I woke up this morning to hear the BBC say that the Episcopal Church had "suspended the consecration of gay bishops". My heart sank at the thought that perhaps the Bishops in New Orleans had suddenly been pressurised to take a much more conservative line than they have been previously. So I was relieved when, over breakfast, I read the Statement itself. It seems to me and to those I've spoken to in the UK that the Bishops have done a good thing. They have gone the extra mile to meet ++Rowan's desire to hold the Communion together and to keep talking. Clearly the moratorium continues and that's a big price to pay - clearly the ministry of LGBT clergy cannot yet be fully affirmed and that's a huge price too. And clearly SSB's are not yet to become routine parts of the ministry of local churches although I welcome the recognition that local pastoral needs must be recognised.
But under the Statement discussion and dialogue can continue. That's the important thing, conclaves and councils in Pittsburgh notwithstanding! It may be that there is a splintering, and a few churches in the US decide to go their own way under the Southern Cone or wherever else. If t'were done, tis well t'were done quickly. The result of that would be that those who remain are committed to working TOGETHER and trying to understand each other. I hope that the Lambeth Conference (including Gene) will be a place of growth; we at IC are looking forward to working with people from all over the world to try to make it so.
I'm reading "Exclusion and Embrace" at the moment by Miroslav Volf; it's a brilliant book. At its heart is the need for each to recognise the other, as the father recognised the prodigal son from far off. And if we can start to do that, then God willing we'll make progress towards acknowledging the full humanity before God of all Christians. And then we can get on with the mission of preaching the Gospel.