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Beware the Bishops of Laodicea

The late Rt. Rev. John Krumm (Southern Ohio) told me over lunch years ago,
"They argued fiercely at the Council of Nicea.  Who on earth do we think
we are in the House of Bishops that we dare not let anyone see us argue?" 

I grieve just as much to see Public Relations folks manipulate and control
Bishop Stanton and other conservatives as I grieve to see them manipulate
my beloved bishop, Jack Spong.  Enough already!  The Anglican Communion is
in much more danger from efforts to silence debate than it is from
listening to and voting openly about deeply held convictions fervently

God already knows our divisions. Whom are we trying to fool by pretending
to a unity that is not there? God loves us in spite of our divisions: can
we not love one another enough to hear and be heard? 

The Kingdom of God is not in the hands of the Lambeth Conference, but the
integrity of the Anglican Communion is.


      Louie Crew, English Dept., Rutgers, Newark, NJ 07102 973-485-4503
           Chair, Rutgers University Senate.  Board of Governors.

               Homosexuality is not a decision; heterosexism is.

On Tue, 4 Aug 1998, Ecunet mail gateway wrote:

> Subject: Steering Group squelches resolution
> Date: Tue, 4 Aug 98 20:46:28 +0000
> From: "Douglas L. LeBlanc" <dlleblanc@sprintmail.com>
> Bcc: episcopalians.united.topic
> Panel overturns bishops' consensus
> by Doug LeBlanc
> Editor, United Voice
> posted August 4, 1998
> CANTERBURY -- Conservative bishops' frustrations with the
> Lambeth Conference's procedures boiled over Tuesday afternoon
> after the Conference's Steering Group squelched a widely
> endorsed resolution.
> "If they want division, if they want a revolution, they'll get
> it," said Bishop James Stanton of Dallas. "All they [Steering
> Group members] have to do is more of this sort of thing."
> The Conference's 27-member Steering Group threw out a more
> conservative amendment to Resolution 1.10, which both a
> "subsection" on human sexuality and Section 1 had approved
> earlier.
> With that decision, the Steering Group restored a resolution
> written solely by Bishop Duncan Buchanan of Johannesburg,
> chairman of the sexuality subsection.
> The amended resolution, by contrast, emerged from three hours of
> subsection discussions, Buchanan said.
> On Tuesday morning Buchanan and three other bishops spent a
> one-hour news briefing discussing the amended resolution, which
> the Steering Group rejected only a few hours later.
> Conference-employed communicators wearing gold badges argued
> openly with news reporters about the significance of the
> Steering Group's decision.
> On Tuesday Buchanan described his own resolution as a stop-gap
> measure rather than a finished work. He said that an estimated
> 80 percent of the 60-member subsection had approved the revised
> amendment.
> Unlike Buchanan's original, the amended resolution said Lambeth
> "cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing or ordaining those
> involved in same-gender unions."
> *Ndungane: No comment*
> The Archbishop of Canterbury is chairman of the Steering Group,
> which includes the eight chairmen and vice chairmen of Lambeth's
> four "Sections," plus 19 other bishops and support staff.
> Capetown Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, chairman of Section 1
> and a member of the Steering Group, declined comment on Tuesday
> afternoon -- even regarding allegations that he pushed the
> Steering Group to keep Buchanan's original language.
> Ndungane said he preferred to "gather his thoughts" as he
> prepared to present the Section 1 report to a plenary session on
> Wednesday afternoon.
> "It's either gross incompetence or it's deliberate," Bishop
> Peter Chiswell of Armidale, Australia, said of the Steering
> Group's decision.
> "The Steering Group is a servant group, they're enablers.
> They're not a curia," Stanton said. "The Steering Group is
> ignoring the work of their equals, their colleagues."
> "I think the Steering Group ought to be called on to resign" if
> clear ideological bias is proven, Chiswell said. Stanton and
> Bishop Paul Barnett -- suffragan of North Sydney, Australia --
> agreed.
> All three bishops said the Conference has never voted on the
> procedures that give the Steering Group its veto power.
> Disputing claims at a Monday morning news briefing that all
> sections had heard the procedures and had not raised concerns,
> the three bishops said the procedures were never presented to
> Section 1 for discussion.
> Dissent and frustration regarding the procedures also arose in
> Section 2 on Monday afternoon.
> Stanton said he and 10 other conservative bishops met the 5 p.m.
> Tuesday deadline for filing proposed amendments to Resolution
> 1.10.
> "I think we have put through amendments that will restore what
> the subsection did," Stanton said.
> Meanwhile, liberal bishops may propose a substitute resolution
> that refers all resolutions and statements on sexuality to a
> committee for further discussion and study.
> On Monday morning, Archbishop Robert "Robin" Eames of Armagh,
> Ireland, said Lambeth resolutions are "not in stone; they are in
> plasticine."
> Eames will preside over Wednesday afternoon's scheduled floor
> debate about sexuality, which will test just how flexible the
> Lambeth Conference's plasticine really is.
> United Voice (www.episcopalian.org/eu/uv) is the national
> newspaper of Episcopalians United. Distribute freely, with
> credit to United Voice for its reporting.

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