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What do you think of the resolution from SCLM?
[To a conservative friend]
Thank you for sharing your concerns. I speak only for myself in
responding to the issues that you raise:
I oppose the SCLM resolution calling for local option. (See
http://www.churchpublishing.org/GC2K/documents/sclm.c003s.pdf for a copy
of the full SCLM report in pdf format) In my view we already have local
option as the default position regarding liturgical services, as explained
on page 13 of the BCP regarding the bishop's authority to permit services
not in the BCP. We already have local option regarding ordination, as
established by the Righter trial.
I respect individual conscience unequivocally when individuals pay the
price of their own conscience. I do not respect it when some require
others to pay the price for them, as when a bishop requires all women to
pay the price of his conscience.
Some conservatives have told me that they do not trust liberals because
'what they ask for now as a local thing they will demand everywhere in
time.' Those making that argument usually point to women's ordination as a
case in point.
In my view, the Port St. Lucie statement, calling for bishops' right not
to ordain women if their consciences forbade them to do so, was not an act
of GC but of one House. Many of those who supported it said that they did
not intend for it to last forever, but only for the tenure of bishops
already in place.
The ordination canon as amended at GC in 1997 still does not make bishops
ordain women who by conscience cannot do so: it merely mandates that
women's ministries be enabled in their dioceses. A variety of options are
open to bishops who cannot in conscience ordain women, the most celebrated
of which is the Montgomery Plan, by which the ordinary requests someone
else to do the ordaining.
Many are weary of watching the end-runs of the three bishops still in
violation of that canon. I hope that their stubbornness will not leave
presentments as the only recourse, since the these same three bishops
vividly demonstrated the pain of that process when they brought a
presentment against Bishop Righter.
Gamaliel suggested 'wait and see' in matters of theological innovation.
I submit that rigor mortis would set in for Gamaliel if he continued to
apply that principle indefinitely. 25 years, a generation, seems quite
adequate to me.
If those congregations that want them do bless life commitments of
lesbigays, I suspect that more and more will do so, primarily in response
to the life-giving power of the spirit manifested in those relationships.
If those relationships do not manifest the presence of the Holy Spirit,
the innovation will die of its on accord. However, if after a positive
witness only a few dioceses are holding out 25 years later, yes, I would
approve a canon that required them to allow such blessings to take place,
but not a canon that required any one priest to perform them unwillingly.
Again, I speak only for myself, and my own views are 'in process' on these
issues. I do not anticipate much opportunity to address the issues in
Denver, given the great effort to keep a lid on them through the new
Committee 25, and I expect no need to address the concerns of 25 years
hence. I will not be in the House of Deputies in 2024; but I predict that
the church will be caught up in far different issues at that time.
I am delighted that you will be in Denver, and I hope that you will come
for nightly hospitality at the Bishop's suite....
Joy to you!
Louie Crew, Chair, Diocese of Newark Deputation to GC2000
377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018-1225. 973-395-1068
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/rel.html Anglican Pages
There are 15 days left until General Convention.