Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bishops' Menu - Updated

I like making lists.
Here's an index of articles arranged by the primary topical matters that our Bishops will be engaging with the Archbishop of Canterbury beginning Thursday. I'll be updating this as more is posted around the blogosphere.
No predicitions to be found here. Just hopes, news, and opinion. I try to take Jim Naughton's advice seriously!
Update: Walking with Integrity has writers attending the House of Bishops Meeting and offers up-to-minute posts and information.
The Anglican Covenant
  • The Archbishop of Wales raises serious concerns about the draft in its present form.
  • Our own Bishop Marc has outlined his concerns as well.
  • A group of five bishops have offered the House a 98-page report, which concludes:
    The Anglican Communion already enjoys a Constitution that has served us well. The novel idea of a Covenant is out of order unless the Anglican Constitution is employed and properly amended or replaced. The fundamental issue in the current conflict, the most important and lasting reality, is not the matter of theological innovation, but the proposals and actions that would revolutionize the Anglican Constitution.
Human Sexuality and the Primates' Recommendations
  • Jim Naughton has offered an important overview and analysis of the situation.
  • Friend and colleague John Kirkley responds to Jim's thoughts.
  • Sister Joan Chittister has brought her Benedictine eyes to the situation.
  • It's generally understood that our Presiding Bishop is bringing a counter-proposal for the Primates' scheme for alternative oversight to the HoB meeting. Episcopal Life Online reports today that eight bishops have agreed to serve as "episcopal visitors" in lieu of the Presiding Bishop, in dioceses that requested alternative oversight. Fr. Jake offers a first take. The story accompanied with commentary is also over at The Lead.
  • The Lead posts that, according to local news reports, Bishop Jenkins of Louisiana and ten others will bring a resolution to the House of Bishop's meeting calling for assent to the recommendations of the Primates. John Kirkley questions the reasoning behind Bishop Jenkins' published arguments for this position over at meditatio.
  • Since this item is getting the most focus in the press, I'll post a link here to epiScope: House of Bishops Day One, which is tracking articles as they are published.
Communion, Schism, and Loyal Dissent
  • Bishop Duncan Gray writes about being a Windsor Bishop and remaining part of the Episcopal Church.
  • From The Guardian, Andrew Brown links, in a rather dark piece, Rowan Williams' recent work on a book about Dostoevsky with the present situation in the Anglican Communion.
  • At the evangelical Anglican website, Fulcrum, Graham Kings has this piece looking at the situation through the words of classical Anglican theologians. Intense commentary is ongoing.
  • And for my two cents, I argue over at Daily Episcopalian that a major task of leadership for our bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury at this meeting is to keep the present controversy in proper perspective.

Prayers be with all of them in the ensuing hours.

I have updated the Anglican/Episcopal timeline here to reflect recent events.


R said...

Obadiahslope wrote me about the report on the Diocese of Sydney considering lay presidency, contending the initial news report was inaccurate, or at least spun badly:

the Sydney Synod which is currently in session has voted to revieve the standing committee report which suggested that lay presidency be debated again, but voted to make it a proprity for the NEXT synod. So nothing is happening for some time, which continues the holding pattern Sydney has been on with this proposal for some years.

It is worth noting that Archbishop Peter Jensen has made it clear he would only assent to lay presidency if he was convinced that it was legal under the Anglican Church of Australia consitution. There is real doubt that it is, and a lot of the Synod debate has been around that issue of legality. Taking time to consult with the Anglican Communion is another reason to go slow with this idea, too.

I decided to pull the reference here, as it is something that our House of Bishops will probably not be discussing.

Mea culpa.

Unknown said...

Once again, Bp. Gray puts forward a well-thought-out and pastoral statement. Although I have some theological differences with him, I still hold him as a model of what a bishop should be, pastorally. Needless to say, there are quite a few in certain areas (that shall remain nameless) who see him as a sell-out.

Anonymous said...

I don't wish to shut down discussion of lay presidency, if it is an issue you want to highlight at any time.
And it is fair enough for you to use it to point out that TEC is not the only part of the Anglican communion which would like to change things. Strangely enough LP appears to be an issue that doesn't work along conservative/liberal lines, but high church/low church ones.

R said...


Thanks for the follow-up comment. I think you make the salient point why lay presidency might be germain to the present discussion, but the whole matter is really tangential at best, which is why I took it down from the "menu."

(Note to blogging self: if you want comments to stick with the core subject of the post, keep the original post clear of red herrings!)

Honestly, I don't have a great deal of investment in this particular argument. High church/low church conflicts are not terribly prescient in the parts of The Episcopal Church I frequent. And while I differ with the ecclesiology and theology behind the proposal of lay presidency, it strikes me as an internal question for the Church of Australia and the Diocese of Sydney more than any potential Communion-breaking matter.

And as I said above, it doesn't seem to me to be an issue that our House of Bishops is likely to discuss in any depth internally or with the Archbishop of Canterbury, et. al.