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75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church

Daily Reports

News and pictures from General Convention
and the Episcopal Church Women's Triennial


     
Day 9 Wednesday, June 19
Day 1
Tuesday
Day 2
Wednesday
Wednesday
Hearing
Diocesan
Statement
Archbishop Sentamu
Day 3
Thursday
Day 4
Friday
Day 5
Saturday
Statement on election
 
 

 

Joint Session

Following the convention’s morning Eucharist service, deputies and bishops gathered in the House of Deputies. Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold made opening remarks and introduced resolution B033, a substitute for the portion of A161 (defeated by the deputies on Monday) dealing with the election of bishops. The Windsor Report called on the Episcopal Church to “effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges,” while B033 asks bishops to “exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church.” Bishop Dorsey Henderson (Diocese of Upper South Carolina) was credited with drafting B033, which was endorsed by Bishops Peter Lee (Virginia), Edward S. Little II (Northern Indiana), Robert J. O'Neill (Colorado) and Geralyn Wolf (Rhode Island).

After introducing the resolution, Bishop Griswold announced that the joint session was adjourned.

 

Passage of resolution B033

The bishops returned to their house to discuss and vote on the resolution; the deputies resumed business on other resolutions. The bishops considered two possible amendments which would have given additional leeway in consenting to future episcopal elections, but eventually passed the resolution as written. During debate Bishop V. Gene Robinson (New Hampshire) said, “The substitute resolution ... gives us all room to exercise our consciences.” After lunch the deputies received B033 from the House of Bishops with a recommendation to concur in its adoption, and Presiding Bishop-elect Jefferts Schori asked to be allowed to address the House of Deputies. She compared the Episcopal Church to a pair of conjoined twins, saying that their separation might cause one or the other to die.

The deputation from Fort Worth voted against the resolution, since it fell far short of complying with the Windsor Report's request for a moratorium. The question of blessings of same-sex rites, which had been a part of A161 when it was defeated by the deputies, was not addressed. This was the final day of the convention.

   

Reaction

Two groups of bishops issued minority reports in response to B033. Bishop John Chane of the Diocese of Washington (D.C.) issued a “Statement of Conscience” citing various parliamentary and procedural concerns and expressing the discomfort of making a choice, the essential choice presented by the Windsor Report. “Our conversation,” wrote Bishop Chane, “has been framed in a flawed paradigm, forcing us to choose between two goods -- the full inclusion in the life of the Church of our brother and sister Christians who happen to be gay or lesbian and our full inclusion in the life of our beloved Communion.”

Twenty bishops issue the following through the Anglican Communion Network:

   

TO THE FAITHFUL IN CHRIST JESUS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD:

We, the undersigned, Bishops of the Episcopal Church make the following statement:

In the wake of the action by this House granting consent to the consecration of Canon V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, many of us in this House made an appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion "to intervene in the pastoral emergency that has overtaken us." That appeal was heard and the Archbishop called for an extraordinary meeting of the Primates on 15–16 October, 2003.

The Primates spoke forthrightly and unanimously about the consequences that would ensue across the Communion in the event that the consecration went forward, warning that it would "tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level." They also called for the formation, under a mandate given by the Archbishop, of the Lambeth Commission on Communion. This General Convention has now given its response to the recommendations of the work of that Commission, known as the Windsor Report.

Now, once again, we find the need to speak candidly. The responses which the Convention has given to the clear and simple requests of the Lambeth Commission, the clear and simple requests indeed of the Anglican Communion, are clearly and simply inadequate. We reaffirm our conviction that the Windsor Report provides the way forward for the entire Anglican Communion, the ecumenical relationships of the Communion, and the common life of a faithful Episcopal Church. Further, we have agreed to submit ourselves to the Windsor Report's requirements, both in what it teaches and in the discipline it enjoins. We have not changed in our commitment.

Sadly, because of statements made by members of this House at this Convention, we must question whether this General Convention is misleading the rest of the Communion by giving a false perception that they intend actually to comply with the recommendations of the Windsor Report. We therefore disassociate ourselves from those acts of this Convention that do not fully comply with the Windsor Report.

It is our intention not only to point to the inadequacies of the General Convention's responses, but to declare to our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the Communion that we continue as The Episcopal Church in this country who uphold and propagate the historic faith and order we have come to know through the Anglican heritage of apostolic teaching and biblical faith; who desire to be fully a constituent member of the Anglican Communion; and who are ready to embrace and live under the Windsor Report without equivocation.

Accordingly, we repudiate the actions of the General Convention of 2003 which have breached the bonds of affection within the Communion. We bishops have committed to withhold consents for any persons living in same gender relationships who may be put forward for consecration as a bishop of the Church. And we have refused to grant authority for the blessing of sexual relationships outside Christian Marriage in our jurisdictions. We intend to go forward in the Communion confidently and unreservedly.

Our chief concern now is to fulfill our charge as bishops of the Church of God in the Anglican tradition to "guard the faith, unity and discipline" of the Church. Pastoral care and apostolic teaching must not only be given to our own dioceses, but to all the faithful in this country who seek apostolic oversight and support. We will take counsel together to fulfill our service on behalf of faithful Anglicans in this country, both clergy and laity, and to proclaim the Gospel and build up the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we seek the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates and Bishops of the Anglican Communion as we do so.

Signed

The Rt. Rev. Keith Lynn Ackerman, Diocese of Quincy
The Rt. Rev. James M. Adams Jr., Diocese of Western Kansas
The Rt. Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, Diocese of Springfield
The Rt. Rev. David J. Bena, Diocese of Albany
The Rt. Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan, Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Rt. Rev. Bertram Herlong, Diocese of Tennessee
The Rt. Rev. Daniel W. Herzog, Diocese of Albany
The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Diocese of Fort Worth
The Rt. Rev. Stephen H. Jecko, Diocese of Dallas
The Rt. Rev. John B. Lipscomb, Diocese of Southwest Florida
The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., Diocese of South Carolina*
The Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Diocese of San Joaquin
The Rt. Rev. Henry W. Scriven, Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Rt. Rev. William J. Skilton, Diocese of South Carolina
The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Diocese of Dallas*
The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey N. Steenson, Diocese of Rio Grande
The Rt. Rev. C. FitzSimons Allison, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez, Retired
The Rt. Rev. William J. Cox, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Alex D. Dickson, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Alden M. Hathaway, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Edward H. MacBurney, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Clarence C. Pope, Retired
The Rt. Rev. William C. Wantland, Retired

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
* Drafters of the original statement


 

Videotaped comments by Bishop Iker can be found on the Web site www.standfirminfaith.com

 

   

CAPA primates respond

The primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), meeting in Kampala on June 21 and 22 viewed with interest the developments of General Convention. On their behalf Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria issued a letter to the Episcopal Church, saying in part,

We have observed the commitment shown by your church to the full participation of people in same gender sexual relationships in civic life, church life and leadership. We have noted the many affirmations of this throughout the Convention. As you know, our Churches cannot reconcile this with the teaching on marriage set out in the Holy Scriptures and repeatedly affirmed throughout the Anglican Communion. All four Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion advised you against taking and continuing these commitments and actions prior to your General Convention in 2003.

The letter concluded,

We assure all those Scripturally faithful dioceses and congregations alienated and marginalised within your Provincial structure that we have heard their cries.

   

 

   

Reporter Jay Ambrose on “Episcopal Chaos,” for the Scripps Howard News Service