Friday, September 04, 2009

Bishop Schori's office concedes seven Episcopal diocesan bishops are meeting directly with the Archbishop of Canterbury

And names names. From here:

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams held a private meeting September 2 with seven Episcopal Church bishops at Lambeth Palace, his London residence.

The bishops attending the meeting were Mark Lawrence of South Carolina, Gary Lillibridge of West Texas, Edward Little of Northern Indiana, Bill Love of Albany, Michael Smith of North Dakota, James Stanton of Dallas, and Bruce MacPherson of Western Louisiana.

A spokesperson in the Lambeth Palace press office confirmed that Williams had hosted the seven Episcopal bishops, but said that the meeting was private.

When asked for his reflections on the meeting, MacPherson told ENS that the bishops will have "something forthcoming soon."

The seven bishops are all signatories to the Anaheim Statement that reaffirms their commitment to requests from Anglican Communion leaders to the Episcopal Church for moratoria on the blessing of same-sex unions, the ordination of openly gay persons to the episcopate, and cross-border interventions.

The statement, so-called because it was released in Anaheim on July 16 as General Convention was drawing to a close, said that while some bishops tried to modify the wording of some of the convention's actions, "it is apparent that a substantial majority of this convention believes that the Episcopal Church should move forward on matters of human sexuality."

"We recognize this reality and understand the clarity with which the majority has expressed itself," the bishops said. "We are grateful for those who have reached out to the minority, affirming our place in the church."

The signers said they were committed to membership in the communion and to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church.

The bishops who met with Williams also account for half of the Episcopal Church bishops who are members of the Communion Partners, which describes itself as a "relational fellowship" of primates, bishops and clergy who are committed to the unity of the church but also support the moratoria and the idea of an Anglican covenant, a set of principles intended to bind the Anglican Communion. Such a covenant has been proposed and a final draft has yet to be produced.

The Communion Partners have said that individual dioceses could sign onto a covenant whether or not the General Convention agreed to do so.

On July 27, Williams offered some reflections on General Convention and in particular the passage of two resolutions (D025 and C056) that focused on issues of human sexuality and the Episcopal Church's commitment to the Anglican Communion.

Resolution D025 affirms "that God has called and may call" gay and lesbian people "to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church." Resolution C056 calls for the collection and development of theological resources for the blessing of same-gender blessings and allows bishops to provide "a generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church."

In his 26-part reflection, Williams, who was present for the first two days of the July 8-17 meeting in Anaheim, California, wrote that "a realistic assessment of what convention has resolved does not suggest that it will repair the broken bridges into the life of other Anglican provinces; very serious anxieties have already been expressed."


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, your posting headline seems to rewrite the article on the Episcopal Life site since the article does not make a single mention of Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori conceding anything, much less even mentioning the meeting. Conceding implies giving up a point in an argument, which has not happened here. Even the ABC's office has stated that this was a private meeting.

Oh, and what is the deal with refusing to refer to Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori by her full last name and official title? I see this consistently on the conservative blogs and it just comes across as rude. Just curious!

David C

Dean Rick Lobs said...


I think there is a misunderstanding. For some of us, especially of Catholic persuasion, Dr. Schori is not a bishop nor a priest. That presents us with a challenge - i.e. how to reference her without being snarky.

Perhaps the appellation Dr. Schori, or Mrs. Schori, meets the non-rudness canon without ceding ground on the issue of ordination.

In addition, you must understand that it is obvious that the voices of many of us are not being heard by 815, nor will they be. What you are observing is a form of protest in one of the few ways available. In other words it is a venting of frustration. Think of it as an ecclesiastical "tea party".

Dean Rick Lobs

Mike in FL said...

I have to believe this meeting may well be recorded historically as the last stand of organized orthodox resistance to the culturally captive party in power in TEC.

"Something forthcoming soon" is code for either, "Look out, something significant actually is about to happen" or "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ".

The depths of "ditherdom" cannot be dwelt in for very long; Laodicea and all that, you know.

Rob Eaton+ said...

The PB is indeed a bit sensitive about even being referred to as only Bishop Schori, I believe because that is in fact her husband's last name, and she therefore loses - in her mind, anyway - her own personal identity in such addressing.
She might be a little less irritated if people would refer to her as Bp Jefferts.

I think some of the problem, really, is the lack of hyphen in her use of the printed name. If she would use "Jefferts-Schori" I think there would be a great increase in the use of both family names.

Further, journalists constantly shorthand names. Obama instead of President Obama, Blair instead of former prime minister Tony Blair, Duncan instead of The Most Reverend Robert Duncan, TEC or TECUSA or Episcopal Church, instead of "The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America including the dioceses located in foreign nations".

But if you really want to make a case instead of a snit, go after the people who mean "PB" to be "Pretending Bishop", etc., etc., and I'm not referring to Anglo-Catholics as Dean Lobs was.

