Monday, September 19, 2011

Live From Quito 4

Just a few highlights from today: one of our guest bishops from another church in the Anglican Communion told us that once when he was a new bishop he asked his wife, "Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine that I would be bishop of this diocese?" She replied, "Darling, in my wildest dreams, you do not appear."

An English bishop informed us of issues in the C of E including the upcoming Synod which will decide whether to admit women to the episcopacy. He indicated that many in England believe the discussion of the Anglican Covenant has been helpful but see no need to actually adopt the Covenant. He made no prediction of the outcome and did not say how he would vote. My prediction: we will endorse the core values in the first three sections of the covenant but not the sanctions in section four. I also predict not many other churches in the communion will sign on to the Covenant.

The bishops from Liturgy & Music reported on the same sex blessing liturgy drafting process. Enormous work has been done. Massive input has been received. More revising is probably ahead. My opinion: this rite will be approved in some form. There will be controversy about it. But whether it is a bloody controversy depends on which book we put it in. If we do this in a way that effectively compels all dioceses to use the rite, there will be real crises in several dioceses that oppose it. If we do it in a way that authorizes but does not compel its use, it will be used by most dioceses, and the ones who oppose it can dissent in good conscience without a major crisis. There will be upset but we will get through it. I also predict that whatever rite we authorize will be imperfect. Both the rite and the theological supporting document will be revised after a few years of experience.

We had reports and a panel discussion on the economic, environmental, and migration challenges facing our Episcopal Dioceses in Latin America. I was particularly struck to hear that restrictive immigration policies and deportations put people in a vulnerable situation. In that situation they become prey for sex traffickers. I had not made the connection between those two issues -- immigration and trafficking -- which are both major concerns in Nevada.


Ann said...

We do not compel anyone to do straight marriages - so why would we compel anyone to do gay/lesbian marriages?

Bishop Dan said...

Good point. I think that would cover the conscience of a priest. But some of the bishops feel they are in a tighter bind. Arguably priests administer sacraments as agents of bishops. So the bishop who opposes same sex blessings would not want the priests of his diocese performing them.
So they want assurance they will not have to permit the rite in their dioceses.