DO25 Does Not Overturn B033

The Episcopal Church’s  House of Bishops’ passage of resolution D025 does not overturn last General Convention’s call for care and “restraint.” That last resolution (B033) was never a “moratorium” on the ordination and consecration of gay and lesbian persons. It counseled care in approving any bishops whose “manner of life” would cause additional strain on the Anglican Communion.

Quite apart from the press’s  (including Episcopal News Service) usual misunderstanding of  such things, D025 simply re-asserts what has always been true — the ordination process in The Episcopal Church is governed by the Constitution and Canons of this church.

It would be perfectly possible for a bishop to have voted for D025 and still withhold consent for the election of any bishop-elect.

Access to the ordination process (though not guaranteed ordination!) is open to all. That’s part of what it means to be baptized — not that you are necessarily called to ordained ministry, but that your call may be tested by the Church.

19 Responses to “DO25 Does Not Overturn B033”

  1. Jeffersonian Says:

    This is delusional at best, a deliberate falsehood at worst.

  2. ecubishop Says:

    I am neither delusional, nor a liar. I was here; I heard the debate; and I voted in the affirmative.

  3. Jeffersonian Says:

    By definition, the delusional are unaware of their condition.

    Unfortunately, the text of D025 makes it clear that non-celibate homosexuals are not to be disqualified from the clergy at any level, so long as they can convince people that their current “partners” rise to a level above expedient shack-up. Susan Russell and Louie Crew know this, I’m not sure why you don’t.

  4. ecubishop Says:

    B033 never superceded the canons of this church that access to the ordination process (not ordination; since ordination is not a “right”) is open to all the baptized. B033 counseled restraint in consenting to the election of any person to the episcopate of any person (i.e. Kevin Thew Forrestor of Northern Michigan) whose “manner of life” would cause further strains in the Anglican Communion.

    D025 simply reminds the church that the canons, not GC resolutions, ultimately govern our church. Any bishop or standing committee could have consented to the election of a non-celibate gay person before this Convention, and they can do so after GC.

    It would be perfectly possible to have voted for both B033 and D025 (as I did) and still to withhold consent for the sake of the unity of the Communion (as I would do).

    Your dismissive comment about (presumably) gay “partners” and their expendient “shacking up” speaks volumes about either your ignorance or inability to “respect the dignity of every human being.”

  5. MB Says:

    With respect:

    1. B033 used words of restraint

    2. TEC has happy to let certain elements of the communion understand it as symbolizing moratoria – for example, I do not recall TEC protesting the JSC Report.

    In Bp Shori’s words: “It is the Episcopal Church’s response at the current moment. I don’t think it represents a final response… it opens the door to the next stage of conversation… I think it is a pause. I do not see it as slamming the door. I think it is an unfortunate way of inviting us into the next chapter of the conversation.”

    “And those policies are routinely reversed and revised every three years. I think it is a pause, but, as I said to the convention,…”

    NPR June 29, 2006

    3. D025 addresses the same topic as B033, but without words of restraint

    4. The mainstream construction of D025, including that of certain activist groups within TEC, is that D025 repudiates B033, and such restraint is no longer called for.

    5. Further, C056 authorizes “pastoral response,” which clearly includes SSBs – while formal SSB liturgies are being developed.

    IMHO, to argue that D025 and C056 are Windsor compliant strains credulity.

  6. ecubishop Says:

    I would argue that D025 and C056 are “Windsor compliant” even though I understand that postion to be “argue-able!”

    Of course, the third so-called “moratorium” (bishops ceasing to cross diocesan boundaries without permission) has never been honored since the Windsor Report was published.

  7. Jeffersonian Says:

    Are you serious in claiming that B033 was the deciding factor in Kevin Forrester’s rejection as bishop? That’s possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard about that tragicomic episode. One would hope even clerics whose sensibilities have been dulled by years of nonsense pumped out by the secular Left would have an inkling that being a Buddhist might present a problem in being a bishop.

    As far as my “ignorance,” it’s based on the official D025 explanation itself:

    Resolution D-039 of the 73rd General Convention, in 2000, acknowledged that the membership of the Episcopal Church includes persons living in same-sex relationships; established an expectation that “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 further denounced “promiscuity, exploitation, and abusiveness in the relationships of any of our members.” Three years later, the 74th General Convention reaffirmed this expectation. These standards thus provide guidance for access to the discernment process for ordination to the episcopate.

