The Bishop of Chicago Speaks
Folks who live in dioceses like Fort Worth have no idea how prevalent non-celibate gay clergy are in other parts of the Episcopal church. Heterosexual males made up the minority of the legion of Episcopal priests I came to know during my many years at the campus ministry at U of C. In a diocese with a presbyterate of that composition, the Primates' Communique was dead in the water the moment it was promulgated.*
Not surprisingly, Bonnie Anderson of the House of Deputies is demanding a say in the decision making process. The line of the Episcopal Left is becoming clear--continue to stall on the grounds that bishops alone cannot do anything to modify our polity. They will demand that a full church convention take up the Primates' request, meaning potentially a delay of several years. Additionally, or in the alternative, have the House of Bishops pass something that tangentially addresses the Primates' requests but leaves lots of "wiggle room" in practice. As this response would be open to multiple interpretations, this would put off a final decision on TEC's future again as the Primates must meet again to decide whether TEC's response is "clear and unequivocal." Delay, stall, equivocate ... and win in the long run. It has worked for the Episcopal Left before, but I think the rest of the world may finally have had enough.
Let us pray that all will act with integrity in the upcoming months and face the issues squarely and honestly. Surely we have all had enough of word games. We need to settle this matter one way or another and move on.
*On the composition of the presbytery in Chicago, it is said that Louie Crew once joked, "How many straight Chicago Episcopal priests does it take to change a light bulb?" Answer: "Both of them." I don't know if Mr. Crew actually said this, but it is clever.