Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bishops Jenkins and Duque Nominated for PB

The Rt. Rev. Charles Edward Jenkins III of Louisiana and the Right Rev. Francisco Duque-Gomez of Colombia have accepted nomination by petition for consideration as the next Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

From ENS:

...Each nominee by petition is subject to the same background checks and screenings conducted for the four bishops selected by the Nominating Committee, Lee and Pollard said, adding that April 1 is the deadline for any other nominees by petition. The election is set for June 18 in the House of Bishops, meeting during the 75th General Convention.

"I had to decide last Friday night whether or not I would agree to the request of twelve Bishops who asked me to allow them to nominate me from the floor for consideration as the next Presiding Bishop," Jenkins wrote to his diocese March 19. "As you may know, I had been previously dropped from the process by the Nominating Committee. These twelve bishops who asked me were from across the spectrum of the Church and included liberal and conservative, male and female and are of various colors. I am humbled by and conflicted by their request.

"After a long night and day of struggle and wrestling with myself and with God, I decided to allow them to put my name in nomination, this time for consideration by the entire House of Bishops.

"... In saying yes to these Bishops I am not saying that I prefer something else over the work of 'episcope' in Louisiana. I am saying that I want to be open to serve God as I might be called. Unless and until called elsewhere, I believe I am called to serve God in Louisiana. The Church will discern where best I might serve God and use whatever gifts and talents God gives me at this juncture in my life."
Full letter can be found here.

Bp. Jenkins was mentioned in last month's Christian Century in an article on the PB nominations as "one bishop who voted against Robinson and could have gained conservative support." I think that is questionable, as he was also a member of the delegation that testified before the ACC in Nottingham, which concerned some conservatives. His remarks at Nottingham are worth noting, especially this segment:

...Amongst the presenters from the Episcopal Church from whom you shall hear this day, I alone stand as a Bishop who did not give consent to the recent election of the See of New Hampshire. I remain convinced that the Divinely ordained intention for the practice of human sexuality is between a man and a woman within the bonds of Holy Matrimony. Further, I remain committed to serving Jesus Christ in the Episcopal Church even though I think my Church has made a wrong move as regards recent decisions about human sexuality. I must tell you that my presence with you is a stumbling block for some who think my willingness to even be present today is a betrayal of my theological position. I think my presence is an act of obedience to Jesus the Good Shepherd, who calls His flock to unity and who stands with is people no matter the challenge or threat. So, I am, I can do no other.

Further, some on the Lambeth Commission found puzzling the relationship of brotherly affection that I share with my Presiding Bishop. Though he and I are in obvious disagreement on a few issues concerning persons whose affections are directed toward those of the same gender; I must tell you that I believe with every fibre of my being that Frank Griswold would guard my interests if I could not and I pray, with God as my strength, that I would guard and hold his interests if he could not. Such relationships of trust are not uncommon in the Episcopal Church, instead they are the rule; even in the face of serious and sometimes daunting disagreement...
Here is how our current PB spoke of Jenkins in a PBS interview from 2004:

Q: You are a good friend with the Episcopal bishop of Louisiana.

A: Bishop Charles Jenkins and I go back to when he was ordained a bishop. In fact, I was scheduled to give a retreat to the clergy of his diocese before he was elected. He attended the retreat and we became, out of that experience of praying together and reflecting on the life of ministry together, very, very close friends. I think the fact that Bishop Jenkins and I have somewhat different views on matters of sexuality, but are absolutely of one mind on everything else, has been a very good example to people on both sides of the question, of people who can care deeply about a mission they share for the sake of the world, and disagree on some things, and yet make common cause in the name of Christ.

Q: Does he challenge you? Does he push you a bit on some of these things?

A: If anything, Bishop Jenkins teases me. He has an outrageous sense of humor. I would say we were both aware of our different perspectives, but we simply accept the fact that there are different realities within one church, and those realities are going to continue, and they need to be respected. And sooner or later the Holy Spirit will figure out how they might be reordered, but for now we live our two integrities together as brothers in Christ.
I'll try to hunt up some reading material on Bp. Duque soon.


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