The Bishop of Missouri on some of What General Convention 2009 did and Didn’t do

Posted by Kendall Harmon

First, the resolution deserves a reading in its totality, despite a tendency to separate the most newsworthy section from the rest and treat it in isolation. Five of the seven resolves in this action, for example, directly address the participation of the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion. While this resolution addresses the rightful place of gay men and lesbians in the common life of the Episcopal Church, that life is given context within a community of Christians larger than this Church alone. D025 addresses both inclusion and communion—and gives greater attention to issues of communion.

Second, the resolution recognizes the canonical access to the ordination process for gay men and lesbians, a recognition which they and their allies have asked for, and for which they and I are grateful. They also understand fully, I believe, that access to a process is never a guarantee of ordination itself. Our canonical and pastoral processes toward ordination never treat ordination as a right for anyone. But anyone has the full privilege of presenting himself or herself to the Church in order to say: I believe I am so called. This is a pastoral clarification which D025 makes, for the sake of gay men and lesbians.

Third, and with this being the case, D025 does not in itself represent an end to the moratorium on the ordination of partnered gay men or lesbians to the episcopate. To state the obvious, this moratorium would end only in the event of such an ordination.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

10 Comments
Posted September 30, 2009 at 5:39 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br. Michael wrote:

Sigh.  A statement that you will not to do something until you do it is not a moratorium.  To even make such an argument is the height of absurdity.

September 30, 7:02 am | [comment link]
2. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

I see no reason to ask tiny questions and fiddle throught the detritus here. Who cares about the minutae of what did and didn’t happen. One sentence will cover all you need to know:

The Episcopal church, in matters of sexual ethics, chose to move further away from upholding a traditional, biblical understanding of sex (as only being blessed within marriage of a man and woman) and closer to the world’s view of sex as an open right for all regardless of gender, etc etc….

That really is ALL you need to know. And it is a lamentable and sorry tale of huberis, ignorance and willfull disobedience to the revelation of God in Christ Jesus

September 30, 8:06 am | [comment link]
3. Dan Crawford wrote:

I never cease to be amazed at the capacity of some Episcopal bishops to misstate facts with such aplomb. Focusing on minutiae is only one of the many ploys.

September 30, 8:14 am | [comment link]
4. Philip Snyder wrote:

First, the resolution deserves a reading in its totality, despite a tendency to separate the most newsworthy section from the rest and treat it in isolation. Five of the seven resolves in this action, for example, directly address the participation of the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion. While this resolution addresses the rightful place of gay men and lesbians in the common life of the Episcopal Church, that life is given context within a community of Christians larger than this Church alone. D025 addresses both inclusion and communion—and gives greater attention to issues of communion.

Translation:  a husband spends 20 minutes telling his wife how much he really loves her and wants to remain married.  But, just as he walks out the door, he says, “but I still want to sleep with other women.”  He rightly said that he spent more time talking about how important the marriage is to him, but for him to not recognize how the last sentence denies the first 20 minutes is the sign of deep personal darkness, willful ignorance, or that he never really understood what marriage was all about to begin with.  In any case, the bishop’s words do not do him credit.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

September 30, 8:31 am | [comment link]
5. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

While it is “interesting” to see George Wayne’s comments on GenCon, here is what the Diocese of Missouri really thinks in the resolutions passed at Diocesan Convention 2008:http://www.diocesemo.org/downloads/08secondmailing.pdf

See particularly:
C-169 (approximately page 16 in the pdf document reference above)
D-169 (~page 17)
E-169 (~page 18)
F-169 (~page19)
Then decide if what transpired at GenCon2009 is really to be understood as suggested in the current comments by the bishop.

The maintenance of a hypothetical moratorium is clearly a disproved hypothesis on the basis of the actions of DioMO Convention 169 held in November 2008.  The Bishop’s mileage clearly differs on what constitutes the definition of moratoria.  The word fabrication comes to mind.

