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The Eames Commission refuses to hear from Bishop Gene Robinson and from any other lesbian and gay Christians


Why is the Commission so afraid to hear from Bishop Robinson?

Jesus always spends time at the margins.  The Commission won't
understand the boundaries it talks about if it refuses to hear from
the people about whom all the fuss is being made.

-- Louie Crew, Member of Executive Council of the Episcopal Church

---------- Forwarded message ----------

>From THE LIVING CHURCH, July 18, 2004, page 14

Although the chairman of the Lambeth Commission has said repeatedly
that the group he leads is listening to all voices, lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgendered groups associated with the Episcopal
Church are growing increasingly concerned that their voices are being

Those concerns reached a new level of anxiety during the June 13-18
meeting at Kanuga where it was revealed that the commission had
listened to testimony from representatives chosen by Presiding Bishop
Frank T. Griswold as well as representatives chosen by the Rt. Rev.
Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican
Communion Network.

"Looking at what Eames says and comparing it to what he's actually
doing, a searching question comes to mind," wrote Kevin Jones in an
editorial published by the www.everyvoice.net on June 15.  "How
reliable or accurate a report can the Eames Commission produce if they
are only talking to one side?"

Mr. Jones reports that a number of individuals and groups have made
written contributions, but they "have been told that they are not part
of the conversation because the really issue is about ecclesiology:
how the church can live together with differences rather than
homosexuality.  And they have been told that the farming of the issue
comes from Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams himself."

Those concerns are also shared by the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson,
Bishop of New Hampshire, who wrote:

"If the commission's work is not about me, the diocese, or
homosexuality, why was [commission member] Archbishop [Drexel] Gomez
allowed to give 6-8 pages of testimony focused almost solely on those
realities and hoe ECUSA ought to be punished for it?  Had he been
ruled out of order for not speaking to the germane toping of living
together as a communion, the stated reason for our not being included
would have a more authentic ring."

In response to several requests from THE LIVING CHURCH for comment, a
commission spokesperson, The Rev. Brian Parker, wrote, "New Hampshire
has yet to submit anything to the Commission, although it has been
invited to do so."


Another account of the same complaint, also from an arch conservative
source, viz., The Church of England Newspaper:

The Lambeth Commission Criticized

The Eames Commission has been accused of excluding the voices of gays
and lesbians from its deliberations in trying to keep the Anglican
Communion together.

The attack comes from the bishop of New Hampshire, who said: "The
Commission has claimed to be talking to anyone who wants to talk, but
our attempts to get a hearing before that Commission have been

Bishop Gene Robinson made the comments following the second plenary
session of the Primates Commission meeting in North Carolina.

His salvo comes in the wake of a growing unrest among the 17 members
of the Commission.

A rare public expression of unease surfaced when Commission member,
Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies chided Archbishop Eames.
"There is no small feeling amongst conservative members of the
Communion that they are being asked to show restraint whilst the
liberal agenda moves ahead" he wrote, adding this would "create a
situation where the playing field is perceived as skewed".

Bishop Robinson agreed the playing field was skewed, but in favour of
traditionalists. "If the Commission wants to hear about how we might
live together despite our differences, we are creating some great
models for that here in New Hampshire, which we'd like to share with
the Commission.

"If the Commission's work is not about me, the diocese or
homosexuality" he told us on June 21, "why was Archbishop Gomez
allowed to give six-eight pages of testimony focused almost solely on
those realities and how ECUSA ought to be punished for it."

The plenary opened on June 13 in an atmosphere of conviviality and
worthiness, reflecting the strong influence of the Chairman,
Archbishop Eames. The bounds of pan-Anglican bonhomie were quickly
tested however by conflicting contributions from across the Communion.

Archbishop Gomez's submission questioned the validity of Bishop
Robinson's orders, arguing that a "defect of intention" made his
consecration invalid, while Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of
Southern Africa urged respect and restraint for provincial autonomy.

The Commission will hold one more plenary session before submitting
its report to Archbishop Rowan Williams in early October.

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