Skip to comments.Home Stretch [GC2006 - 3 and counting]
Posted on 06/10/2006 5:35:26 PM PDT by sionnsar
And so it begins:
V. Gene Robinson knew that if he were confirmed as New Hampshire bishop by the 2003 General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA, some people wouldnt be happy.
But he was taken aback by the ferocity of the reaction to his becoming the denominations first openly gay leader.
"Both I and the Diocese of New Hampshire knew that there would be people that would be less than comfortable with my election and consecration," Robinson said. "But I dont think any of us thought it would have the breadth and depth that it in fact has."
In spite of the fact that the Anglican primates told you in plain English that it would have just such a reaction.
Three years later, as the Episcopal Church comes to Columbus for its 75 th triennial convention, the 2.2 million-member denomination finds its relations strained with the Anglican Communion, the worldwide body of 77 million members to which it belongs, over Robinsons consecration.
Internally, a small but vocal minority of conservatives, also spurred by the 2003 action, have taken on the denomination, raising the specter of a split.
This years convention, which opens Tuesday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center Downtown, will vote on the churchs response to criticism from its sister churches in the communion.
What do you suppose will happen?
The Rev. Rosemari Sullivan of the Virginia Theological Seminary, a former General Convention secretary and executive officer, was a member of the commission that wrote "One Baptism." She said its resolutions ask the denomination "to go more slowly, more carefully, more mindfully in terms of the communion."
She expects that whatever emerges from the convention wont satisfy everyone.
"But I think, by and large, a two-thirds majority of the communion will say: The Episcopal Church has really expressed regret; were all one in Christ. While were still perplexed by this crazy Episcopal Church, we understand it better and were glad were all together.
"And others will say, My way or the highway. "
The Rev. James Rosenthal, spokesman for the London-based Anglican Communion, could not say what action the convention must take to satisfy communion members. But he said the Episcopal Church has been responsive to its sister churches concerns.
Anglicans throughout the rest of the world have "made it absolutely clear that the desire is for the communion to remain as one," Rosenthal said.
Translation: graveyard ahead. Commence whistling.
Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, who was among those who voted against Robinson in 2003, has been a leader of the Anglican Communion Network, which opposes the churchs direction. The network says it has the support of 10 dioceses and about 200,000 Episcopalians.
Duncan accused the majority of church leaders of being "disrespectful and disdainful of what were doing." He said his allies have had a particularly strained relationship with Frank Griswold, the churchs presiding bishop.
At the Columbus convention, the church needs to accept "without reserve" everything the Anglican Communion has asked, Duncan said, or the split between the two will widen.
Duncan dismissed talk of conservatives leaving the denomination and said it is the national church that is teetering on the brink.
"The question is, whos got the future? " he said. "I dont believe this anomaly, this aberration from Christian norms is actually going to produce a church with any strength at all. Quite the contrary. Its producing a church thats disintegrating."
Dear God. I hope Bob Duncan's just running smack there. Because if a split's off the table, the game is over. This "we're not walking apart, they are" line lost any ability to impress anyone a long time ago.
If Bob Duncan thinks that ECUSA will fudge Windsor and Dromantine once again and that the Network will get the "official" Anglican imprimatur shortly thereafter, then he's going all-in holding two pair. All ECUSA has to do is give Dr. Williams just enough for him to declare them in compliance with Windsor and this whole business gets extended two more years.
And for many of us, two years is two years too long. I still don't think that the Network has to make a formal, legal split next week. But if ECUSA falls short of full compliance, the Network had better start acting like an independent entity(minority reports, boycotting ECUSA, separate meetings, etc.) or that will finally be that.
>> he's going all-in holding two pair. <<
Never heard that expression before... Two pair is a good hand! (if neither of the pair are lying on the table, of course.)
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