But it is rather mordantly humorous that links with diocese of Lui are maintained: “BE IT RESOLVED that this 169th Convention of the Diocese of Missouri affirms its commitment to work toward the inclusion of all the baptized, including gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgendered people, in the whole sacramental life of the Episcopal Church. We also affirm our commitment to strengthening relationships among the Churches of the Anglican Communion, and therefore, despite the sometimes painful differences with Archbishop Daniel of Sudan in our understandings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, resolve to renew and strengthen our relationship with the Diocese of Lui so that each may come to a better understanding of the
other.”

This clearly indicates the “evangelism” of the DioMO is to convert the DioLui to the “our understanding of the Gospel” and that such understanding is not the understanding of Archbishop Daniel of The Sudan.  Two Gospels, one about gayness and its need to be promulgated and forcefully (by financial ties) inclusive of all who dare disagree and Archbishop Daniel’s about Jesus Christ. 

The DioMO has declared itself regardless of what George Wayne maintains.  It is written in the Diocesan Convention 169.

September 30, 9:40 am | [comment link]
6. Jon wrote:

One of the things that is so sadly striking to me—quite apart from the false doctrine—is the extraordinarily shoddy quality of the minds producing this stuff.  In brief, it’s sad, embarrassing in fact, to realize that bishops like Smith, cathedral deans like Sam Candler, “theologians” like Spong, and so on are not merely heretics, but also just simply not terribly bright. 

This is not simply my opinion as an orthodox Christian.  It’s the opinion of friends of mine who are atheists.  They are simply stunned at the extraordinarily low quality of the thinking coming out of the liberal leadership—“arguments” that a high school freshman would be embarrassed to make.

I have a vivid memory, back before I was a Christian, of reading opponents of the Christian faith who were thinkers of depth and distinction, like Bertrand Russell and Nietzsche and so on: people who’s conclusions I now reject but who’s minds and body of work I still have tremendous respect for.  But golly… these guys?  It’s just so embarrassing.  Look at posts #1 and #4 for example… how in just a few sentences Br. M and PS can demonstrate the shoddiness and frankly the idiocy of what the bishop is saying.

C.S. Lewis also had the same experience.  In SURPRISED BY JOY he talks fondly and with great respect for Kirk, an unbelieving tutor he had as a teenager.  Lewis writes:

Having said that he was a Atheist, I hasten to add that he was a “Rationalist” of the old, high and dry nineteenth-century type. For Atheism has come down in since those days, and mixed itself with politics and learned to dabble in dirt. The anonymous donor who now sends me anti-God magazines hopes, no doubt, to hurt the Christian in me; he realy hurts the ex-Atheist. I am ashamed that my old mates and (which matters much more) Kirk’s old mates would have sunk to what they are now. It was differrent then; even McCabe wrote like a man.

September 30, 10:16 am | [comment link]
7. Jeffersonian wrote:

Smith’s predecessor, Hays Rockwell, was the direct cause of me leaving TGC when he came to our parish and gave a sermon in which he said that Jesus being the way, the truth and the life is all well and good, but to really know the mind of God we need to look also at Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam, etc.  I was gone, with my family, in a matter of weeks.  The diocese hasn’t improved a whit since.

September 30, 12:13 pm | [comment link]
8. Fr. Jack wrote:

Does he really believe all this? and/or Does he really expect us to believe it?

September 30, 9:45 pm | [comment link]
9. Nikolaus wrote:

Yes, Fr. Jack, he really does believe it and yes again, he expect us to believe it too.

September 30, 9:51 pm | [comment link]
10. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Well, one could pose a Lewisian trilemna:
he believes it or he doesn’t believe it or he is deceived.

He believes the gay goszpell new thang(r).  He believes he can change the eternal gospel to fit the new thang gozpell(r).  He believes he can do this to the entire Anglican Communion.  He is a true believer, in those senses.

It’s only eternity at stake, so what’s the rub, right?

He also believes in stasis as growth: check out the diocesan address 2008.

September 30, 10:34 pm | [comment link]
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