Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Consequences of General Convention 2003

At its General Convention held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 30 to August 8, 2003, the Episcopal Church (USA) defied the consensus within the Anglican Communion, reached painfully but definitively at the Lambeth Conference of 1998, and embodied in Resolution 1.10 from that Conference, and ratified the election of an openly active homoosexual to the positio9n of Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. Doubtless the delegates who voted to confirm his election believed that they were in the vanguard of social justice, and were setting a worthy example for others in the Communion to emulate.

Time has thus far proved that belief sadly misguided. The consequences of that one decision, as further ratified and confirmed by the bishops of the Church who went ahead with his consecration ceremony in November 2003, defying a collective warning from the Primates of the Anglican Communion, continue to ripple through the Anglican world. The bishop himself has become nothing more than a poster boy for the gay rights movement, and is still not recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a fellow bishop in the Anglican Communion. On that score, and that score alone, the rash gesture by ECUSA failed to bring the rest of the Communion round to its point of view.

The gay rights movement continues to push forward within America in general, and within ECUSA in particular. In consequence of its decision in 2003, the Church has suffered declining membership, dissension and outright conflict within its ranks, as parishes by the hundreds, and now four entire dioceses, have voted their disapproval by leaving. The Church has added fuel to the flames by vigorously pursuing, under its no-compromise Presiding Bishop, a policy of suing those entities that depart for their bank accounts and property, in another misguided attempt to assert dominion over assets whose value to ECUSA consists for the most part the cash they could bring into its coffers to finance yet more litigation.

On this page are collected posts about many of the sad consequences resulting from that fateful step taken in August 2003. I wish, for the sake of the Church in which I grew up, that they did not have to be chronicled, but someone who is still an Episcopalian needs to keep track, so here they are.

The Consequences of General Convention 2003

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