I've had a very quick look at the HoB's statement, and an even quicker look at some other early reactions. Taking Kendall Harmon's advice to heart, I'm going to sleep on this before I write too much. That said, a few thoughts. Sorry for the shorthand and jargon -- will have more to say tomorrow.
- This statement was less verbose than I expected.
- I'm grateful for their clarity on B033, even though I believe that we should not deny the possibility of the Holy Spirit calling a GLBT person as a bishop. For now, I think this is a sound answer to the primates' requests, and it should keep us in the conversation. We needed to do that, I think.
- I think their SSB response is more of the same fudge, but it's just a bit less fudgy this time. Our bishops have said, again, that they haven't authorized official rites (i.e. published liturgies), but they are more clearly acknowledging the pastoral response (i.e. SSBs in parishes) that is taking place. This satisfies the letter of the law in the primates' requests, but it won't satisfy hard-line primates who want a total cessation of SSBs.
- The bishops were clear in their wish for an immediate end to incursions from other provinces. I wonder if they'll consider discipline against their own number who have traveled to Africa to consecrate some of these bishops.
- Their mention of Bishop Gene Robinson's exclusion from Lambeth seemed about right -- duly noted, and not unduly demanding.
- Their support of the Presiding Bishop is clear, as well as their support for the latest DEPO (with a bit of ALPO thrown in?) scheme.
- This was all more clear than I would have expected. I wish the language included more scriptural references, but I think they were trying to economize words.
- I hope there's no minority report from the left. That would really undermine the potential goodwill that this statement will generate with moderate primates. On the other hand, the minority report from the right is now taking place in Pittsburgh. I expect mass defections very soon.
- Somehow the bishops have managed to answer the primates' requests without rolling back the place GLBTs in our church. If Integrity can be happy with this, and if it keeps us talking with the Communion, this is close to a miracle.