Monday, March 5, 2007

Integrity President Comments on Pastoral Letter from Lambeth

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has issued a Pastoral Letter from Lambeth Palace entitled "Listening."

The text, along with some commentary is available here thanks to the Episcopal News Service. At first read I find it [a] less "muddy" than much that emerges from Lambeth [b] deeply problematic and [c] decidely less that "pastoral" to the gay and lesbian baptized.

Read the whole thing but here's where the rubber meets the road for me:

RW: There was no questioning at our meeting of the fact that the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10 remains the standard of teaching on matters of sexual morality for the Communion. The Windsor Report requested certain assurances from The Episcopal Church with respect to the authorisation of Rites of Blessing for same-sex unions and the admittance of a candidate living in a sexual relationship outside marriage.

NO QUESTION: 1.10 remains the majority perspective in the Communion.
BIG QUESTION: When did "majority perspective" morph into "standard of teaching?"

RW: It was our discernment at the meeting in Dar es Salaam that those assurances had not been as clearly given in the deliberations of General Convention as they might have been, and therefore we have asked the House of Bishops to clarify the response of The Episcopal Church in their two meetings in March and September this year. To address these requests to the American House of Bishops is not to ignore the polity of The Episcopal Church, but to acknowledge that the bishops have a key role, acknowledged in the Constitution of that church, in authorising liturgies within their dioceses and in giving consent to the election of candidates for episcopal order. A clear response on these questions is also needed in the near future: we cannot wait for another General Convention for further clarification.

To begin a pargraph stating that it is not the intention of the Communique to "ignore the polity of The Episcopal Church"and conclude with "we cannot wait for another General Convention for further clarification" is to PRECISELY ignore the polity of The Episcopal Church and give to our elected bishops power they do not have to speak for the whole church.

RW: A readiness by the leadership of The Episcopal Church to live by that same formal standard of teaching on these matters which applies elsewhere in the Communion is perhaps the first and most important step in the way forward.

Bottom line: The Episcopal Church either lives by what We Primates have decreed to be "standard teaching" or else. If that's his "first and most important step in the way forward" I hope he's working on a "Plan B."

(The Reverend) Susan Russell
President, Integrity USA

1 comment:

Saint Pat said...

Right on.

It's sad to say, but the ABC seems to have become a collaborator.