Thursday, June 17, 2010

An End to Debate?

On another blog I posted a comment about my hope for the Anglican Communion:
I understand that there are many in the Communion who are upset that TEC acted on its discernment about the election of two bishops and has made some allowance for dioceses to act on their discernment about same-sex relationships. I don’t expect - nor do I think most Episcopalians who share my convictions on this matter do either - that other Anglicans will accept TEC’s actions as consistent with Anglican teaching. I continue to accept that TEC may be removed from the Communion because of actions which I fully support. What I had hoped for - perhaps naively - was that we could continue to be in communion with one another in spite of this serious disagreement. We have managed that with disagreements about other unresolved issues - including the ordination of women - and I hoped that we could live with this disagreement as well. In that hope there was no insisting that others accept TEC’s actions as good, no demand that any member church recognize Gene Robinson or Mary Glasspool - or Katharine Jefferts Schori - as bishops. There was only the hope that we could continue to work together as Anglicans, sharing our common commitments in mission, and engaging in a continuing conversation about human sexuality.
This brought the following comment from a conservative cleric:
TEC has ceased the discussion and ended the debate by its actions.
The fact that the debate goes on on that blog and elsewhere calls this cleric's assertion into question, but the cleric is right that for some Anglicans the discussion is over. In fact, for some Anglicans any serious discussion of human sexuality never began. The Episcopal Church did not end the debate. Some Anglicans decided to respond to our actions by withdrawing from the discussion, but that was their decision and not ours. Our actions did not create the reactions of others, and adults don't blame others for their own decisions. In the words of President Andrew Shepherd, "We have serious problems to solve and we need serious people to solve them."

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