Some hard news from the Primate’s meeting:
The 75th General Convention
It is clear to this group that in the period following the Dromantine meeting, the Episcopal Church took the Windsor Report and the recommendations adopted by the Primates extremely seriously, establishing a Special Commission to work on its response, dedicating a particular legislative Committee (Special Legislative Committee 26) at the 75th General Convention to carry forward business associated with the Windsor Report, and devoting a lot of time to considering this work.
The response of the 75th General Convention to the Windsor Report as a whole in its resolutions was positive – Resolution A159 affirmed the Windsor Report, and its vision of the interdependent life of the Communion including the appointment of a person to carry forward work on this proposal; the proposal for an Anglican Covenant was welcome(Resolution A166 ); resolutions reflecting what the Windsor Report had had to say about the pastoral care of dissenting groups, and provincial autonomy were passed (A163 ).
I’ve only had a chance to skim the report so far – but from my reading it looks pretty accurate. It explains what happened, why it happened and whether or not we have met the test. I have little to quibble with here.
The report concludes that we did as a Church respond to the request to prohibit public same-sex blessing ceremonies. We didn’t because we as a Church had not authorized them. But they are happening and we took no step to refute what was happening on a local level. The question will be whether this is an adequate response.
For what it’s worth – I’ve served in three dioceses since this has been an issue. In two (Pittsburgh and Arizona) the bishops have not allowed these blessing services to occur. In Bethlehem they were being discussed, but had not occurred during the time I served there. But, as the report points out, there are a number of Dioceses (Delaware for instance) where such blessings are happening and are being performed with explicit diocesan permission.