Now, besides all that, besides the headline that bb put on this article from ENS (which simply refers to the fact that ENS is quite inconsistent in reporting on Communion Partner doin's, and why now on this?) what do you think, David, about the ENS article and how it was written re: these seven bishops meeting privately with the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Rev Josip said...

I wonder if Bishop Schori,primate will now defrock these seven bishops for abandoning TEC and meeting with Archbishop Williams?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the followup Dean Lobs! However I am unclear as to why you consider her to not be a priest or bishop. You mention your Catholic persuation. Are you a member of the RCC and do not consider Anglican orders to be valid, or are you an Anglo-Catholic member of TEC who does not accept the validity of the ordination of women? Just trying to understand why you do not consider her to be an ordained person in TEC.

Aside from that, I would suggest that common courtesy requires that we swallow our qualms and address someone in an official position in a church by the title that that church has bestowed on him or her regardless of whether we consider the position to be valid. For example, whenever the Archbishop of Canterbury visits the Vatican, he is not asked to wear a coat and tie rather than clerical garb even though the RCC does not consider Anglican orders to be valid. As another example, I consider that the deposition by TEC of Robert Duncan to be valid and that he is therefore no longer a bishop. However the ACNA has chosen him to be it's Archbishop, and I would consider it rude to refer to him as Mr. Duncan either in person, in correspondence or in a public forum such as a blog, and would out of courtesy perhaps refer to him as Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the ACNA.

My point here is not to make a snit or to go after anyone, but to ask reasonable questions and to learn more about the thinking and perspectives of my brothers and sisters whom I do not fully understand. I appreciate that both Dean Lobs and Rob Eaton have responded to me in a kind and thoughful manner. I have found it to be too often the case that those of us on opposite sides of church disputes end up savaging each other rather than accepting each other as faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who deserve love and respect. I think of the line from a hymn whose name I cannot recall that goes something like "and they will know we are Christians by our love."

One of the things I have enjoyed about BB's blog is that while I strongly disagree with alot of what she posts and what those who comment write, I have not been felt unwelcome to comment here. I found this particularly true when reading her heart felt posts about the conflicts withing the Daughters of the King during the run up to their triennial convention. I have also had the opportuntity to "meet" BB at the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life, and have enjoyed being able to come together in worship and fellowship around what we share in common, a commitment to advancing the Kingdom of God in spite of our differences in other areas.

David C

Dean Rick Lobs said...

David said: "However I am unclear as to why you consider her to not be a priest or bishop. You mention your Catholic persuation. Are you a member of the RCC and do not consider Anglican orders to be valid, or are you an Anglo-Catholic member of TEC who does not accept the validity of the ordination of women?"

Rick said: "I am of the second variety - a person in TEC that believes it is not possible (as distinct from desirable) for a female to be ordained other than a deacon - since that is a female as well as a male office with biblical authenticity.

In the world in which we live an American that cannot affirm the ordination of women is considered at best a novelity.

With the world Christian population in mind those that believe a woman can be ordained priest or bishop is a very small minority indeed.

It is the issue that will forever nettle the conservatives or orthodox in TEC and NAAP. As long as WO is treated as a civil rights issue - or an issue related to function we are at a stand still.


BabyBlue said...

David C: The "news service" is run by Bishop Schori's staff under the direction of a public relations director. It's not a "news service" anymore, which of course has been a point of internal controversy that spilled into General Convention.

"Bishop Schori" is what the PR people often referred to her as at General Convention. I think at one point we were even directed to call her that, rather than "Jefferts Schori." The "Jefferts" was dropped often from their conversations. It was an interesting development.


Anonymous said...

I did not realize those developments that had occurred during the General Convention. Your posting makes more sense to me now.

Yes, that is a difficult place to be. As you mention, those who do not consider WO to be valid will always be a minority in those parts of the church that accept it. However I hope that our brief dialog here can keep the lines of communication open across that which threatens to divide us.

BTW, I popped over to your blog, and really liked your post on the Liturgy of the Hours. I pray it most days, and I have always been interested to learn more about the origins of the Liturgy of the Hours/Daily Office. I find it a wonderful way to frame the day!

David C

Dean Rick Lobs said...

Hi, David,

Yes, I agree. One of my regrets is that I do not live near a monastic community where I could plug into their Offices.

Have you ever been to Saint Gregory's Abbey?
It is near heaven on earth for me.


Lapinbizarre said...

"Something forthcoming soon" on a meeting of which a Lambeth spokesman "said that the meeting was private". Finely-honed ethical sense that these guys have. In the UK a "private" meeting is conventionally considered exactly that. Not by conservative US bishops, it seems.