    As I said, just a quarter-tick above expedient shack-up. These shabby standards are already being undermined by the pansexual lobby. I suspect that even one day today’s deluded useful idiots will be shocked by how far the bar will drop.

    I’ll close with a quote from a fellow revisionist, one not currently charged with putting spin on the truth of the matter:

    “Third, this resolution does, in fact, open up access once again to gay and lesbian people, to the discernment process for the episcopate. To interpret this any other way would be dishonest.”

    Precisely. Or deluded.

  8. ecubishop Says:

    16 July 2009
    The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Rowan Williams
    Lambeth Palace
    Dear Archbishop Williams,
    We are writing to you as the Presiding Officers of the two Houses of The General Convention of
    The Episcopal Church. As your friends in Christ, we remain deeply grateful to you for your gracious
    presence among us recently during our 76th General Convention in Anaheim.
    As you know, The General Convention voted this week to adopt Resolution D025,
    “Commitment and Witness to the Anglican Communion”—a multilayered resolution that addresses a
    range of important issues in the life of The Episcopal Church that clearly have implications for our
    relationships within the Anglican Communion.
    Because this action is already being variously interpreted by different individuals and groups, we
    want to offer our perspective to you with the hope that some background, context, and information will
    be helpful in understanding this action of our General Convention. If you have not already had an
    opportunity to read it, a copy of the resolution is attached.
    We understand Resolution D025 to be more descriptive than prescriptive in nature—a statement
    that reaffirms commitments already made by The Episcopal Church and that acknowledges certain
    realities of our common life. Nothing in the Resolution goes beyond what has already been provided
    under our Constitution and Canons for many years. In reading the resolution, you will note its key
    points, that:
     Our Church is deeply and genuinely committed to our relationships in the Anglican Communion;
     We recognize the contributions gay and lesbian Christians, members of our Church both lay and
    ordained, have made and continue to make to our common life and ministry;
     Our Church can and does bear witness to the fact that many of our gay and lesbian brothers and
    sisters live in faithful, monogamous, lifelong and life-giving committed relationships;
     While ordination is not a “right” guaranteed to any individual, access to our Church’s
    discernment and ordination process is open to all baptized members according to our
    Constitution and Canons; and
     Members of The Episcopal Church do, in fact, disagree faithfully and conscientiously about
    issues of human sexuality.
    It is important to understand the process through which this Resolution came into being.
    In 2006, the 75th General Convention adopted Resolution B033 which “called upon Standing
    Committees and Bishops with jurisdiction 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.”
    While adoption of that resolution was offered with a genuine desire “to embrace The Windsor Report’s
    invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation” within the Anglican Communion, it has
    also been a source of strain within the life of our own Church.
    This year at least sixteen resolutions were submitted asking the 76th General Convention to take
    further action regarding B033. These resolutions fell into three categories—those calling for the repeal
    of B033; those restating or seeking to strengthen our Church’s nondiscrimination Canons; and those
    stating where The Episcopal Church is today. From these options, our General Convention chose the
    third—along with reaffirming our commitments to the Anglican Communion—with the hope that such
    authenticity would contribute to deeper conversation in these matters.
    The complex and deliberative nature of our legislative process involving bishops, lay deputies,
    and clerical deputies prevents the General Convention from acting rashly. However, it does lead
    eventually to a profound consensus. Sometimes this consensus takes years to achieve. As Resolution
    D025 itself states, we are still not all of one mind. Passage of this Resolution represents another step in a
    conversation that began with the 65th General Convention in 1976 which stated that homosexual persons
    are “children of God and have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance,
    and pastoral concern and care of the Church.” The discussion of these issues has continued consistently
    through every General Convention for the past thirty-three years, and we understand it to be an
    important contribution to the listening process invited by the successive Lambeth Conferences of 1978,
    1988, and 1998.
    Some are concerned that the adoption of Resolution D025 has effectively repealed Resolution
    B033. That is not the case. This General Convention has not repealed Resolution B033. It remains to be
    seen how Resolution B033 will be understood and interpreted in light of Resolution D025.
    Some within our Church may understand Resolution D025 to give Standing Committees (made
    up of elected clergy and laity) and Bishops with jurisdiction more latitude in consenting to episcopal
    elections. Others, in light of Resolution B033, will not. In either case, we trust that the Bishops and
    Standing Committees of The Episcopal Church will continue to exercise prayerful discernment in
    making such decisions, mindful and appreciative of our relationships in the Anglican Communion.
    In adopting this Resolution, it is not our desire to give offense. We remain keenly aware of the
    concerns and sensibilities of our brothers and sisters in other Churches across the Communion. We
    believe also that the honesty reflected in this resolution is essential if indeed we are to live into the deep
    communion that we all profess and earnestly desire.
    Please know that we continue to hold you in our prayers even as we invite yours for us.
    We remain,
    Your sisters in Christ,
    Bonnie Anderson, D.D. The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori
    President of The House of Deputies Presiding Bishop and Primate

