Friday, June 30, 2006

GC ’06 Fallout: More of the Same from the Bishop of West Texas

The Bishop of West Texas Gary Lillibridge issued a lengthy statement yesterday in response to the General Convention and ++Rowan’s statement. I made myself read all 28 numbered paragraphs. And there are plenty of nice words.

But it’s little more than words. He says he “cannot sit idly by and accept the status-quo.” But it’s hard to come to any other conclusion except that he is doing exactly that. I’ve endured gone over his statement repeatedly, but can find no action proposed. He’s still not joining the Network. He’s certainly not calling for alternative oversight.

Oh, but wants to be prepared to make decisions!

The plain truth is that we are in a season (for an unknown period of time) when some difficult decisions are going to have to be made with regard to Anglicanism. I am committed to preparing the Diocese of West Texas, as a community, to face fully into those decisions, whatever they may be and whenever they may come.

Which decisions +Lillibridge seems determined to put off as long as possible. So “whenever” is indeed whenever.

Yes, I believe there are systemic problems with the General Convention and these problems actually hinder our mission as the Church. And you should know that I am not simply content to help manage a diseased system nor am I resigned to accepting these things as the way that they must be.

Then do something, sir! By doing little to nothing, by not even joining the Network, how can anyone come to any other conclusion but that you are doing exactly what you claim you are not doing – accepting and maintaining the status quo in the Episcopal Church? That may not be your intent, but it is your effect.

Oh the bishop does tut-tut the convention’s failure in responding to the Windsor Report, but then immediately makes excuses for it:

. . . I am of the opinion that the Convention's response to Windsor, and especially the spirit in which it was offered in the last frantic hours, was much less than what we should have done. It was however, all that we could do as a diverse church.

Ah, but General Convention wasn’t all bad. He echoes GC’s infatuation with the UN’s Millennium Goals and is excited about possible communion with another mainline denomination afflicted with liberalism, namely the United Methodist Church. Oh, joy.

And he belittles those who “bemoan the convention and the state of the church.” So those in the Diocese of West Texas who are distressed by the apostasy of the Episcopal Church, you best quit yer whinin’.

Thank God I took a hard look at the episcopal leadership (or lack thereof) in the Diocese of West Texas and decided joining an ECUSA church in it was not for me when I moved down here. The more I watch the Bishop of West Texas in inaction, the more glad I am.

No comments: