Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Integrity Press Release

House of Bishops Stands Firm

NEW ORLEANS—The members of Integrity have prayed unceasingly for their bishops as they met this week to consider a response to the primates' communiqué. The bishops were pressured by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other international guests to comply with the primate's demands. The bishops struggled mightily amongst themselves to achieve a clear consensus on how to respond. Integrity is gratified that the final response from the House of Bishop declined to succumb to the pressure to go backwards, but rather took some significant steps forward.

We are encouraged by their strong language against the incursions of uninvited bishops into this province, their commendation of the Anglican Listening Process, their unequivocal support that the Bishop of New Hampshire should receive an invitation to the Lambeth Conference, and their affirmation of safety and civil rights for LGBT persons.

Integrity President Susan Russell said, "In response to requests for 'clarity' the House of Bishops made it clear today that the Episcopal Church is moving forward in faith. I believe today’s response will be received as a sign of great hope that we are committed to working through the hard ground of our differences. I look forward to taking the support of the House of Bishops for the Listening Process with me when I and other Integrity representatives meet with Anglican colleagues in London next month to prepare for our witness at the Lambeth Conference."

"Integrity is confident that The Episcopal Church will continue to move forward," concluded Russell. "Integrity expects General Convention 2009 to be a tipping point for equality. We will be working hard in the months ahead to repeal B033 and to authorize development of a rite for blessing same-sex relationships as steps toward the goal of the full inclusion of all the baptized into the Body of Christ."


Renee said...

I came to the Episcopal church not long before the 2004 election--which was the same time I was becoming politically active and active in the blogging world. Over time, I became pretty frustrated and disappointed with the Democratic party, and decided that, while was still likely to vote Democratic, I didn't see myself as *belonging* to the Democratic party.

Initially, when I thought about the importance of remaining part of the Anglican Communion, my thinking was influenced by the way I thought about politics. I've only gradually begun to wrap my mind around the difference between being "in communion" with a diverse, worldwide church community, and being "signed on" as a member of a political party.

I guess I'm saying that, while I've seen some comments about who "wins" with this particular outcome, I "get" that it's a little more complicated than that. And that this is probably as satisfactory an outcome as we could have reasonably expected, and, well, I'm pleased that you're pleased.

Anonymous said...

No same sex blessings allowed.
No ordinations of non-celibate gay bishops.
KJS losing her primacy and a committee taking her role - probably going to be more widespread than anyone wants to admit tonight.

Yep...everything you wanted.

Anonymous said...

And so we are being asked to hail the equality of Christian marriage with behavior that destroys body and soul. You will rue the day you ever joined in this evil.

Anonymous said...

twepnaI'm wondering, Susan, if you and I are reading the same document. "Stands Firm" ??? to what? To bigotry, intolerance, prejudice, inequality, hypocrisy? Oh yes, they surely stood firm to all that.

I was so proud of them back in March. Now I am utterly, UTTERLY appalled.


More tomorrow, guys. I've been at this for virtually 48 hours straight (so to speak) and am too tired to string more than these words together.

More reflections on the 'morrow.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Count me with David Charles Walker. Appalled. Heartbroken. Betrayed.

I'm sick of politicking with the lives and relationships of people I love. They screwed you today, Susan. Only *one* bishop out of the bunch---including those I thought were rock-solid---stood up for you today.

They chose the idols of "unity" and the Anglican Communion over the real, flesh-and-blood people in their care.

How you count that a victory is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

While I am profoundly disappointed, I cannot say that I am at all surprised at the bishops' actions. Once again we homosexuals are asked to wait. We're told that we are entitled to full life in the body of Christ, but the reality is that we are NOT entitled to participation in all of the sacraments.

The bishops' response was a cowardly admission that they do not have the courage to "stand firm" in the face of bigotry, ignorance, and hatred.

Once again, I am saddened by what I had hoped would be a voice of reason and courage.


Anonymous said...

The HOB stood rather limply in trying to appease the bullies. The reaffirmation of BO33, with the clarification that, yes you gay and lesbian priests this means you, was a step backward. The attempt at appeasement on blessings, because they don't happen in most dioceses anyway, was another slap. I appreciate the restatement of commitment to civil rights and to listening, and the desire to have +Gene at Lambeth somehow. But, I did not see new ground being broken there. The damage was done by then. Now I know I am to the liberal, militant side of things, but I saw little good in the HOB statement. I saw a weak attempt at appeasement. The pride I felt after the last HOB meeting has been replaced with sadness.

Anonymous said...

Next month I will stand for election in my diocese as delegate to General Convention. I am beginning to wonder if elected I will be able to serve intelligently as find myself increasingly unable to understand anything that is reported from New Orleans. What did the bishops "stand firm" about? What caused the "confidence that the church will continue to move forward" that you, Susan Rusself, affirm? And above all, how come "Integrity expects General Convention 2009 to be a tipping point for equality." Where are the signs leading to that expectation? Please help me understand or at least have some confidence that understanding all of this is possible for me. Thanks, Joan Mistretta

Anonymous said...

It's time for a real schism.

Anonymous said...

Thank God INTEGRITY is still there working diligently to insure that TEC continues down the road to full inclusion. Since I am a heterosexual man and therefore biologically and genetically and therefore designed by GOD to want to have sex with as many women as possible in order to insure the continuation of my genetic material, I hope that your group can widen its program to include a public blessing for all sexual encounters, regardless of what scripture, or reason or tadition says. And then you can work on blessings for pederasts, and beastiality and necrophilia. After all from my work in the criminal justice system, and having had the priviledge of speaking to a fair number of sexual predators of all stripes, it just seems to me to be a matter of justice that they have the opportunity to have their relationships blessed. To Hell (do we still beleivel in Hell?) with those troglodites and knuckle draggers who fail to see the value of pandering to 1 to 3% of the population. After all GLBT have been victimized by statistically being better educated, owming homes at a higher rate, owning their own businesses at a higher rate than any other group. No seriously, I have worked with a number of Gays and to the extent that I care about them at all, I guess I feel sorry for someone with the problems they have. I am not homophobic (whatever that is.) I have no problem with GLBT in my church. But please for the love of Pete, stop asking the rest of us to consider blessed that which the Bible and every biblical scholar for 2000 years has called sin.

Brent Clarke
Amarillo, Texas

P.S. I would have posted this on one of your web sites, but unlike SFIF, you guys are apparently afraid of any opinion that differs from yours. You should really speak to Fr. Jake, Mother Elizabeth etc, etc about that.

P.P.S. No problem, Brent ... I did it for you.
Susan Russell