Wednesday, April 26, 2006

+Griswold in the Guardian

A recent Guardian article on the Episcopal Church continues to engender conversation around what exactly Bishop Griswold either said or actually meant in his interview with Stephen Bates.

Here's the both the quote in question and an excellent response from Oasis CA: Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of the US church, said: "The diocese needs to respect the sensibilities of the larger communion. It will note what is going on in the life of the church and make a careful and wise decision. It will then be up to the house of bishops to give or withhold their consent. Given what has happened over the last three years, I think there will be increased sensitivity."

Response to the Guardian article from Oasis CA

I would not read too much into the Guardian article quoting our Presiding Bishop; the media is not always accurate in its attributions or sensitive to context. Bishop Griswold didn't say anything anybody doesn't already know. We believe that we can and must "respect the sensibilities of the larger communion" and still move where the Spirit is leading us.

Respecting the sensibilities of others and "waiting for consensus" are two different things: to do the former means to stay in respectful conversation with those who disagree with the direction we've gone (as many in the Anglican Communion continue to on the issue of women's ordination), while to insist on the latter is to deny the work of the Holy Spirit in the Episcopal Church. As to fears about the unity of the Anglican Communion: of course we will be grieved if there's an official split.

If that happens, however, it needs to be abundantly clear that responsibility for the schism lies at the feet of those who have orchestrated it by insisting that compliance with their theological litmus test is the criteria for being in communion. It is neither fair nor accurate to blame a split in the Anglican Communion on those of us who are threatening to stay.

The good news for us in California is that whoever we elect as our next bishop will be a strong supporter of full inclusion of ALL the baptized in the ministry and sacraments of the church. Our election is not a "make or break" moment for the Anglican Communion. The rejection of the scapegoating of gay and lesbian people for the sake of pseudo-Christian unity is, unfortunately, an ongoing struggle. God isn't done with us yet.

3 comments:

All Along the Watchtower said...

How can:

"If that happens, however, it needs to be abundantly clear that responsibility for the schism lies at the feet of those who have orchestrated it by insisting that compliance with their theological litmus test is the criteria for being in communion. It is neither fair nor accurate to blame a split in the Anglican Communion on those of us who are threatening to stay."

mean the same thing as:

"The diocese needs to respect the sensibilities of the larger communion. It will note what is going on in the life of the church and make a careful and wise decision. It will then be up to the house of bishops to give or withhold their consent. Given what has happened over the last three years, I think there will be increased sensitivity."

Oasis can't be serious to think that "compliance with their theological litmus test" means the same thing as "The diocese needs to respect the sensibilities of the larger communion."

It sounds to me like Oasis and The Consultation have lost the support of the Presiding Bishop on this presenting issue. I'd say that's quite signficant.

aatw

revsusan said...

"Lost the support of the Presiding Bishop?" You're kidding, right? The Oasis and the Consultation are grassroots justice organizations pushing the institutional church to live up to its call to be the Body of Christ -- which puts them more-often-than not at odds with those who understand their charge to guard the "unity" of the church. If our legislative strategy was dependent on the PB's "support" we'd never have gotten anywhere!

All Along the Watchtower said...

Fascinating statement, Susan. Do we really think that the former Bishop of Chicago was not a strong supporter of the Consultation? That's news to me.

If this is the case, as you say, then what can we assume but that the PB is either a weak leader or a foolish man?

Only now does he publicly dis himself from the Consultation in this conversation with Stephen - so you are right, what you call "their charge to guard the unity of the church" or I would call their "institutional freeze" trumps their personal expression of a living faith (either prophetic or orthodox).

Strangely enough, I find myself in agreement with you. If there is one thing that I see that the progressive wing and the orthodox wing have in common is our frustration with the institutionalism of the church - what they may call "guarding their unity" we may call "circling the wagons."

And no one moves forward when they are in a circle.

C'est au pied du mur qu'on voit le maçon.

aatw