With more puzzlement than rancor, liberal Episcopalians are questioning why [Presiding Bishop] Jefferts Schori signed an international statement last month that, in their view, demands a halt to 30 years of growing acceptance of gay men and lesbians.What if she had refused to sign the agreement? She would have been criticized for not consulting with the House of Bishops.
the response from liberal Episcopalians has run the gamut "from sadness to anger and everything in between -- a lot of disappointment and frustration," said Meyers, a member of the House of Deputies. Above all, she added, "we're trying to understand why our presiding bishop thinks this is the right way to proceed."
she [Jefferts Schori] explained her position during a Feb. 28 live webcast from New York in which she answered questions from Anglicans worldwide. Poised and unhurried, with an easy laugh, she projected calm.
"We are being pushed toward a decision by impatient forces within and outside this church who hunger for clarity," she said. " . . . If we can lower the emotional reactivity in the midst of this current controversy, we just might be able to find a way to live together."
In an attempt to prevent a schism, Jefferts Schori and her fellow primates gave U.S. bishops until Sept. 30 to make an unambiguous, collective promise that they will not consent to the election of any more gay bishops and will not authorize blessings of same-sex couples. The primates also agreed to establish the post of "primatial vicar" to oversee U.S. dioceses unhappy with the Episcopal Church's recent course.
Liberal Episcopalians have questioned Jefferts Schori's recent judgment, but she has not lost their allegiance.
Bishop Chilton R. Knudsen of Maine [no relation] said she is worried that the primates' ultimatum is a step toward turning the Anglican Communion into a "magisterial" church with centralized authority, something much closer to Roman Catholicism than to the loose "bonds of affection" that have tied Anglicans together.
But, she said, "I'm reserving judgment. I know Katharine well enough to have an instinctive trust in her, and I want to hear from her about this."
It appears to me that the Washington Post sees no Sisk-Naughton loophole.
In an attempt to prevent a schism, Jefferts Schori and her fellow primates gave U.S. bishops until Sept. 30 to make an unambiguous, collective promise that they will not consent to the election of any more gay bishops and will not authorize blessings of same-sex couples. ...
If the Episcopal Church rejects the ultimatum, it will face unspecified sanctions, such as a downgrading of its status within the Anglican Communion. But even before the U.S. bishops gather in Texas on Friday, more than a dozen of them, including Bishop John B. Chane of Washington, have indicated they are inclined to rebuff Jefferts Schori's recommendation and politely but firmly say "no" to the primates.
More from Bishop Chane:
"We have to be very clear about where we are as a church. We have consented to the consecration of Gene Robinson, and we have -- the majority of dioceses in this country have -- allowed the blessing of same-sex couples for some time," Chane said in an interview.Kendall Harmon asks whether it is an established fact that "we have - the majority of dioceses in this country have - allowed the blessing of same-sex couples." Good question.
"We have done these things, and the one thing we're not going to do, in my opinion, is we're not going back to Egypt," he said, referring to the biblical exodus from slavery. "These are positions that have been taken, really, at some cost to the unity of our church, but for the integrity of our church."