Release from the "Wake Up" folks ...
WAKE UP CALL: TIGHTENING THE NOOSE
The Anglican Communion News Service has announced that the Archbishop of Canterbury, after consultations with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, has asked Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia and Bishop John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida to convene a group of bishops from the Episcopal church "to meet together to discuss some of the difficult issues facing the Church and to explore possible resolutions."
This announcement raises a number of serious concerns.Consider the following.
ONE -- By what authority is Archbishop Rowan Williams calling for meetings of bishops of the Episcopal Church? The Presiding Bishop has now been reduced to someone merely to be "consulted" about the meeting, while the Archbishop, apparently, decides who attends.
TWO -- One of the "conveners" named by Archbishop Williams is Bishop John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida. From the start, Lipscomb was at the forefront of the fight against the ordination of Gene Robinson as the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop and since Bishop Robinson's ordination has consistently worked to weaken the unity of the Episcopal Church. He is one of the original founders of the ACN.
THREE -- The other "convener" of the meeting is Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia. Lee voted in 2003 for the consecration of Gene Robinson but afterwards publicly recanted and now says he would not do so again. He has said that "it's appropriate for the American Episcopal Church to back away [from ordaining gay people] to serve the wider unity of the church."
FOUR -- Two of the other bishops invited by Archbishop Williams are Bishop Jack Iker of Fort Worth and Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh. Their views are well known: they want their small group of right-wing dioceses to separate from the Episcopal Church and to be declared the true representatives of the Anglican Communion in the U.S. and they want the Episcopal Church to be thrown out of the Anglican Communion.
FIVE -- Although Presiding Bishop-elect Jefferts Schori will attend the meeting she will not do so with much authority. Bishop Griswold will still be our Primate. The timing of the meeting leads to the suspicion that Archbishop Williams wants to pressure Bishop Griswold one last time. Bishop Griswold has often succumbed to pressure and in the process become the enforcer of the Episcopal Church's policy of appeasement toward the hate-mongers and fundamentalists of the Anglican Communion, led by Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria.
The following questions need to be asked.
ONE -- Why have only the most conservative and retrograde bishops of the Episcopal Church been invited to this meeting? Why was Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire not invited? Why were Bishops Bruno of Los Angeles or Chane of Washington or Chilton Knudsen of Maine not invited?
TWO -- Does the rush to hold this meeting so soon after General Convention and before the investiture of Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop indicate that Archbishop Williams thinks that Bishop Schori will be less inclined to capitulation and appeasement than Bishop Griswold?
THREE -- What other "compromises" will be exacted from the Episcopal Church? Will gay people, as an outcome of this meeting, be told that their place in the back of the bus has now been made permanent?
FOUR --The first session of these meetings will take place "in New York in the first half of September". No specific place or date was announced. Why all the secrecy?
FIVE -- Why does all this remind us of Neville Chamberlain?
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS MEETING.
ONE -- EMAIL ARCHBISHOP WILLIAMS NOW and let him know what you think of his proposed series of meetings. The Archbishop is not directly available by email, but you can send a message to him c/o J. Rosenthal, Anglican Communion Director of Communications: Jim.Rosenthal@anglicancommunion.org
It is important that you also tell THE REV. CANON KENNETH KEARON, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council how you feel. He is the Archbishop's designated hitter at the meeting. He is also not directly available, but his deputy is: Gregory.Cameron@anglicancommunion.org (Based on the ACO's email convention, you may want to try Kenneth.Kearon@anglicancommunion.org)
TWO -- EMAIL PRESIDING BISHOP GRISWOLD NOW and tell him that he has sacrificed the rights of gay people in our church long enough. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and use this subject line: PRESIDING BISHOP IMMEDIATE ATTENTION.
THREE -- EMAIL BISHOP JEFFERTS SCHORI NOW and tell her not to let the Archbishop of Canterbury snooker her the way he has snookered Bishop Griswold and our church. In a hopeful sign for the future, Bishop Jefferts Schori has a known e-mail address KJeffets@aol.com
FOUR -- Don't bother writing to Bishops Lipscomb, Lee, Iker or Duncan. You'd be wasting your time.From time to time,
WAKE UP, a coalition of concerned Episcopalians working for a full inclusion church, issues WAKE UP CALLS, to alert members of our church about some urgent issue or development. This is WAKE UP CALL No. 1For more information about WAKE UP, go to www.wakeuptec.org