Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Episcopal Bishops Tell Primates What They Will Do--and What They Will Not

As a lead-in to press coverage of the statement issued yesterday by the Episcopal House of Bishops in New Orleans, the Episcopal Church blog epiScope notes today "how many competing interpretations can be made of one document that is only one day old and written in the contemporary language of those reporting on it, with the authors nearby for clarification!" The blog and links to the wide variety of spins are at

The following are some paragraphs from the church's official article on the statement. The full article is at

Bishops provide 'clarity' in response to Primates' communiqué
By Pat McCaughan and Mary Frances Schjonberg
September 25, 2007

After nearly a full day of deliberations, the House of Bishops on September 25 agreed overwhelmingly by voice vote to reiterate the 2006 General Convention Resolution B033 that said they would "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."

They also pledged not to authorize public rites for same-gender blessings "until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action," according to the response.

The final statement adopted by the House of Bishops is being sent immediately via email to the JSC and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is traveling in Armenia and Syria, a spokesperson for the Anglican Communion said.

Intended to clarify General Convention Resolution B033, the document offered the strongest language thus far about interventions from overseas bishops in local dioceses. "We deplore incursions into our jurisdictions by uninvited bishops and call for them to end," the document said. It also called for "unequivocal and active commitment to the civil rights, safety, and dignity of gay and lesbian persons."

Whether the Primates will find the response satisfactory remains to be seen. The complete text of the bishops' statement is at

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