Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Consensus

Yesterday was a fierce day here. With the question of whether or not to effect a moratorium on the election and consecration of openly gay and lebian bishops at stake -- the vote by orders lost. For the liberals, it was too great a cost for peace with the communion -- for conservatives, the language of aplogy in A161 to the gay and lesbian community was inappropraite and, to some, offensive. There was a motion to reconsider A161 that also was defeated. The House of Deputies was adjourned last night a little after 9 p.m.

We came back this morning and after worship had a Joint Session, that is a meeting that included all bishops and deputies (usually the Bishops meet in a separate area). The Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, told us that if we did not pass the substance of A161 (the motion that had been defeated twice the day before) the Communion would split. So the Bishops left and went back to their house and after about 90 minutes came and said that they had passed it. There was considerable debate about whether or not we could consider it, but ultimately it was the new Presiding Bishop who came and reassured us that it was her intention to fight for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the church, but that we must pass this. And so it came to be that the Episcopal Church has now agreed that they will not consent to the election of a bishop in the church "whose manner of life would prove problematic to the larger church."


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