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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, September 06, 2004 11:24 PM
Subject: Re: robinson
> hi Louie,
> Any new developments with the Gene Robinson situation? Since I opted
> out of the HOB/D list, I haven't been following the latest news.
The Lambeth Commission is meeting this week at Windsor in southern England,
preparing its report for the Archbishop of Canterbury, due by the end of
this month. The British press is publishing dire predictions that
the Commission will call for the expulsion or suspension of the
Episcopal Church (with lesser penalties for Canadian Anglicans),
with repentance the condition for restoring full membership. Friends
close to the scene in the U.K. counsel me not to treat these dire
predictions merely as conservatives' trial balloons.
See the Commission's site at
No final action can be taken except by the one body of elected people in
the Communion -- the Anglican Consultative Council. Each of the 38
provinces has three member -- a bishop, another clergyperson, and a lay
person. See the ACC website at
TEC representatives to the ACC are Rt. Rev. Cathy Roskam (see
Rev. Robert Sessum (see http://www.goodshepherdlex.org/clergy.htm#bobs) and
Josephine Hicks, Esq. (see http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/ec/hicks.jpg)
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Uganda has taken under his oversight 3
parishes in the Diocese of Los Angeles, and the Bishop of Los Angeles
has inhibited the priests with intention to defrock them at the
end of the prescribed period if they do not forswear their allegiance
to the Bishop of Luweero in Uganda. He has also taken action in
the courts to assure that the assets of the three breakaway
parishes remain those of the diocese for any in those groups, now or
later, who want to continue the Episcopal Church in those places....
Just a quiet, ordinary summer to be sure! (;o')
I have not heard a single person who voted for +Gene say, "Maybe we should
revisit that vote." There is no mechanism for doing so anyway; the only way
to remove him would be to bring presentments, and he has done nothing for
which they might be brought.
The total budget hit by conservatives withholding money from budget of the
Episcopal Church is right at 7%. It's never easy to lose operating money,
but 7% does not constitute an economic crisis. The 3 parishes in LA bring
to only 10 the number of parishes that have left specifically over the
consecration of +Gene. out of 7,595 parishes.
Leaders of TEC are following these developments closely, with concern. It
would be a great shame to lose the loose network of the Communion, which only
now, with advances in communication and transportation, has a real chance to
facilitate community. For too long it has been mainly a conduit for money,
but not a mechanism to bring disciples face to face with one another.
Much of the resentment of The Episcopal Church outside of the USA is a
spillover for resentment of the USA government. Our 'doing our
own will without heeding their objections' parallels in their mind
our President's unilateral foreign policy without regard to the feelings
of persons elsewhere.
The parallel is powerful in their imaginations, though patently false.
In this instance. TEC is exercising its influence not on
behalf of the powerful, but on behalf of those considered the least among
us, especially so considered by Anglican objectors elsewhere.
Nor is TEC trying to force its policies on other parts of the Communion.
We have continued generous grants throughout the Communion with no
strings attached, and we have even made our major relief and development
organization a 5013c organization to effect its independence from any
I estiamte that 80% of all Episcopalians are not following the controversy,
beyond the occasional news story that they run into accidentally. It is
not having a dramatic influence on most parishes unless the priest in
charge is highly worked up about it. I think it is very important
nevertheless. The body of Christ is hurting, and we are all hurt
thereby. Only to our spiritual peril can we say of those with whom
we disagree, "I have no need of you." That's still true if they say
to us that they have no need of us. We will need them.
I think it is time for infinite patience, a time to have gentle and
respectful contact with those whom we offend and those who offend us.
The theology regarding gay people propounded by those who want to penalize
TEC is not markedly different from the 1979 resolution of the General
Convention which forbad sexual congress outside the bonds of heterosexual
If we can give TEC 25 years to come round on this issue, surely
we should be prepared to give that amount of time and more to the rest of
The Communion, most of whom have not yet knowingly had the spiritual
encounters with lesbigay disciples who are their peers.
Any nastiness, whether provoked or not, diminishes us. The goal of a
community of mutual respect and care must begin with us right now.