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> Your language is too fluid - "supplemental pastoral care" has now
> become "supplemental episcopal care" and seems to be equal to
> "alternate episcopal oversight." Who can tell what that means?
Sorry for the confusion. I got it right the first time when I used my
> The Presiding Bishop and Executive Council whole-heartedly support
> "supplemental episcopal pastoral care" -- keeping the people's needs
> at the center of attention.
"Supplemental" indicates that the care would be in addition to, not in
place of, the care of the ordinary.
> Who determines adequacy? The dissenting minority or the ordinary?
> There's the rub.
I believe that the House of Bishops has a task force hard at work to
establish effective processes. I am not on that group and cannot
speak for anyone but myself.
For this to work well, the dissenting minority will need a say in
which bishop provides the care, as will the ordinary. If at all
possible, the ordinary should appoint or agree to a visitor agreeable
to the dissenting minority.
Some dissenting folks have pre-determined they will never like anyone
to whom their ordinary consents; and perhaps some ordinaries despair
of being able to make an appointment that will please them. There's
another part of the rub.
I well understand the very real need for supplemental care when a
person or a parish is at odds with those in charge. I spent eleven years
of my ministry in two different dioceses where I was anathema. My
parish in the first of these asked me to leave to "find some place
more sympathetic to your concerns for homosexual persons" and the
vestry of my parish in the second diocese discussed my possible
excommunication. The rector of the first parish refused to share the
peace; the rector of the second bragged to a seminary dean (whom he
did not know to be gay) that he routinely confronted Ernest for his
sins when they passed on the street. (Ernest said the rector never
did so. Perhaps the rector was just bragging. Ernest was not even an
Episcopalian at the time, but we lived a block from the parish and
walked by it).
During my tenure in each of those dioceses, my parents grew very ill,
and both died while I lived in the second diocese. Although the
bishops of these two dioceses were hostile to me, each graciously
arranged for me to have pastoral care which my rectors were not
willing or able to give.
Neither the two bishops nor I ever lost sight of the fact that we were
disciples of Jesus. We knew that God was using those with whom we
disagreed to challenge us to be faithful to the first and second
L., L2 Newark, Member of Executive Council