Chicago Tribune: Partnered Lesbian priest makes final list of Chicago bishop Nominees

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gay rights advocates lauded the Chicago nominations as a sign of progress and greater equality in church leadership.

"The big news today is that discernment has trumped discrimination in the Diocese of Chicago," said Susan Russell, president of Integrity, an advocacy group for gay Episcopalians.

Meanwhile, conservatives rolled their eyes.

"Chicago's action is simply flying in the face of the desire of the Anglican Communion," said Springfield Bishop Peter Beckwith. "It's a slap in the face."

Rev. Kendall Harmon, a conservative theologian from South Carolina, said ..."I think it represents a steely determination on the part of the Episcopal Church leadership to pursue its new theology no matter what,...It's injecting more difficult dynamics in an already deeply frayed family fracas and that's a shame."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Conflicts

32 Comments
Posted August 29, 2007 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Kendall Harmon wrote:

I am not happy with the section of the article not in quotes in reference to me as it is misleading.  I think this is a violation of many promises, not least to live into the Windsor Report which asked that:

the Episcopal Church (USA) be invited 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

August 29, 6:00 am | [comment link]
2. JamesNoble wrote:

Certianly this slate renders moot any decision the HOB may make in September.  I fail to see how “windsor” and Network bishops can attend that meeting in good conscience - they should boycott it and call on the ABC to do the same.

ECUSA has already given definitive answers to two of the three Dar deamands (to stop lawsuits, and to establish an independent “church-within-a-church” adhereing to Christian norms). By authorising these candidates, ECUSA has given their definitive answer to the third (and least important) request: to confirm B033 means moratoria on bishops and blessings.

Having now clearly rejected all three demands of the communion, I am at a loss to see what the September meeting can achieve, or how the Windsor and Network bishops could achieve anything by attending.

August 29, 6:53 am | [comment link]
3. Larry Morse wrote:

But, Kendall, you don’t REALLY think “it is a shame.”
You must be only too glad to have TEC make it intentions utterly clear, and you must be pleased to see that this statement should cause TEC to be extirpated from Anglicanism. Isn’t this so? They’re poison, and you know it. Why not say so? You should have said, “So be it. Let the war begin.” You and all the other speaksmen for Anglicanism should be wholly clear, that the time has come for action, not more qualifications, hesitencies, to-ing and fro-ing. For Heaven’s sake, if the ABC won’t lead, you should. MOre people in the US pay real attention to you than the ABC.  Larry

  (And, by the bye, please don’t have fracases fraying. It is such an awkward mixed metaphor. The fabric of Anglicanism can fray but not a fracas.)

August 29, 7:06 am | [comment link]
4. Brian from T19 wrote:

JamesNoble

Even though I’ll get flak from the reasserters, I’ll say it again: nomination is not the same as election and consent

Larry Morse

Unfair characterization with really no basis in fact..

August 29, 7:53 am | [comment link]
5. Reason and Revelation wrote:

BT19, nomination is not the same, but it shows the bad faith of the nominating committee to ignore Lambeth, I.10, the existing stated position of the General Convention on homosexuality (it is sinful), and Dar.  This is straightforward disobedience and subversion.

The lack of disgust or condemnation from 815 or other bishops is telling, right?

August 29, 8:17 am | [comment link]
6. Don Armstrong wrote:

Who wants to be in a church where this is even a possibility?

August 29, 10:15 am | [comment link]
7. Philip Snyder wrote:

Don, Who wants to be in a church where Sin is even a possibility?

I agree that this is grevious and an affront to the Anglican Communion.  It violates the teaching of the communion and the spirit of Windsor.

Brian (#4) - How would you feel if you asked your wife not to date or have sex with other people and you found her on the phone talking to a former love interest about having a dinner date and the great sex they will have at the end of the date?  When you confronted her about this, she said:  “Well talking about sex is not the same as having sex.”

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 11:13 am | [comment link]
8. Stuart Smith wrote:

The lack of discipline and the repudiation of boundaries by diocesan search processes is breath-taking and very revelatory.

TEC- at least in the Diocese of Chicago- will simply do what it wants, and they could care less about what wounds the consciences of those in the AC…at home and abroad..who have pleaded with TEC dioceses to cease and desist.

This “strong delusion” (see Joe Dallas’ book by this name!) will brook no discipline.  Those who believe in the promotion of active homosexuality in TEC have that conviction as almost a Nicean Creed-level allegiance.  The prophetic “spirit” of polymorphic sensuality has led TEC to this arrogance.  No one should really be surprised by this development.

