[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Re: "Lastly, let me speak for a moment to the gay people of this diocese" (+Dave Bena)



> Lastly, let me speak for a moment to the gay people of this diocese,
> and to the families and friends of gay people. Neither Bishop Dan
> nor I wish you to leave, or wish to cause you harm. But we are
> standing by our vows to "guard the faith, unity, and discipline of
> the Church." .... While we engage, Bishop Dan and I are committed to
> maintaining the traditional teachings of the Church regarding sexual
> behavior. While this may be painful to you, we ask that you remain
> patient, examine your own conscience and foundations, and follow
> Jesus as your Lord and Savior. I will do the same. Let Christian
> love and compassion be our guide even as we disagree with each other
> on certain practices within the Church.

Bishop Bena, Leviticus 20:13 clearly commands that you put me to
death, for I freely, willfully, and unrepentantly have violated that
commandment repeatedly before God and before the whole Church in a
faithful relationship with my husband lo these last 30 years, and
intend to continue in violating that commandment until death do us us
part.

Surely you do not expect me to obey the part of the commandment that
addresses me without yourself obeying the part of the commandment that
addresses you.  Therefore, I will willingly submit to capital
punishment at your hands in Albany or wheresoever and at such time
that you denominate so long as the press and the sheriff are present.
I hope that you will invite all others who share your zeal for "THE
TEACHINGS" and the discipline as we have received them.

While this may be painful to me, I agree to remain patient; for you,
like me, have been forgiven before you know the need to ask.

God will not use the same standard in judging you that you use in
judging us, but rather fill your heart with joy at God's coming.

