Bishops Alvarez, Alexander and Bruno answering press questions at the close of the day. Photo © 2007 by Integrity.
The House of Bishops went in and out of executive session (closed to press) several times this afternoon as they struggled with the draft statement presented this morning. The blogosphere is full of rumors about what transpired in the early afternoon--perhaps argument about how the various resolutions from the bishops would relate to the final statement--but we do know that a second draft of the statement was presented to the bishops in the late afternoon. They went well past their planned end time discussing this draft.
When the bishops finally concluded for the day, a press conference was held. Bishops David Alvarez (Puerto Rico), Neil Alexander (Atlanta), and Jon Bruno (Los Angeles) were the designated spokespersons. They said the statement is not complete, but that they had made progress at reaching consensus. The document will be refined overnight and finished tomorrow--perhaps by noon. Bruno said the bishops were striving for a statement that was "articulate and clear." The other spokespersons echoed the theme of a straightforward response to the primates' communique that reflected the mind of the entire house. They said it is not yet clear how the various resolutions would be incorporated into the final statement, but that the resolutions were contributing to the conversation. They emphasized that the final statement would be much different than the first draft discussed this morning. They stated their belief that the statement would be well received by the Anglican Communion and by the majority of the members of Episcopal Church.
Here's the bottom line for this writer: We don't know what the final statement will say. Let us pray that our bishops will rise to this occasion, but let us not be surprised if we are once again disappointed by the councils of the church.