Recommendations for General Convention
Resolution A160 Expression of Regret
Resolved, the House of _____ concurring, That the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church join the House of Bishops’ March 2005 “Covenant Statement” in expressing “our own deep regret for the pain that others have experienced with respect to our actions at the General Convention of 2003 and we offer our sincerest apology and repentance for having breached the bonds of affection in the Anglican Communion by any failure to consult adequately with our Anglican partners before taking these actions.”
Resolution A161 Election of Bishops
Resolved, the House of _____ concurring, That the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church regrets the extent to which we have, by action and inaction, contributed to strains on communion and caused deep offense to many faithful Anglican Christians as we consented to the consecration of a bishop living openly in a same-gender union. Accordingly, we urge nominating committees, electing conventions, Standing Committees, and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise very considerable caution in the nomination, election, consent to, and consecration of bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.
The Windsor Report has invited the Episcopal Church 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” (Windsor Report 134). Within the parameters set by our Constitution and Canons, this resolution frames a response encouraging caution regarding “nomination, election, consent to, and consecration of bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.” The resolution does not specify what constitutes a “manner of life” that “presents a challenge to the wider church;” we leave this to the prayerful discernment of those involved in nominating, electing, and consecrating bishops. Concerns we discussed were by no means limited to the nature of the family life; for example, the potential of bishops to serve effectively as pastors for all within their diocese, and their level of commitment to respect the dignity of and strive for justice for all people are also relevant. Finally, the Special Commission was not of one mind on the use of the words “exercise very considerable caution in,” with some instead recommending the words “refrain from.” As a group and in a spirit of cooperation and generosity, however, we decided to offer the resolution as it stands for debate at the 75th General Convention.
Resolution A162 Public Rites of Blessing for Same-Sex Unions
Resolved, the House of _____ concurring, That the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church affirm the need to maintain a breadth of private responses to situations of individual pastoral care for gay and lesbian Christians in this Church; and be it further Resolved, That the 75th General Convention concur with the Windsor Report in its exhortation to bishops of the Anglican Communion to honor the Primates’ Pastoral Letter of May 2003, by not proceeding to authorize public Rites of Blessing for same-sex unions, until some broader consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges; and be it further Resolved, That the 75th General Convention advise those bishops who have authorized public diocesan rites that, “because of the serious repercussions in the Communion,” they heed the invitation “to express regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached by such authorization” (Windsor Report 144).