Tuesday, February 28, 2006

An Analysis of the Presiding Bishop Nominees

The Witness has an article up that some of you might find of interest; Slated for Justice?: What the Nominating Committee's Report Says about the Church:

...The slate announced may indicate something that many have posited to be the case: that the strategy of the American Anglican Council and the Anglican Communion Network as outlined in the leaked 2004 Chapman memo -- a strategy of "a faithful disobedience of canon law on a widespread basis" while seeking to become "a 'replacement' jurisdiction with confessional standards" -- has backfired, with such free moving "beyond or within the canons" being widely interpreted as indicating a breach not only of the canons, but of the collegial trust required for a Presiding Bishop to function. While one of the nominees, Henry Parsley, voted against consent to Gene Robinson's election, when the slate was announced he was quickly condemned by an American Anglican Council press release for having "strongly criticized the efforts of the American Anglican Council (AAC) and the Anglican Communion Network (ACN)," and the press release noted disapprovingly that "he continues to increase financial support given by the Diocese of Alabama to the national Episcopal Church." Clearly, the American Anglican Council suspects that their leaked strategy of disregard for both the canons of the church and principles of episcopal jurisdiction held since Nicea may have pushed them to the margins of serious discussions about the direction of the church -- and on that point they may be right. At the same time, it's worth noting that none of those nominated laid hands on Bishop Robinson at his consecration, leading many to conclude that the committee was taking seriously into account the continued sensitivity of Robinson's consecration amongst the Primates in particular -- although the nomination of a woman for the position at a point at which the recognition of women as bishops is less than assured in some quarters within even the Church of England indicates that the committee was willing to assert the importance of nominating highly qualified candidates and the tradition of provincial autonomy as well as independence...
Also provided are four presentations of direct quotes from each of the nominees:

In Their Own Words: Edwin F.Gulick
In Their Own Words: Henry N. Parsley
In Their Own Words: Katherine Jefferts Schori
In Their Own Words: J. Neil Alexander

You may want to point your deputies to General Convention towards this series of articles. The selection of our next Presiding Bishop needs to emerge from a time of careful study and continuous prayer.

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose our Presiding Bishop, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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