Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bishop Jelinek Comments On Tanzania

Statement by the Right Rev. James L. Jelinek,
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

In Response to the Communiqué following the Meeting of theAnglican Communion Primates, February 15 to 19, 2007

I am deeply saddened by the recommendations of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Tanzania, some of which would require the Episcopal Church to, in effect, to turn back the clock on decades of hard work to provide full inclusion in the Church for all persons.

Full inclusion has been affirmed by resolutions of both the General Convention of the Episcopal Church and the Convention of the Diocese of Minnesota.

A resolution passed by the 142nd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Minnesota, in October 1999, explicitly declared that we not only welcome and embrace gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, but that we “continue to make available to them all of the Blessings of Christ’s beloved Church . . .”

I, for one bishop, will not turn my back on full inclusion of all persons, which has been at the heart of the Diocese of Minnesota for 150 years—since the time when our first Bishop, Henry Benjamin Whipple, and American Indian leaders worked together to provide ministry across social boundaries.

I hope and pray that there continues to be a vital place in the Anglican Communion for divergent views on the interpretation of Scripture and the impact of modern tradition—a place for the prophetic voice which the Episcopal Church has offered over the decades for the care and well being of all persons.

This is a discussion of justice and morality that will engage the church in the months to come in which I will continue to be a hearty advocate for full inclusion for all.

+James L. Jelinek
VIII Bishop of Minnesota

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