August 29, 11:25 am | [comment link]
9. Susan Russell wrote:

#5—” ...the existing stated position of the General Convention on homosexuality (it is sinful)”????

And that existing stated position exists and is stated where?

Not in the ordination canons: “All Bishops of Dioceses and other Clergy shall make provisions to identify fit persons for Holy Orders and encourage them to present themselves for Postulancy. No one shall be denied access to the selection process for ordination in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or age, except as otherwise specified by these Canons.”—Title III, Canon 4, Section 1 of the Constitution and Canons for the Government of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, p. 60

August 29, 11:34 am | [comment link]
10. Philip Snyder wrote:

#9 - last time I check the statements of General Convention on the “sinfulness” of homosexual sex and the appropriateness of ordaining practicing homosexuals, it said (A053, 1979):

We re-affirm the traditional teaching of the Church on marriage, marital fidelity and sexual chastity as the standard of Christian sexual morality. Candidates for ordination are expected to conform to this standard. Therefore, we believe it is not appropriate for this Church to ordain a practicing homosexual, or any person who is engaged in heterosexual relations outside of marriage.

General Convention has never recinded this statement.  The Righter Trial, said that resolutions of General Convention (that do not change the Constitutions or Canons) are not binding on the actions or teaching of bishops priests or deacons and are not actionable.  But if you want the latest teaching of General Convention, you have to look at this.  Nowhere as General Convention said anything different about ordaining men or women engaged in sex outside of marriage.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 11:54 am | [comment link]
11. Stuart Smith wrote:

#9:  Why anyone would care what “the stated position of the GC is” is beyond me!  As a purely political gathering of delegates, that august body could change the Filioque Clause if they wanted to.  That would, of course, not change the catholic Faith, one way or another.  Likewise, no matter how effective Integrity might be in getting any pariticular GC to change even the Exalted Canons regarding the fitness of homosexuals for ordination, that would not change the Word of God, the Consensus Fidelium, and the Unbroken Tradition of the Church which calls such acts what they, indeed, are:  disordered passions…i.e. SIN.

August 29, 11:55 am | [comment link]
12. Fr. Shawn+ wrote:

I wonder when the Church will turn its attention to the sinfulness of MOLD - there are many more admonishments and condemnations in Leviticus re: mold in the house than there are for same sex spooning…

August 29, 11:58 am | [comment link]
13. Stuart Smith wrote:

#12:  Let’s see:  is this intended to be comic relief?  Or, is it your considered opinion that the use of our sexuality in our lives is trivial?
Or, what IS your point, exactly?

August 29, 12:04 pm | [comment link]
14. Susan Russell wrote:

#10—Phil, A053 was a resolution of the 1979 General Convention. Since then a series of OTHER resolutions have been passed, including C051 which stated (among other things):

That we reaffirm Resolution A069 of the 65th General Convention (1976) that “homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church.”

That, in our understanding of homosexual persons, differences exist among us about how best to care pastorally for those who intend to live in monogamous, non-celibate unions; and what is, or should be, required, permitted, or prohibited by the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church concerning the blessing of the same.

That we reaffirm Resolution D039 of the 73rd General Convention (2000), that “We expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God,” and that such relationships exist throughout the church.

That we recognize that local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions.
====================
If you’re going to pick a Resolution of Convention that illustrates the “current teaching of the church” then “operating within the bounds of our common life” is it. 2003 trumps 1979. Diane Knippers knew that. David Anderson knows that. Kendall Harmon knows that. Ergo the struggle to split the church that doesn’t reflect their perspective.

August 29, 12:34 pm | [comment link]
15. Philip Snyder wrote:

Susan (#14) Can you show me a resolution of General Convention that says something to the effect of “We recognize that homosexual sex is blessed and we now say that being involved in a sexually active homosexual union is no longer a bar to ordination.”

Pastoral care of a sinful situation is different than calling that situation “not sin.” 

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 12:45 pm | [comment link]
16. Susan Russell wrote:

#15—No, Phil, I can’t. But I can show you Ordination Canons that include sexual orientation on the “non-discrminiation” list, I can show you resolutions that acknowledge that same-sex unions fall within the bounds of our common life, I can show you resolutions extending insurance coverage and Church Pension funds to clergy same-sex partners and I can show you a church deciding it’s time to move beyond a 1979 resolution and get on with fully including all of the baptized into the Body of Christ.

