The request came as the second of three "mind of the house" resolutions adopted by the bishops on March 20. The resolutions [full texts here] were debated during the business session scheduled during the House of Bishops' annual spring retreat meeting.
In the afternoon's first resolution, addressed to the Episcopal Church's Executive Council, the House of Bishops "affirms its desire that The Episcopal Church remain a part of the councils of the Anglican Communion" and "pledges itself to continue to work to find ways of meeting the pastoral concerns of the Primates that are compatible with our own polity and canons."
Stating that "the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention," the resolution also declares that "the House of Bishops believes the Pastoral Scheme of the Dar es Salaam Communiqué of February 19, 2007 would be injurious to the polity of the Episcopal Church and urges that the Executive Council decline to participate in it."
The Primates' "pastoral scheme" seeks to establish a pastoral council and a primatial vicar whom the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop would name to provide alternative oversight of dioceses -- seven of the Episcopal Church's 111 -- that have requested such a provision.
A third resolution -- a longer text -- enumerates four reasons why the bishops, hoping "we will continue to be welcome in the councils" of the Anglican Communion "nevertheless decline to participate in the Primates' Pastoral scheme for many reasons."
[The Rt. Rev. Catherine Roskam, bishop suffragan of the Diocese of New York, said,]
"While this was not dealt with by resolution, great concern was expressed about human rights violations for gay and lesbians, particularly in Nigeria, and the need for us as Anglicans and Christians to advocate against it."
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