Lutibelle/Louie, Newark Deputation, Member of Executive Council


> ARE THE BISHOPS LYING TO YOU
>
>
> by Bishop Dave Bena
>
> It hit me like a ton of bricks!! A priest in our diocese recently said to
> me, "Bishop, I know you're lying to us. Bishop Dan and you really plan to
> commit schism and pull the diocese out of the Episcopal Church." As I tried
> to reason with him and give him assurance, I soon realized I was talking to
> deaf ears. I also realized that something had been broken - trust between a
> priest and his bishop. I was grieved.
>
> Do you think the bishops are lying to you? Is this trust broken all over the
> diocese? I hope not. Bishop Dan and I have a sacred trust from God to lead
> this diocese, and we must do it with integrity, not lies. But if that trust
> has been shaken, why has it been shaken?
>
> Barring someone who has been under a rock for the last few years, we are all
> aware of the difficulties we as the Episcopal Church have been facing
> regarding how we apply biblical values, the historic teaching of the
> Anglican Communion, to the present cultural phenomena - the rush to affirm
> homosexual relationships as on a par with heterosexual marriage. The bishops
> of the diocese have taken the traditional teachings of the Church to be the
> ones we proclaim. Indeed, at the Special Diocesan Convention last September,
> it was by a landslide vote that clergy and delegates stated, "Marriage is
> intended by God to be the faithful lifelong union of one man and one woman;
> sexual intimacy is to be experienced only within the framework of marriage."
> That is the official position of the Diocese of Albany. Of course, we apply
> that teaching with compassion. Some marriages have ended in divorce. Jesus
> talked of divorce as a possibility due to sexual unfaithfulness (Matt
> 19:8,9), and Paul spoke of it as a possibility in other circumstances(1 Cor
> 7:15). Since scripture gives divorce as an exception in some circumstances,
> we try to look at the lifelong nature of marriage as a principle to be
> followed. Homosexual relationships, however, are never found as a viable
> possibility in scripture. So we see these relationships as sexual intimacy
> outside marriage, and therefore not within the scope of Biblical and Church
> teachings. So we care compassionately for those who cannot live by the
> teachings, BUT WE DO NOT CHANGE THE TEACHINGS
> Since the General Convention last August consented to the ordination of a
> man living with another outside the Sacrament of Marriage, and also de facto
> gave each bishop full option to have clergy solemnize homosexual
> relationships, and ordain persons living in sexual relationships outside
> marriage ("local option"), a number of us appealed to the Archbishop of
> Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion to determine whether
> the General Convention exceeded its constitutional mandate and the direct
> guidance of the Anglican Communion when it did these things.
>
> Bishops from close to twenty dioceses signed on to appealing the vote of
> General Convention, and began the planning to assist traditional parishes
> that were in dioceses where they would come under pressure to agree to same
> sex relationships and other innovations. Several of our bishops met with the
> Archbishop of Canterbury, who suggested that the bishops, clergy and lay
> leaders build an organization of confessing dioceses who could assist
> traditional parishes STAYING WITHIN the Episcopal Church by carving out a
> spot for dioceses and parishes who wished to express traditional biblical
> values. A conference for traditional Episcopalians was held in Dallas, Texas
> in November. Thousands turned out for this conference, among whom were
> Albany Episcopalians. The result of this encouraging conference was a
> mandate to go forward with a Network of Anglican Dioceses and Parishes
> committed to staying in the Episcopal Church, but pledging itself to provide
> a vehicle for affirming biblical values and a place for all Episcopalians
> who wished to remain traditional Episcopalians even as the official
> Episcopal Church moved heavily left of center.
>
> In January, Bishop Dan and I attended a conference in Plano, Texas, for the
> inauguration of the Network of Anglican Dioceses and Parishes. I believe the
> Charter of the Organization is somewhere on our webpage right now. Please
> note that the Charter states, "This association shall be known as the
> NETWORK OF ANGLICAN COMMUNION DIOCESES AND PARISHES, hereafter known as the
> 'Network,' and shall operate in good faith within the Constitution of the
> Episcopal Church" (italics mine). Bishop Dan and I as bishops both voted to
> support the NETWORK for several reasons - (1) it is committed to "the
> proclamation of the unchanging Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fulfillment of
> the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations;" (2) it fosters
> Alternative Episcopal Oversight, as directed by the Primates of the Anglican
> Communion, for "those in conscience unable to accept actions taken by the
> last General Convention;" (3) it seeks to do this without leaving the
> Episcopal Church, and attempts to keep conservative Episcopalians from
> leaving the Episcopal Church for more orthodox bodies
> Following our meeting in January, both the Standing Committee and the
> Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Albany looked at the Charter, and voted
> to recommend that the Diocesan Convention become a signatory to the Network.
> We are excited about the Network. It provides space for God to work with
> this Church; it provides conservative and traditional Episcopalians a place
> to stand in the midst of this controversy; it allows the possibility that
> traditional parishes in less-traditional dioceses will have a way to stay in
> the Episcopal Church without being forced to accept unbiblical sexual
> relationships among its ordained leaders. Over the next few months, you will
> be receiving information about the Network.
>
> Let me give you the facts as we know them. The Network is not schismatic. It
> is instead trying to PREVENT schism by providing a place for traditional
> Episcopalians. If the Diocesan Convention votes to become a signatory of the
> Network, it really changes nothing within the Diocese of Albany, but it DOES
> a great thing for the Anglican Communion and for traditional parishes in
> untraditional dioceses. It helps provide motivation for the Primates of the
> Anglican Communion to work on this issue while avoiding the hemorrhage of
> traditional Episcopalians leaving for more orthodox religious bodies. I have
> just given you the facts that Bishop Dan and I have. These are not lies.
> There is no "hidden" game plan. And this plan for the Network is with the
> guidance of the Archbishop of Canterbury! On February 9th, the Archbishop
> said the following to the General Synod of the Church of England, "I remain
> fully committed to searching for arrangements which will secure a continuing
> place for all Episcopalians in the life of the Episcopal Church in the
> United States and I have been involved in working with several parties there
> toward some sort of shared future and common witness, so far as is possible.
> It is in that light that I've been following sympathetically the discussions
> around the setting up of a network within the Episcopal Church of the United
> States of America engaged in negotiating some of these questions of
> episcopal oversight" (italics mine). The Archbishop of Canterbury has from
> the very beginning been consulting on and guiding the organization of the
> Network!!!! No lie here!
> So why is it that some people think we are lying? Some of it has to do with
> media coverage, which in my opinion is slanted toward an agenda not in sync
> with traditional values. And some of it has to do with an organization,
> which calls itself "Via Media." The first Via Media organization was started
> last September in Pittsburgh. Others followed, including one in the Diocese
> of Albany. Remarkably alike in its approach and methods in the various
> dioceses, Via Media receives regular guidance and strategic planning from a
> gay activist in New Jersey. It appears to me that its main thrust is to
> operate in traditional dioceses in order to make sure dioceses don't
> splinter from the Episcopal Church. OK so far, as far as I am concerned. But
> the problem is that the organization has moved aggressively to trash the
> idea of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, a move that
> I am convinced is actually driving traditional Episcopalians further away or
> is further motivating them to dig in their heels for orthodox teachings.
> Some of the tactics of this organization have been to plant seeds of
> distrust of traditional bishops and their leadership, to keep diocesan
> conventions from voting for the Network by painting the Network as something
> bad, and to obstruct diocesan conventions altogether as a way of keeping
> conventions from voting for the Network. The fallout from these tactics is
> that dioceses and their constituents are getting bound up in the controversy
> and thus taking their eyes off winning people to the Gospel. The secondary
> fallout is that each time doubt is planted about the integrity of its
> bishop, the diocese suffers. I believe that this is a sin against God,
> against the Church, and against Bishop Dan and me. I forgive those who have
> done this, but I think they should stop this action immediately. Neither of
> us has violated our vows or taken part in secret actions geared toward
> taking the Diocese of Albany out of the Episcopal Church. Indeed, we have
> been doing just the opposite. WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP TRADITIONAL
> EPISCOPALIANS IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH. We are not liars.
>
> Lastly, let me speak for a moment to the gay people of this diocese, and to
> the families and friends of gay people. Neither Bishop Dan nor I wish you to
> leave, or wish to cause you harm. But we are standing by our vows to "guard
> the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church." We are engaged in a
> worldwide Anglican discussion of how the Scriptures as the Word of God
> engage contemporary society, especially in the area of sexual relationships.
> While we engage, Bishop Dan and I are committed to maintaining the
> traditional teachings of the Church regarding sexual behavior. While this
> may be painful to you, we ask that you remain patient, examine your own
> conscience and foundations, and follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior. I will
> do the same. Let Christian love and compassion be our guide even as we
> disagree with each other on certain practices within the Church.




Please sign my guestbook and view it.


My site has been accessed times since February 14, 1996.

Statistics courtesy of WebCounter.