Thursday, March 30, 2006

More reflections on the House of Bishops Meeting from +Steenson, David+ Roseberry, and others

The orthodox ECUSA Bishop of the Rio Grande, +Jeffrey Steenson has now written his thoughts on the recent House of Bishops meeting. And he is cautiously positive about it. My favorite evangelical Episcopal rector David+ Roseberry is too, as you can see in the ensuing comments. And there are a number of other thoughtful comments as well.

It now seems that the General Convention this summer may not thumb its nose at the rest of the Anglican Communion as I expected. It may not even try to get by with that famous Anglican fudge.

Although theological repentance is out of the question, it appears there may be some repentance forthcoming in the area of submitting to the discipline of the communion via real steps toward submission to the Windsor Report. If so, that would be cause for rejoicing.

But it would make the way forward for the orthodox in ECUSA less clear-cut. As Fr. Roseberry notes, a longer battle taking many more years and much more strength than simply waiting for General Convention ‘06 or for Lambeth ’08 may be what God is calling them to. I can almost feel the groans from orthodox Episcopalians who are already weary.

You may have noticed that I’ve used a lot of mays in this post. That’s because General Convention is not just the bishops. And we have yet to hear from the hardline left in ECUSA, from the Louie Crews and Susan Russells et al. But I think I hear their screams of anger in the wind. And you can be sure they will do their best to thwart any real submission to the Windsor Report in the House of Deputies. (The General Convention consists of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.)

Then there is the issue of whether what the House of Bishops is proposing is adequate. For one thing, promising “caution” in appointing gay bishops is no moratorium. Giving the bishops’ track record, who is willing to trust them when they say, “We’ll be careful”? And the Bishop of Exeter seems to have told the bishops more is needed.

In any case, the story of the Episcopal Church USA is indeed becoming that much more interesting – and not in the manner I and many others expected.

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