Integrity welcomes "One Baptism, One Hope in God’s Call: The Report of the Special Commission on The Episcopal Church and The Anglican Communion" as a considered contribution to the listening process called for by the Windsor Report of 2004. As we read the report in detail, we have some important questions and comments.particularly in regards to the resolutions offered by the commission. We begin, however, by reiterating the good news we find in the report.
The Good News
We are grateful for the report’s reiteration of the Episcopal Church’s 30-year stance that "gay and lesbian persons are by Baptism full members of the Body of Christ and of the Episcopal Church and ’are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance and pastoral concern and care of the Church.’"
We are also heartened that the report reaffirms that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons everywhere in the world "are entitled to equal protection of the laws.and [that the Episcopal Church] calls upon our society to see that such protection is provided in actuality."
Integrity concurs with the Windsor Report’s clarification to the entire Anglican Communion, echoed by the commission, that "any demonizing of homosexual persons, or their ill treatment, is totally against Christian charity and basic principles of pastoral care."
However, these affirmations only repeat the Episcopal Church’s stated convictions over the past four decades -- 40 years during which LGBT Episcopalians have struggled for full inclusion in the Body of Christ. Despite open abuse of LGBT persons across the Anglican Communion over the ten years since Lambeth 1998.and greatly increasing since the consecration of V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, the report says nothing new to them in acknowledgment of their continued suffering and their prophetic persistence within the church. This is a great weakness of the report, for the situation in some parts of the communion for LGBT persons is dire.
Indeed, Integrity finds much in the report to cause LGBT persons deep disappointment and pessimism about their future in the church. Integrity is troubled in particular by resolutions A160, A161, and A162 presented by the special commission for debate at the triennial General Convention of the Episcopal Church in June 2006. It is essential that bishops and deputies to the convention understand the consequences of these resolutions for LGBT Episcopalians and Anglicans. A brief commentary on the eleven proposed resolutions follows.
Read it all HERE