All that said, more important than the tit-for-tat which-resolution-trumps-which-resolution game is the question of whether or not there is room in the Episcopal Church for a diversity of opinions on these matters. We have never insisted that you must agree with us in order to be part of this church. There’s an ontologcial difference between FEELING excluded because you’re disagreed with and BEING excluded because of who you are. The Episcopal Church has decided to have sympathy for the former and to repent of having been complicit in the latter. The Diocese of Chicago took another step forward yesterday and that—as I said in my press release—is good news for the WHOLE church.

August 29, 12:58 pm | [comment link]
17. Philip Snyder wrote:

Susan - I would agree that there is room for diversity of opinion on this - that after all is what leads to new understandings.  But there is not room for diversity of practice.  We are currently engaged in discerning, as a Church, whether the current (and still applicable) teaching of the Church regarding homosexual sex (it is sinful) should change.  TECUSA is undecided on this issue.  We have gone ahead with changes in praxis without the requisite changes in theology.  The rest of the Communion (and if you want to include the laity in that decision, remember that the vast, vast majority of the laity is in the global south and, by all accounts, is very conservative on this issue) still holds out the traditional teaching that sexual expression outside of marriage (being one man and one woman) is sinful.  TECUSA is trying to change that.  Until the change is accomplished, to act outside of the teaching of the Church is to act schismatically and to risk schism. 

BTW, in another thread, I asked you to show me the scriptural and traditional warrants for blessing same sex unions or for calling homosexual sex morally good or at least morally neutral.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 1:09 pm | [comment link]
18. Undergroundpewster wrote:

Is it discrimination to oppose the election of a Gay Bishop?

August 29, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
19. Br. Michael wrote:

Fr. Shawn, mold is a form of death.  It contaminates a house and the people.  The people could then bring that death into the presence of the living God.  The source of all life.  Before that can happen the source of this death needs to be cleansed and the people purified.  It is all part of being a Holy people.  Now you may hold Scripture in contempt and raise the High Hand against God, but that’s what you and Rev. Russell are doing when you argue and rationalize away sin and seek to bless, in the name of God, and lead peiple into, that which God has called sinful.

August 29, 1:33 pm | [comment link]
20. Ad Orientem wrote:

At the risk of offending some people here of good will, I am going to say something that might not go over well.  I hope Ms. Lind is elected bishop.  My reason is simple.  I think that this is probably what it will take for a couple things to happen.  It will be a clarion signal that VGR was not a fluke and that things are not going to get better.  This message is first for those still in TEC whose capacity for self delusion seems limitless.  If that doesn’t wake them up to the realization that it is time to leave nothing will and they can’t be helped.

The second group to which this same message needs to be delivered are the bishops in the rest of the Anglican Communion.  I suspect this would be the last straw for many of them.  Either TEC would be expelled from the AC or there would be a mass secession among those churches which are still Christian.

Thus my fervent hope for the election of Ms. Lind.  Apologies to any who see this is an extreme course, but as I have said before, the battle for TEC is over.  The battle for the heart and soul of the rest of Christendom is just beginning..

August 29, 1:37 pm | [comment link]
21. Susan Russell wrote:

17 - Phil, thanks for the reasoned and respectful response. What you call schismatic others call prophetic and there—as they say—lies the rub. As for inquires on “other threads” for justificatioin of the theological efficacy of the Blessing of Same Sex unions that work exists ... Google “Claiming the Blessing Theology Statement” and “To Set Our Hope on Christ.”

And now I’m off to work in the garden for a bit. Happy blogging!

August 29, 2:10 pm | [comment link]
22. Charles wrote:

Susan - what is your take on the candidate (can’t remember which one) who denies the physical resurrection of Christ?

August 29, 2:44 pm | [comment link]
23. William Tighe wrote:

I agree wholly and without reservation to the sentiments expressed by “Ad Orientem” in #21.

August 29, 2:47 pm | [comment link]
24. Bob Lee wrote:

#19 Cstan wrote: Plenty of Mercedes-Benz, BMW’s, Range Rovers, et al. in the parking lots, building projects proceeding at a brisk pace, etc.  Lots of pretty people apparently having a good time.

I see nothing in this that indicates anything other than a country club.

