We're getting ready for TEC's evening press conference. Just back from the House of Bishops where the bishops voted to ostensibly overturn B033 - though it now must go back to the House of Deputies since the nonsensical amendment to the amendment was added to their text. That should be accomplished with some haste. We still have C056 - which goes first to the House of Bishops and then to the deputies - but that was postponed to tomorrow.
Bishop Michael Smith, Diocese North Dakota
Bishop Stacy Sauls, Diocese Lexington
Deputy Sally Johnson, Diocese of Minnesota
Deputy Ernie Bennett, Diocese of Central Florida
Deputy Ian Douglas, Diocese of Massachusetts
Both of the bishops affirm that non-celibate gay and lesbians may be ordained and consecrated in the Episcopal Church.
What do you know that the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn't know, George Conger asks the bishops. Bishop Sauls says there is no heiarchical power that directs the churches lives. Central characteristic of the Anglican Communion, says Bishop Sauls.
Bishop Smith says there is a disconnect on what it means to be Anglican. Does autonomous mean independent or self-governing and interdependent, says Bishop Smith.
Question: If it passes the House of Deputies, does it open the door to transgendered and bisexual persons to ordination? Bishop Sauls says the door was never closed. He uses TEC's constitution and canons to justify these actions, not scripture.
Ian Douglas is trying now trying to justify what's happened by talking about other resolutions that have not come forward or will not come forward. He's trying to say that the resolution was descriptive, not proscriptive - which of course is not what was said in the House of Bishops were it was definitely proscriptive. Ian is trying to say it was descriptive, but it was very clear in the House of Bishops that it was proscriptive, which is why bishops like Shannon Johnston voted no.
The resolution will now go back to the House of Deputies World Mission Committee and they will issue a report to the House of Deputies on whether to recommend to concur, further amendment, or defeat it.
Bishop Sauls is saying basically that D025 clarifies that B033 no longer carries the mandate to restrain the Episcopal Church from ordaining and consecrating non-celibate gays, lesbian, bisexuals, transgendered and intersex individuals.
Kevin Kallsen is asking about Rowan Williams concern expressed this morning. "Is Rowan Williams confused?" Bishop Sauls says that he doesn't believe the Archbishop understands what is in the resolution.
It seems that Ian Douglas has been put up to try to defend the resolution since he was not scheduled to be one of the briefers. In order for TEC to be in communion, then they have to be "honest" and "be themselves" and "trust The Other" and "expecting the best of God in The Other." Then he spins the rest, saying that this action actually helps for Deeper Communion.
George Conger asks Ian Douglas, about what he understands communion to be. A large number of Anglicans in the developing world and in this country understand it to be a shared doctrinal faith - how is such dialogue even possible?
Ian says that when we talk about shared doctrinal faith - what is the starting point? The creeds? The Quadrilateral? The churches are still bound together in the same doctrinal faith - Ian assumes that in conversations. There might be some who would challenge my faith and commitment and that he affirms the scriptures and there are others who challenge him on the depth of his commitment, the problem is theirs, not his.