Saturday, February 10, 2007

The IRD Reports on Raleigh

Thanks to IRD (that would be the "Institute on Religion and Democracy") reporter Ralph Webb who had better notes than I did on the Q&A session with +Katharine at the Episcopal Urban Caucus. His article -- "Clarity Forthcoming" -- can be found on the IRD website ... here's a bit to get you started:

During a question-and-answer session following an address at the 2007 Episcopal Urban Caucus Assembly, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said that she saw the Episcopal Church's stand affirming gays and lesbians becoming clearer between now and the next General Convention.

Her response followed a statement and question by the Rev. Michael Hopkins, past president of Integrity, an Episcopal gay and lesbian advocacy group. Hopkins described himself as feeling "hampered," "scapegoat[ed]," "held hostage," and "marginalized" by the passage of resolution B033 at the 75th General Convention last summer. Resolution B033 asked bishops and diocesan standing committees to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion." (The particular "manner of life" that currently "presents a challenge" is understood to be homosexual relations.)

Hopkins then asked Bishop Jefferts Schori how the church can move beyond B033. She responded initially on a personal level: "I empathize. I continue to be as troubled by [B033] as many others are. We live in a fallen world."

Apparently foreseeing greater "inclusion" of gays and lesbians in the church, she continued, "The blessings of the political process are that it never speaks forever…. I think this church is much closer to where we are than even [at last summer's General Convention] …. When we come to the next General Convention, we will be even clearer." This statement brought applause from the audience in the plenary session.

Indeed it did!

No comments: