As reported by the Rev. Matt Kennedy at StandFirm, it looks like the party’s over. Here the so-called “bullet points” approved by the Episcopal bishops:
*We reconfirm that resolution B033 of General Convention 2006 (The Election Of Bishops) calls upon bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees “to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.”
They weren’t asked to “reconfirm,” a meaningless expression; they were called to clarify. They apparently decline to do that.
*We pledge as a body not to authorize public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.
Also known, as of today, as the “Bruno shuffle.”
*We commend our Presiding Bishop’s plan for episcopal visitors.
See StandFirm for more information on this.
*We deplore incursions into our jurisdictions by uninvited bishops and call for them to end.
This is clearly the thing that really exercises them.
*We support the Presiding Bishop in seeking communion-wide consultation in a manner that is in accord with our Constitution and Canons.
Talk, talk, and more talk.
*We call for increasing implementation of the listening process across the Communion and for a report on its progress to Lambeth 2008.
This refers to the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 on homosexuality. They support the second part of that resolution; the first part, disapproving of homosexual behavior, has been dropped down the memory hole.
*We support the Archbishop of Canterbury in his expressed desire to explore ways for the Bishop of New Hampshire to participate in the Lambeth Conference.
Which would guarantee that most of the Anglican Communion would not be there.
*We call for unequivocal and active commitment to the civil rights, safety, and dignity of gay and lesbian persons.
Which is completely uncontroversial and in need no of repetition.
More to come.
UPDATE: Here’s the “discussion” of the first point:
The House of Bishops concurs with Resolution ECO 11 of the Executive Council. This Resolution commends the Report of the Communion Sub-Group of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates of the Anglican Communion as an accurate evaluation of Resolution B033 of the 2006 General Convention, calling upon bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees “to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion. The House acknowledges that non-celibate gay and lesbian persons are included among those to whom B033 pertains.
I don’t know the resolutions referred to in this, but I’ll check them out if I can find them. That last sentence is the first recognition by the bishops as a whole of what everybody assumed was the case, that the BO33 resolution was particularly in reference to non-celibate homosexuals. But a number of bishops (it may be as high as 20, if I recall correctly) have publically repudiated that document, so I’m not sure how much weight can be given to the approval of this (Rev. Kennedy only heard one dissenting voice). And the rest of the bullet points seem to advance the debate not one whit.
UPDATE: Matt Kennedy has incorporated a footnote to the last sentence of the discussion paragraph in the previous update:
The Communion Sub-Group noted that “the resolution uses the language of ‘restraint’ and the group knows that there has been considerable discussion since General Convention about the exact force of that word. By requiring that the restraint must be expressed in a particular way – ‘by not consenting … ‘ however, the resolution is calling for a precise response, which complies with the force of the recommendation of the Windsor Report.” The group also noted “that while the Windsor Report restricted its recommendation to candidates for the episcopate who were living in a same gender union, the resolution at General Convention widened this stricture to apply to a range of lifestyles which present a wider challenge. The group welcomed this widening of the principle, which was also recommended by the Windsor Report, and commend it to the Communion.” [Hopefully I’ve corrected typos in this correctly.]