Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Evening Press Briefing

Among those briefing this evening are Bishop John Chane of the Diocese of Washington and Bishop Sean Rowe of the Diocese of Northwest Pennsylvania:

Bishop John Chane is asked about the MDGs which are supposed to be achieved by 2015 and wanted to know if TEC will actually meet that goal. Chane says that regrettably it will be difficult to achieve, which doesn't meant that TEC hasn't been aggressive in achieving it.

The Living Church asks the deputies about the afternoon session when C067 Litigation Expense Disclosure was passed in the House of Bishops and wants to know what happened in the House of Deputies. The response is that the House of Deputies did not concur because they did not want people to know how much they are spending on litigation.

A question is now being asked about 2020 - C069 "Affirming Christ" was defeated before it got to the floor. How can evangelism be taking seriously when they are defeated before they get to the floor. The bishop of Northwest Pennsylvania admits that the church is not growing but says the church is about reconciling the world to God in Christ Jesus. A deputy said that the numbers in TEC have tracked the white population, especially those who are college graduates.

Next question is about C056 this morning Bishop Robinson of New Hampshire talked about the implications of the word "may" rather than "shall" - Bishop Robinson and Bishop Sauls did not like "may" but wanted to "shall." Bishop Sauls relies implicitly on the good will of the bishop.

Bishop Chane: He said it is presumptive - one is permissive and one is directive, he think that as they address it tomorrow they will see where they will go with this, and want to be sensitive and on board and sensitive to each other.

Next question is about the pensions - sorry, got interrupted.

Next question is about Hispanic evangelism and a considerable amount of money spent on it - has their been demographic and geographic studies to determine whether they are in line with the progressive agenda and full inclusion, especially after it was noticed that most of Province 10 voted against it. The Bishop from Northwest Pennsylvania says that it's not related. He hopes that they can spend 3.5 million dollars, but to plant 46 new congregations. It is immaterial and that it's too much of a generalization. We are planting churches.

Bishop Chane answers a question about blessing of same sex unions - he is pleased in the way the House of Bishops has worked on challenging piece of legislation. Some agree and some who don't.

When asked about the comments of N.T. Wright published in in the London Times, that the actions taken with the passage of B025, "marks a clear break with the rest of the Anglican Communion." N.T. Wright says that "They were telling the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other “instruments of communion” that they were ignoring their plea for a moratorium on consecrating practising homosexuals as bishops. They were rejecting the two things the Archbishop of Canterbury has named as the pathway to the future — the Windsor Report (2004) and the proposed Covenant (whose aim is to provide a modus operandi for the Anglican Communion)."

Bishop Chane says that he hasn't read any newspapers, that the work at General Convention has been overwhelming. He said that N.T. Wright was in his Indaba group at Lambeth. He said we need to be clear about language - B033 is not a moratorium, that' been used inaccurately, but it's rather a time certain from last convention to this convention to really engage in what can be called pastoral behavior as we engage in conversation with our partners.

Bishop Coadjutor of Virginia's comment on the floor yesterday that the action of D025 was a break in the communion - Bishop Chane responded "That's his opinion."

In C056 Bishop Chane is asked about why now is the time to have same sex unions. He said that back at Minneapolis when consents were given in a significant number for Gene Robinson. During the time of debate in the House of Bishops, there was discussion about justice issue. It could be the appropriate time to explore this in a formal way. The majority of the House said it wasn't the time. "We clear knew that we had a lot of work ahead of us." Now we're in the third triennial and in terms of looking at this issue from a liturgical issue that is some interest in being transparent now. That doesn't mean the authorization of anything but being transparent. It's a matter of transparency that we need to begin the work through the theological committee and I think that's where we may be going, he says.

The church's internal needs, rather than gender/marriage equality? It's driven more by the need to look at our liturgical life and be honest with how we address ourselves both liturgically and honestly. Now is the time to begin those next steps, says Bishop Chane.

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