Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Note from the Archbishop of Canterbury on the lastest meeting

Some TEC bishops seem to be doing the, "what the primates communique really means is...." dance, and it seems ABC Rowan Williams want to clarify in a letter once more to all the primates what was agreed on in Tanzania, with some of his own explination. Part of is a reminder that they understand the TEC has a different polity, using the General Convention to make big descisions (remember the "how dare they tell ECUSA what to do" responses). but these things cannot wait 2 years, and Bishops certainly have the duty to guard The Faith (THE Faith, not something they want to make up as time goes along!!!). Also - alternate oversite is to be set up for traditionalists which should end interventions by outside juridictions.

Below is a portion, and remember that their findings are based on the reaffirmation of the decision of the Lambeth Conference 1998 that human sexuality is only properly expressed by a man and woman in holy matrimony, as well as the Windsor Report on communion.
The full text can be found at
.... and therefore we have asked the House of Bishops to clarify the response of The Episcopal Church in their two meetings in March and September this year. To address these requests to the American House of Bishops is not to ignore the polity of The Episcopal Church, but to acknowledge that the bishops have a key role, acknowledged in the Constitution of that church, in authorising liturgies within their dioceses and in giving consent to the election of candidates for episcopal order. A clear response on these questions is also needed in the near future: we cannot wait for another General Convention for further clarification. A readiness by the leadership of The Episcopal Church to live by that same formal standard of teaching on these matters which applies elsewhere in the Communion is perhaps the first and most important step in the way forward.

The second element to which we addressed ourselves in Dar es Salaam was the matter of those congregations and dioceses within The Episcopal Church who have sought alternative pastoral oversight because of their theological differences with their diocesan bishop or with the Presiding Bishop. I believe that it was our intention at Dar es Salaam to encourage The Episcopal Church to adopt a scheme of extended pastoral oversight which sufficiently addressed the concerns raised by some of our number at Dar es Salaam to ensure that there was a body of bishops in The Episcopal Church to whom the care of such congregations could be entrusted with confidence. The primates have therefore recommended that those bishops who can identify with “the Camp Allen principles” – essentially those bishops who have publicly committed themselves to affirm the Windsor Report and its recommendations – should work as a body with the Presiding Bishop to develop a scheme along the lines proposed by her for the establishment of a Primatial Vicar, which would meet the concerns expressed. Once a sufficiently strong scheme is in place within The Episcopal Church then this should be sufficient for all dissenting congregations and dioceses to find their home within it. In other words, interventions in the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church will be able to cease once there is sufficient provision within The Episcopal Church for the adequate pastoral care of such congregations.

To speak on our behalf in the development of such a scheme, and to monitor developments within The Episcopal Church, the primates have agreed to appoint a Pastoral Council, to which we have invited the Presiding Bishop to nominate two members. I believe it is important to move swiftly to the appointment of one of our number to act as the Chairman of this Council, as well as making the two nominations allotted to the primates, and to this end I would like to remind you that nominations are requested at the earliest opportunity. The kinds of qualities the Council will probably require include skills in canon law, administration and mediation, as well as pastoral insight and of course availability. At the very latest, I would ask you to send nominations to me by Friday, 16th March.