How, I wonder, does Rick Lobs, who I gather is no longer actually a dean, so maybe it would be improper of me to call him that, refer to bishops of the Methodist and Lutheran churches? Does he deny the title to them, or does he, in their case, have the common courtesy to use it? Or only if they're male?

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

I am in favor of common courtesy and that for me means using the titles that people prefer from themselves. I have even been known to refer to Benedict XVI as the Holy Father when speaking with Roman Catholics because that is how they refer to him. In discussions of serious matters I try not to cloud the discussion by being offensive. The Gospel is offensive to many, but I need not be.

Allen said...

Anonymous noted:
"...the article does not make a single mention of Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori conceding anything."

That the article was written shows that she knows. She IS in charge of the information and spin found in the propaganda organ known as ENS. Note how she has direct control over it, including staffing. Make no mistake...she controls it and nothing moves that she isn't aware of it. Conservative token viewpoints are dosed out, mainly via the Opinion section...but rarely as an investigative article.

Anonymous said...


Unfortunately I have never been to St Gregory's, but after looking at their website, I will make it a point to visit if I ever get to Michigan!

I did have a chance to visit the Weston Priory, a small RC Benedictine community in Vermont this summer. I picked up a nice breviary called the "Benedictine Daily Prayer, a Short Breviary" and found it to be a very rich format for the daily office. While it comes out of an RC monastery, it looks like one of the editors is from the ELCA, so it has a bit of an ecumenical flair to it.

Good to see you jumping into our conversation Fr Weir. I have always enjoyed reading your thoughtful comments!

David C

Dean Rick Lobs said...

Lapin says: "How, I wonder, does Rick Lobs, who I gather is no longer actually a dean, so maybe it would be improper of me to call him that..."

Rick says: "You are right but only in part. I do not function as a dean of a cathedral. I retired. You probably know that in the Anglican Communion the title with which one retires is retained. Thus Dean Inge and Dean Sayre, though dead, are still referenced as Dean Sayre and Dean Inge, just to name a few. I am quite happy to be known as Father Lobs - I think clergy should always be reminded of their role as spiritual father. Thanks for your comment. Rick+"

Lapinbizarre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lapinbizarre said...

Nicely bit of reframing, Dean Lobbs, but the question "How, I wonder" did not preface an inquiry into the succession of deans in the diocese of Central Florida, but rather the question of how you refer to and address bishops of the Lutheran and Methodist, most of whom are not, in Anglican terms, validly consecrated. Given your refusal to concede the title, even as an honorific, to the Presiding Bishop of the church of which you are a member, inquiring minds would be interested to know.

Dean Rick Lobs said...

LOL - Just misunderstood your question. I apologize as necessary.

Yes, I would call Lutheran and Methodist bishops - bishop. They make no pretense of being in apostolic succession. They are what they are.

Anglicanism has at minimum pretended to stand in apostolic succession - which is now totally off the beam, and will stand in the way of ecumenical dialogue to say nothing of organic union with Rome.

On the other hand I would not call a Roman Catholic nun who was "ordained a bishop" - bishop and that for the same reason. She stands outside apostolic succession in a church that values and defends the same. Hope at least that gives a window into my thinking.

But back to Dr. Schori - in my mind, perhaps in my mind alone, she is so massively and deeply embedded in heresy, especially Christological, that I would refuse to recognize her on those grounds.

To be clear - my life mission is not to have people not call the Presiding Bishop by title (hate double negatives!).

My life goal is to carry the Gospel.

And, finally, truth to be told she is not even on my radar screen. I am that distanced from her. I do not care who calls her what or what she calls herself. We have no part with each other - zero. It is just how it is with me. Perhaps only me. Rick+

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says ...

Dean Lobs,

As two in your diocese, you have answered well and with Christian courtesy.

We are grateful that your "life goal is to carry the Gospel." May the Lord continue to bless your ministry bountifully.

Lapinbizarre said...

I thought that I had posted this morning, thanking you for your courteous reply, Dean Lobs, but I must have hit "preview" rather than "post". Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

This post really confuses me. I had not thought there was disputation about whether the seven bishops had met with the Archbishop. I have seen several accounts of this meeting and had not run across any hint anywhere that the meeting was fictional or counterfactual in any way. So I assumed, on reading the post, and the reference to a "Concession" from the Presiding Bishop of TEC, that, at some point, she had stated or otherwise had been of the view that the meeting did NOT take place. Then I follow the link and see that it is simply a straightforward account of the meeting. The comments are not particularly enlightening, because many of them digress into other areas such as the PB's name and title. So, let me try to re-set the discussion: What previously held position on the meeting of the 7 with the ABC did the Presiding Bishop recant? And what does this have to do with the linked article?

Or, alternatively, are we all in such a miasma of fuzzy thinking and reflexive anti-TEC worldviews that brain fog has totally socked everyone in?