Saturday, June 03, 2006

"Mere Expediency Will Serve No One"

A Response to the Bishop of Exeter
by the Rev. Michael W. Hopkins
Rector, the Church of St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene, Rochester NY
Past President, Integrity

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt. Rev. Michael Langrish, was a guest at the most recent meeting of the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops. His remarks to the bishops at the close of the conference have received wide circulation and, anecdotally, appear to have had considerable impact on many bishops-particularly because many perceived them as having been offered on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It would be unfortunate if his comments did not receive careful consideration and critical scrutiny. I offer the following to that end.

The quote that titles this essay comes from the second page of Bishop Langrish's comments and, it seems to me, is at the heart of the wrestling with his thinking that must be done. The paragraph from which the quote comes is as follows.

With such seriousness and such prayer, your process must command respect and a belief that your intention and desire to do not just what is expedient, but what is right. I believe that we all want that. Mere expediency will serve no one well-neither the church here or further abroad. Yet, when you do come to a decision about what is right, that decision (whatever it is) will have consequences and almost certainly profound ones. And trying to read and understand what those consequences might be, will presumably be part of the decision making too. Discerning the Body, and discerning the time, all seem to me to be part of discerning the right, the divine word for now.

I suspect that all sides of the issues before the Communion can read this paragraph with approval. It is an apt description of what is before us. Of course, the crisis exists here as well, in that a measure of discernment has already occurred, again on all sides, and a "divine word for now" reached that seems profoundly contradictory.

So what is expedient and what is right in this moment? It very much depends, of course, upon the context from which one is speaking. And perhaps the real question before the Communion, and before the General Convention, is, "Can we bear one another's contexts?"

Read it all here

6 comments:

Milton said...

Anonymous, (at least the Anon who keeps posting the Ronald G. Lee article)even as a reasserter, I will ask you to give up posting this article or any other on a blog. You will convince no one, only antagonize them. Posting a link to an article that you think makes a point relevant to a particular thread is more considerate of the blog host and more likely to cause people actually to read it and give it some consideration instead of tuning it out. Even if you posted this article at Titusonenine the "elves" would probably tell you the same thing, if only for the sheer length of the post.

revsusan said...

thanks, milton ... i've deleted the Lee article ... once again ... and request ... once again ... that those interested in posting articles for comment get a blog for themselves and do precisely that and let those interested in commenting on the articles posted here do precisely that. Thanks

Anonymous said...

the part of the Lee article that pertains to you, lady, is that you have blood on your hands for legitimating a lethal way of life.

EpiscoWatcher said...

Susan...could you filter anonymous out or ban him/her outright?

tony said...

Fr. Matt Kennedy at Stand Firm in Faith has posited four possible outcomes from GC06 given the probability that ecusa will decide not to comply with the WR.

Catherine + said...

Thanks be to God for sane, rational minds like Rev. Susan's.

I am also thankful that Rev. Susan promotes unity for all the baptized, including those that hurl unfounded insults at her and her ministry. Not a lot unlike those who spat upon and vilified Christ as He carried His cross to unify us to God. Her witness and work for the Church is the cross she bears for the marginalized in this Communion. I am proud to "walk" beside her and others in this just cause.

Catherine +