15 August 2007

Conservatives continue to ignore Windsor

I do not hold the Windsor Report and its "Windsor Process" in the same low regard as do many progressives. I am also not willing to elevate it to near-biblical authority in the same way that many conservatives, who quote it chapter and verse. The Windsor Report has some good recommendations, that if followed would help us to heal division and ease pain in our church.

Conveniently, many conservatives continue to ignore the Windsor Report's call for a cessation for illicit boundary crossings. Here's the latest article to cross the wire about the more recent in a long series of incursions:
"We are not undermining anybody’s authority. We are saving a situation of people who so much need us," Nzimbi told Reuters in response to criticism that African bishops were violating church rules.

Ugandan Archbishop, Mr Henry Orombi, also supported the decision. "In Uganda, we have provided a home for refugees from Congo, Rwanda and Sudan," said Orombi, who is consecrating John Guernsey of Virginia on September 2. "Now, we are also providing a home for ecclesiastical refugees from America," he added.
Well, how is this not undermining authority? Saying something is so does not make it so. And in what possible way are the situations of dissident Episcopalians comparable with actual refugees in Congo, Rwanda, or Sudan? +Orombi's choice of this melodramatic language is unfortunate. It cheapens the reality of the human tragedy that is unfolding, and I'm surprised he would do that. He certainly knows better, so perhaps he was misquoted. While some liberal bishops have indeed behaved badly, there is no actual broadly-rooted persecution of conservatives here, and almost no one is being spiritually orphaned.

Ironically, progressive ECUSA is accused of imperiling church unity. Meanwhile, we now have at least five parallel jurisdictions at work in the US, not counting the out-of-Communion groups that are impossible to keep track of. If the conservatives are truly concerned about unity, maybe the better response would be to refrain from schism and ecclesiastical incursions.

Finally, it's worth nothing that since 2004, when the Windsor Report was published, there have been no more GLBT bishops consecrated, and same-sex blessings have never been authorized by ECUSA (and only one or two dioceses can be said to have authorized them). Meanwhile, there have been untold episcopal boundary crossings by the right (and none by the left, that I know of). Progressives, like all Christians, have plenty of repenting to do. But these days, I think it is the conservatives who need to do some Windsor Process soul searching.

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