"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Interesting Spin on HoB from +No. California

The bishop of Northern California, the Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb, has chimed in with his take on the recent House of Bishops' Meeting, and this time the tenor is somewhat different from the other reports we have heard. He says, in part:

There is a genuine desire on the part of the House of Bishops to respond appropriately to the Windsor Report. The Joint Committee appointed by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies gave a preliminary report to the House of Bishops regarding their resolutions that will be coming to General Convention. To my way of thinking, all of these resolutions demonstrated a significant movement towards reconciliation within the Church in the United States and with the Anglican Communion. I don’t believe we will see a recanting of the action taken at the 2003 General Convention, but I do think there will be a sincere acknowledgement of the turmoil that the action took and we will see a commitment towards rebuilding our relationship with the Anglican Communion as a whole. (Emphasis added) Read it all at TitusOneNine.

Note that the message here is quite similar to what we have consistently heard since September 2003. There is an "acknowledgement" that the actions of GenCon03 caused "turmoil," but Bishop Lamb expressly predicts that there will be no "recanting" of the actions that caused the turmoil. I am not sure what he means by "recanting," but the tone of this letter sounds quite consonant with what we have had from the national ECUSA leadership for the last three years: "We are sorry that you chaps in the developing world got so upset over our (completely proper) actions regarding human sexuality in 2003, but we cannot back down now because this is a "justice issue" in our culture. We really do want to be friends and promise to listen more thoughfully to you next time. Can't we all just get along?"

I note that Bishop Howe of Central Florida has called attention to this approach at the HofB Meeting himself. He recently wrote: They are genuinely sorry for having “torn the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level.” I have no question about that. And for that they are sincerely repentant. We have all had a tutorial in what it means to be part of a world-wide Communion; what it means to have “bonds of affection” and what it means to violate those bonds; what it means to be “members, one of another. Our bishops are NOT repentant for the decision to confirm Gene Robinson’s election in and of itself - for they do not believe it was wrong. But they are sincerely sorry/repentant for having breached the “bonds of affection.” And they do NOT want to see the Communion destroyed.

If GenCon06 doesn't take some pretty significant steps back from the brink, I cannot imagine that the Global South primates led by Archbishops Akinola and Venables will accept its actions. They will not be mollified by tender words about being "sorry for the pain we've caused you" if those words are not accompanied by at least a start in rolling back the theological Left's agenda in ECUSA. Genuine repentance is needed. We shall see which version of the House of Bishops turns up this summer, Bishop Steenson's or Bishop Lamb's. One might save ECUSA as a united body, the other probably will not.


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