The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has written a letter to her denomination in which she again demonstrates why she might be best addressed as “Your Dishonestness.” She addresses the flap over what’s probably the most controversial resolution, D025, and does so apparently expecting that those who read her letter won’t bother to compare her version with what was passed. She offers this paraphrase:
- reaffirms our commitment to and desire to pursue mission with the Anglican Communion;
- reiterates our commitment to Listening Process urged by Lambeth Conferences of 1978, 1988, and 1998;
- notes that our own participation in the listening process led General Convention in 2000 to “recognize that the baptized membership of The Episcopal Church includes same-sex couples living in lifelong committed relationships ‘characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God’”;
- recognizes that ministry, both lay and ordained is being exercised by such persons in response to God’s call;
- notes that the call to ordained ministry is God’s call, is a mystery, and that the Church participates in that mystery through the process of discernment;
- acknowledges that the members of The Episcopal Church, and of the Anglican Communion, are not of one mind, and that faithful Christians disagree about some of these matters.
Now, by and large, that’s accurate, except that she left out, either as a quote or a paraphrase, the most important passage: “That the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church.” The emphasized words, to anyone who can read English, say that the way is open for those previously mentioned (gays and lesbians in committed relationships, i.e., sexually active) to be called to the episcopacy in the future. Though phrased as a statement of fact, it is in reality a repudiation of a moratorium on the ordination of sexually active homosexuals to the episcopacy that the Episcopal Church had pledged to the rest of the Anglican Communion it would abide by–if it isn’t, it is utterly pointless, and has caused an uproar in the Anglican Communion for no reason whatsoever. Bishop Jefforts-Schori only acknowledges that such ordinations have been in the past (i.e., Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, to whom the phrase “is being exercised” in her fourth bullet point pertains), but doesn’t mention that such may be the case in the future, in contravention of previous commitments. You have to wonder: does she (and all of her colleagues who are peddling this same, dishonest line) really think that people don’t know how to read, or are unable to distinguish between the past and future subjunctive tenses? Does she really think her fellow Anglican primates are unable to do so?