apart, the dialogue with Rome will come to a halt, and the inter-faith dialogue with Muslims will end.
The remarks of Bishop Langrish made clear also that the response of ECUSA thus far to Lambeth 1:10, the Windsor Report, and the Dromantine Communique is, for two reasons, quite inadequate.
Looking at ECUSAs actions in this new light, the Bishops of Exeter made two additional points of extraordinary importance.
These observations led Bishop Langrish to note two points of view that constitute what he holds to be a clear and present danger to the Anglican Communion. On the one hand there are those who not only stand firmly by Lambeth 110, but also see it as the litmus test of orthodoxy, and who are further opposed to, or have given up on, Windsor
and all stands for. On the other hand, there are those who are so certain that Lambeth 1:10 was wrong that they in effect see both Windsor and the Communion as a price that is simply to great to pay.
Unhappy with these extremes, the Bishop of Exeter posed this question to the Episcopal Church. Are there within our ranks sufficient numbers to stand broadly on the same ground, holding a range of opinions on Lambeth 1:10 but firm in carrying forward the Windsor vision of a strengthened and enabling communion life? After posing this question, the Bishop of Exeter went on to say that it seemed to him that as he listened to those other parts of the communion he knows best that any further consecration of those in a same sex relationship, any authorization of any person to undertake same sex blessings, any stated intention not to seriously engage with the Windsor Report will be read widely as a decision not to stay in the communion.
The Archbishop of Canterburys representative has posed precisely the question the Bishops and delegates to our next General Convention must ask. Are there a sufficient number to stand broadly on the same ground, holding a range of opinion on Lambeth 1:10 but firm in carrying forward the Windsor vision of a strengthened and enabling communion of life? He has also made clear the decisions ECUSA is called to make if its various dioceses wish to remain as dioceses in full rather than impaired communion with the rest of the Anglican Communion. In a negative sense, we are called upon to do the following.
In a positive sense we are called upon to follow this course.
report as the way forward for the communion and abide by its call for an end to the practices (including border crossings) that now divide us.
These appear to us as steps necessary for the continued participation of the various dioceses of ECUSA as full members of the Anglican Communion. For the General
Convention to take a course of action other than this one will consign ECUSA to the status of just another denomination within the spectrum of American Protestantism and render patently false its claim to a catholic identity as part of a worldwide communion of churches. It is our hope and prayer that our Bishops and delegates to the upcoming General Convention will weigh carefully the cost of walking apart from the rest of the Anglican Communion and adopt the points listed above as markers for the future course of the common life of our church and our communion.
Officers and Fellows of the Anglican Communion Institute
Certainly seems plainly stated enough.
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