August 29, 2:58 pm | [comment link]
25. Philip Snyder wrote:

#22 - Susan,  I’ve read both TSOHOC and the information from Claiming the Blessing.  Both assume what they want to prove (which is very bad logic).  The argument of just about everything I’ve read seems to be as follows

1.  We see evidence of God’s grace in the lives of men and women who are engaged in homosexual sex.
2.  Homosexual sex must not be a bar to God’s grace.
3.  Homosexual sex must be blessed.

The first two statements are true.  It is the third statement that is logically false.  The whole idea of blessing same sex unions seems to me to be a form of reverse donatism.  As you will remember, donatism states that only the righteous can distribute God’s gifts and that the unrighteous cannot.  Donatism states that sin is a bar to grace.  The logic I read in TSOHOC and other documents seems to say that since God’s grace is evident in the lives of homosexual people, then they must be in right relationship with God and their sexual practice must not be a bar to grace, thus it is blessed.

Regardless of all the philosophy or reasoning you may want to write or read, there still is that pesky problem of what to do with the Word of God - what does the Word say about homosexual relationships?

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 3:09 pm | [comment link]
26. FrankV wrote:

ECUSA is riddled with rot. The apologists for the sodomites fly in the face of scripture.  It is beyond the pale that sodomites are ordained to the priesthood to act as role models for their congregations and the public (and youth) in particular.  To then elect them as “overseers” (Bishops) is adding insult to injury.  This heresy is even compounded by the ordination of women to those positions.
It is one thing to welcome sodomites into a congregation with the hope of their being repentent and seeking redemption and salvation. It is quite another to elevate them to positions of leadership. 
I too agree with “Ad Orientem”.  I hope she gets elected.  That should confirm for good the depravity of ECUSA and leave no doubt in the minds of the handwringers and pussyfooters.

August 29, 3:13 pm | [comment link]
27. Larry Morse wrote:

#21: Your judgment is sound and I hope for the same event for the same reason. This is why I wrote earlier that it is time for the Kendall Harmons to stop talking and actually do something. Leadership at last requires action or a demand for action. TEC has offered every possible offense and has spun every web and we do nothing. Will The end of Sept. bring action? Leadership?

Kendall is a name of real power and he should speak publically, unequivocably, and forcibly to condemn and demand TEC’s exile. You and he know that TEC has earned this and more. I want him to make clear that there is a war on, that it is to the bitter end, and that TEC and its ilk are the enemy. My God, where is the courage to speak clearly and boldly! Our leaders wring their tender paws but durst not lead into battle where t hey will get their manicured hands dirty!  Look at all the idle chatter above, the snideness, the backbiting and backstabbing by people who don’t even write their real names, and to what end? No minds are changed and the Susan Russells we will always have with us. Well, so be it, but that doesn’t change to fabric of this shroud one whit. Without courage, we at least have something to be buried in. Aristotle has told us that courage is the father of all the virtues, and so it is, so it is. Without it, we are without character, without identity, because it requires courage to be.  Larry

August 29, 7:05 pm | [comment link]
28. robroy wrote:

What this act of defiance is to show how utterly pointless it is for the the greater Anglican Communion to continue the dialog with the TEC. Conciliarity is antithetical to the new gospel of the TEC. Can the ABC get a refund on his airplane ticket to New Orleans?

August 30, 12:23 am | [comment link]
29. Kevin S. wrote:

Greetings Rev. Russell –

  RE: #9 - You cited Title III, Canon 4, Section 1 of the Constitution and Canons for the Government of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, p. 60, regarding discrimination based on any one of several attributes.  Indeed, I believe this canon would need to be modified in order for the church to comply with the Windsor report.  But, with all due respect, I must admit that I find it bordering on hypocrisy that you would quote the canons.

  At the risk of going off topic, let’s flip a few pages to the left.  In the Canons of the Episcopal Church - Title I, Canon 17, Section 7, it states : “No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church.  It is my understanding that All Saints routinely and purposefully violates this canon with no fear of discipline (please correct me if I’m wrong).  Is there a secret list somewhere that shows the canons that can be violated and those that can’t?  Do you believe that priests and bishops should follow all of the church canons, or that it’s OK to violate the ones you don’t agree with?

August 30, 1:09 am | [comment link]
30. Harvey wrote:

Sounds like more lifeboats are leaving the good ship TEC as it continues to sink.

August 30, 5:35 pm | [comment link]
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