Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More Episco-Drama

The Windsor Report invited the Episcopal Church "to effect a moratorium on 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" (Windsor Report, paragraph 134).

Initially, the General Convention was going to do nothing and merely passed a resolution that said, essentially, talking about these things is good.

Then the outgoing Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, and the incoming PB, Katharine Jefferts Schori, apparently recognizing that the Anglican Communion was about to throw the ECUSA over the transom, went before an extraordinary joint session of the delegates (called by Griswold) and urged them to pass a resolution calling on Bishops and Standing Committees 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 and will lead to further strains on communion." That resolution was passed.

Certain liberal Bishops are upset. They are apparently circulating a statement in opposition to the resolution. I do not know who is signing, but the signatories would presumably not be the Bishop of Milwaukee who has already banned the ordination of persons who are sexually active outside of marriage and who has said that the priests in his diocese may not bless same sex unions. At least one Bishop said that he will not be exercising the slightest restraint whatsover.

But the resolution itself may not be enough to satisfy the other member churches of the Anglican Communion. And conservative Bishops (again, a group not including the Bishop of Milwaukee) are not happy either.

All of this raises questions about how quickly traditional notions of sexual morality ought to be abolished and whether there really is a parallel between the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement. It raises questions of how and when you should compromise to remain in community.

Personally, I really don't mind gay bishops and same-sex blessings (which is an entirely different issue than gay marriage). But I do mind the other theological positions of those who are their strongest supporters. And feel more attuned to the other theological positions of those who oppose them.

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