"Why?" you ask. Because they're not. Listening, that is. Not only NOT listening but not even going to be "allowed" to have the OPPORTUNITY to listen.
Here's what's being reported on Louie Crew's blog:
For weeks this announcement has circulated in a flier:
Bishop Robinson to be
2008 Boniface Speaker
Saint Boniface Episcopal Church, Sarasota, is pleased to announce that the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire has accepted the invitation to be our guest and speaker January 16-20, 2008. We are especially grateful to
Assistant Rector Wes Wasdyke for helping invite Bishop Robinson. Wes is canonically resident in the Diocese of New Hampshire where he served the church and medical communities for many years.
Bishop Robinson is an astute speaker and spiritual leader with a passion for shared ministry and well known for his pastoral support of clergy and congregations in New Hampshire. While he is the focus of much attention in the Anglican Communion, his visit to us is a personal one where he will be able to share his own journey of faith and encourage each of us in ours.
As is always the case in the visit of a bishop from another jurisdiction, The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, Bishop of Southwest Florida, was consulted, and has given permission for Bishop Robinson to be our speaker in residence. Bishop Smith has encouraged us by describing this visit as an important part of the listening process which is key to the Windsor and Lambeth recommendations for the Anglican Communion.
The Boniface Speaker series was created to bring the brightest and best in religion to this parish and community. Bishop Robinson will speak at a community wide forum Thursday evening January 17, a clergy study morning Friday January 18, and at the parish services and forum Sunday January 20. Saint Boniface Church is at 5615 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key in Sarasota.
The Rev. Canon Edward M. Copland, Rector http://www.boniface/.
The flier was replaced today after Bishop Dabney Smith asked Bishop Robinson to decline the parish's invitation, with this new memo:
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
To: Boniface Parish Leaders, and other interested friends
Re: Cancellation of planned visit of Bishop Robinson
From: Ted Copland
Bishop Dabney Smith just called to tell me that he has contacted Bishop Gene Robinson again and asked him to decline the invitation to speak here in January. Bishop Smith said he took this action because of all the heat he is getting. Previously Bishop Smith had given his permission for the visit and said it was not a problem for him although he anticipated a reaction. He told me that it has been more of a reaction than he anticipated. Bishop Robinson is on sabbatical and is out of the country (he was in New Zealand when they talked). I anticipate that we will hear from his office in New Hampshire to confirm this.
Many people will be disappointed about this but we can choose to see this as an opportunity to continue the conversation about what it means to be the Episcopal Church in the 21st century. I believe it may be important for Bishop Smith to hear from people who thought that Bishop Robinson's visit would have furthered the conversation called for throughout the Anglican Communion.
Here are Louie's comments:
You know opposition is losing when opposition resorts to the tyranny of ideas, afraid to allow anyone even to listen to a point of view not approved by the one in power.
This country was built on strong advocacy for the right -- even the obligation -- of persons to expose themselves to all points of view before holding a point of view themselves.
Probably Bishop Smith is thoroughly within his rights as a bishop to cancel any presentation if doing so helps him save his skin. I hope that he can sleep in that skin.
When you want to know why most young people don't give the church the time of day, you need look no farther. Bishop Smith's cowardice gives me the creeps and makes me embarrassed to be an Episcopalian.
Here are my comments:
What Louie said.