    • Finder Says:

      This is all prattle. The facts are:
      The Bishop’s agreed to abide by the Windsor Report’s call for a moratorium and they have passed (and will continue on an individual level) to undermine the spirit and the letter of the moratoria. It is plainly dishonest, deceptive behavior that even my children have identified. Here’s the thing, the agenda is set, the bar will continue to be moved by increments to “soften the blow,” and pretty soon there will a party because we are doing just what “we want to do,” and dam anyone who disagrees, as Susan Russell said, “we are an independent church and no foreign province can tell us what to do.” I think she characterized what the passing of this resolution means to the moratorium when she said, “And we did that for a time — for the last three years — and that time is over.” Uh huh, Bishop, come on.
      Oh yes, and I am sorry, but that letter…it is the same as saying, “I want to a member of the club, really I do, but if don’t respect the club membership and the club guidelines, well—just overlook it cause, I really want to be a member of the club, really I do.” Perhaps more attention should be leveled at a club that would put up with this non-sense. Is anybody really fooled by this?

  9. ecubishop Says:

    The question is, what kind of “club” is the Anglican Communion? That’s what the Covenant process is trying to discern. Are we the “Anglican Church?” or a federation of autonomous “national” churches? Or something in-between? What is the balance between autonomy and interdependence? Our current difficulties will not be resolved until those questions are answered.

  10. Finder Says:

    OK Bishop, that’s the question then, as you just said, “Are we the “Anglican Church?” or a federation of autonomous “national” churches? Or something in-between?”
    Well, as that is true then our part of this process, giving due respect to the process itself and those others who are involved in it, is to maintain the status quo, or at least abide by the will of the “club” until we can figure out what the true definition of the club is. As it is, based on your definition, we are not respecting the process of discovery because before any definition can be reached we change the participatory level thereby moving the bar (to continue the metaphor).
    Our actions as they stand, simply denote a childish response to authority, “well it doesn’t say we can’t so…nanny nanny poo poo.” In any other situation, no one of us would agree that a “chapter house” of a club should be allowed to do whatever it wants during the period of club deliberation, its wrong (not to mention disrespectful and rude). It would show that the chapter house holds the club in some level of contempt, and we as members of the other chapter houses would bi incensed.
    Our disregard for due process and our willingness to hide behind “personal revelation,” speaks poorly of our integrity and character. To claim revelatory exclusivity based on social or even historical experience is to deny that same possibility to others, and then to act on it without regard to those others is to proclaim disinterest in their claim to relevancy. Our action, simply put, do not match our words, unless those words are “we are independent, and do what we want.”

  11. Kendall Harmon Says:

    Finder and Jeffersonian, is it possible for me to say to you that you are speaking to an Episcopal Church Bishop who by virtue of his (a) creation in the image of God and (b) office, among other things, is worthy of respect. I would like to see a lot more of that respect in your posts than I do. It is possible to disagree, even quite sharply, while maintaining dignity and grace.

    Many thanks

  12. Finder Says:

    Thank you Kendall, words to ponder. Now would you like to comment on the topic of the post?

  13. The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc. » Resolutions and the Windsor Moratoria Says:

    […] It would be perfectly possible for a bishop to have voted for D025 and still withhold consent for the election of any bishop-elect. […]

  14. Bryan Owen Says:

    Bishop Shannon Johnston, bishop coadjutor of the diocese of VA, said at General Convention that while he agreed with every word of resolution D025, “we do need to face the fact, the plain fact, that this is a repudiation of B033, it’s just in other guise.” And as such a repudiation, Bishop Johnston says it “breaks the faith with what the Communion has asked us to continue to walk with them on.” Watch here:

  15. Finder Says:

    I am sorry Bishop, but this is exactly what I am talking about. It is what it is, the agenda is what the agenda is, the spin is what it is. I know where this is going, most of us do, we are not the sheep we are perceived to be. I am sorry if that sounded fatalistic, but if you take a big step backward and look at this from the outside you can see how manipulative it really is.
    I am sorry I laid it all on the Bishop’s doorstep however, they–you all–could have stopped this run away, that is true, but the Bishop’s are too much apart of it now, personal agendas have overridden community concern. But the laity have this cross to bear as well, Deputies sent to the Convention who are elected for likeability or tenure to diocesan positions are by and large representative of the most liberal aspects of the diocese. Deputy’s, who vote their will–not the will of the people–have often voted “yes” at the Convention, in direct contradiction to the same resolutions voted down at their Annual Counsel (I know), it happened again this year by the deputation from my diocese.
    I would just to see and hear it plainly, as Bishop Johnston said it, as Susan Russel said it, as the Archbishop understood it, why is that so hard? Conviction should produce honesty not obfuscation.

  16. » TEC Resolutions and the Windsor Moratoria Says:

    […] It would be perfectly possible for a bishop to have voted for D025 and still withhold consent for the election of any bishop-elect. […]

  17. francisca Says:

    hi thanks for share,i always came to visit ur Blog:)

  18. Finder Says:

    A recent quote by Jack Spong:

    Battle Over Homosexuality in Episcopal Church is Over

    The battle over homosexuality in the Episcopal Church is over. The vote
    at the last General Convention was overwhelming. The sacred unions of
    gay and lesbian people are to be blessed and enfolded into liturgical
    patterns in the same way that the sacred unions of heterosexual people
    have been honored for centuries. The ministry of this church is to be
    open to gay and lesbian people who are qualified and chosen in the
    process by which this church makes such decisions.

    I rejoice in this for many reasons. First, it is right. Homosexuality is
    not a choice anymore than heterosexuality is. It is part of our human
    individual identity just like skin color, ethnic background, gender and
    right or left-handedness. The discrimination of the past has been the
    result of prejudice based on ignorance. Second, it brings honesty to
    this church. We have blessed gay and lesbian unions for decades, but
    only secretly. We have had countless gay clergy and gay bishops, but
    pretended that this was not so. It was one of our worst kept secrets. We
    have in our past elected a gay bishop to be vice president of the House
    of Bishops. He was a talented, gifted and quite competent man and he
    served well. Of course, we knew he was gay, but we pretended not to.
    Some of our bishops who were most hostile to homosexuality have
    themselves been gay and when they were discovered in “improper”
    relationships or with an HIV infection, it was hushed up. Dishonesty has
    eaten at the soul of this church’s integrity, as indeed it still does in
    those churches where dishonesty still reigns supreme.

    Those who are unable or unwilling to adjust to this reality, including
    the present Archbishop of Canterbury, will just have to become more and
    more irrelevant. This is a pity, but a leader who is on the backside of
    the tide of history will be constantly compromised and embarrassed. The
    Archbishop’s argument that this step is improper because the whole
    communion is not ready to move as a whole is a tragic misreading of
    history. The whole church was not ready to end slavery, apartheid or
    segregation, but significant part of it were not willing to continue
    these practices until their prejudices were finally overcome. In a
    similar manner parts of the church today will not postpone justice for
    homosexual persons until all of the homophobic and prejudiced-based
    ignorance is finally gone. That is not the way prejudice and ignorance
    ever die.

    I am proud of the Episcopal Church and I am sure that if either the
    Diocese of Los Angeles or the Diocese of Minnesota elects one of the
    homosexual persons nominated, it will be because the delegates believe
    that this is the best candidate for the position. If that action offends
    homophobic Christians then so be it. I want my church united in truth. I
    do not want to be part of a church united in homophobia or one that
    pretends it can preserve unity by excluding any group of human beings.

    By John Shelby Spong | August 6, 2009; 7:26 PM ET

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