Windsor Report

Well, we’ve had a while to read it over. What do we make of it? Rather than jumping in let’s consider what the main protagonist, Frank Griswold, (presiding bishop of ECUSA) has to say in response. Although this is an initial response it makes it clear where he’s going to go. Taken from here.

The report itself recommends, in respect of ECUSA’s recent actions, that:

127. The Communion has also made its collective position clear on the issue of
ordaining those who are involved in same gender unions;88 and this has been
reiterated by the primates through their endorsement of the 1998 Lambeth
Conference resolution.89 By electing and confirming such a candidate in the face
of the concerns expressed by the wider Communion, the Episcopal Church
(USA) has caused deep offence to many faithful Anglican Christians both in its
own church and in other parts of the Communion.

i.e. they knew exactly what they were doing. In fact, let’s remind ourselves; Griswold signed a declaration at the meeting of Primates last October that if the consecration of Robinson went ahead that it would “cause a deep tear in the fabric of the Communion”. He then proceeded to be chief consecrator. Or, as the report puts it:

129. However, it remains true that bishops of the Episcopal Church (USA)
subsequent to the Primates’ Meeting in October 2003 must be taken to have
acted in the full knowledge that very many people in the Anglican Communion
could neither recognise nor receive the ministry as a bishop in the Church of
God of a person in an openly acknowledged same gender union. This inevitably
raises the question of their commitment to the Episcopal Church (USA)’s
interdependence as a member of the Anglican Communion to which its own
Constitution and Canons makes reference.91

The Windsor Report made the following recommendation:

134. Mindful of the hurt and offence that have resulted from recent events, and yet
also of the imperatives of communion – the repentance, forgiveness and
reconciliation enjoined on us by Christ – we have debated long and hard how all
sides may be brought together. We recommend that:
¨ the Episcopal Church (USA) be invited to express its regret that the proper
constraints of the bonds of affection were breached in the events surrounding
the election and consecration of a bishop for the See of New Hampshire, and
for the consequences which followed, and that such an expression of regret
would represent the desire of the Episcopal Church (USA) to remain within
the Communion.

Now, let’s be clear about what they say. There has to be an “expression of regret” but this is in the context of “repentance, forgiveness and
reconciliation enjoined on us by Christ” so, whilst there is no direct call for repentance it is almost implicit in the call for a statement of regret.
So, if ECUSA want to represent a desire to remain within the Communion they must express regret at what happened.

So what does Griswold say?

“Given the emphasis of the Report on difficulties presented by our differing understandings of homosexuality, as Presiding Bishop I am obliged to affirm the presence and positive contribution of gay and lesbian persons to every aspect of the life of our church and in all orders of ministry.  Other Provinces are also blessed by the lives and ministry of homosexual persons.  I regret that there are places within our Communion where it is unsafe for them to speak out of the truth of who they are. ”

Or, more simply, “you’re wrong and we’re right”.

He goes on:
“The Report will be received and interpreted within the Provinces of the Communion in different ways, depending on our understanding of the nature and appropriate expression of sexuality.  It is important to note here that in the Episcopal Church we are seeking to live the gospel in a society where homosexuality is openly discussed and increasingly acknowledged in all areas of our public life.”

Again, in English, “Because we don’t agree with the Communion that homosexual activity is sinful, we’re not going to ‘receive and interpret’ this in the way that you want us to”.

But, perhaps, it’s this paragraph that raise the bile. Because it’s audacious.

“As Presiding Bishop I know I speak for members of our church in saying how highly we value our Communion and the bonds of affection we share. Therefore, we regret how difficult and painful actions of our church have been in many provinces of our Communion, and the negative repercussions that have been felt by brother and sister Anglicans. ”

how highly we value our Communion and the bonds of affection we share

remember what the Windsor Report said?
129. However, it remains true that bishops of the Episcopal Church (USA)
subsequent to the Primates’ Meeting in October 2003 must be taken to have
acted in the full knowledge that very many people in the Anglican Communion
could neither recognise nor receive the ministry as a bishop in the Church of
God of a person in an openly acknowledged same gender union. This inevitably
raises the question of their commitment to the Episcopal Church (USA)’s
interdependence as a member of the Anglican Communion to which its own
Constitution and Canons makes reference.91

Frankly, it’s like the man who abuses his wife and then says that he loves her and wants to stay married to her. It’s a nonsense. It’s a charade.

It’s a lie

I fear that there will be no repentance from ECUSA which means that there’s going to be an awful mess in the USA since the report has approved DEPO, a very poor system of oversight.

What it needs now is for the apology, or lack of it, to play out. Then, when we come to the next Primates or Bishops meeting, Rowan Williams will have to make a choice. Will he invite them? Or won’t he? And then we’ll really find out who’s who. It’s only going to get worse.

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6 comments on “Windsor Report

  1. Well, to be honest, did you really exepct anything different, either in the report (not quite bringing itself to condemn the ECUSA’s actions for what they were), or in Griswald’s response?

    <M>

  2. David,

    I agree with all you wrote, except the offending party spells his name Griswold, not Griswald.

    This part:
    Therefore, we regret how difficult and painful actions of our church have been in many provinces of our Communion, and the negative repercussions that have been felt by brother and sister Anglicans.

    is as close to an apology as we’re likely to get.

    I also highly resent the fact that Griswold thinks he speaks for all American Episcopalians. Even after helping to hound most Traditionalists out of ECUSA, there remain those of us who oppose his revisions at every turn.

    • thanks for the pointer on the spelling.
      Keep opposing. I’m increasingly disappointed with the report. I suspect though, that the teeth was not in the report but in the meeting happening even now in London.

      Griswold is getting a shelacking, I hope.

  3. I fear that there will be no repentance from ECUSA which means that there’s going to be an awful mess in the USA since the report has approved DEPO, a very poor system of oversight.

    This part of the report REALLY disgusted me. DEPO, flat out, DOES NOT WORK. Even those parishes, like mine, that has received pastoral care from other bishops…have not even received DEPO as the HoB defined it. In fact, I don’t know of any that *have* received DEPO. (And AEO is a long way off.)

    Frankly, I’m heartbroken and angry. This report will do NOTHING for the orthodox faithful in America. And, frankly, I think going over to the East–or entering a Roman Anglican Rite–would be a positive and possible action, if the opportunities present themselves. The ECUSA and the Anglican Communion have proven that they don’t care about those who proclaim the Gospel and administer the sacraments rightly in this country.

    -j

    • I am inclined to agree but the pessimism in your last sentence makes me sad – can we not all pray real hard that God will work something out? I like to believe that that can make a difference but am finding it hard to do so.

      • I wish it was mere pessimism. Having seen the Diocese of Newark shrink and die before my eyes…due to the destructive teaching of the former diocesan…I think the ECUSA is done.

        I don’t doubt God will bring all things to Him. But I don’t think it’s in the ECUSA. It’s like…hmm…breaking up with a girl who you know you shouldn’t be with. It’s painful, it’s sad, but ultimately, it’s for the best.

        -j

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