Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Convention Day Two: +Andrus One Step Closer to Consent

Pictured here are yours truly, sitting in between two of California's deputies, Nigel Renton (left) and the Rev. Cn. Michael Barlowe (right). I'm the relative novice next to these two Convention pros. Our deputation, along with other Californians, meets nightly in Bishop Swing's room to debrief and caucus.

Today, the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus received a recommendation for consent to his election as bishop of California from the Committee on the Consecration of Bishops. His consent is now pending in the House of Deputies. It will probably be acted on tomorrow, and then sent to the House of Bishops for concurrence.

Bishop Marc was eloquent in his remarks before the Committee and in answering questions. Folks from the Dioceses of California and Alabama, including both diocesan bishops (+Bill Swing and +Henry Parsley), spoke in favor of consent. The proceedings were disrupted by the irrepressible and irresponsible right-wing "journalist," David Virtue, who raised scurrilous accusations of impropriety on the part of Bishop Marc for having signed a confidentiality agreement when a rector left the parish +Marc served as an associate in Pennsylvania.

Invoking a point of personal privilege, Bishop Marc responsed to this attempt at character assassination with genuine grace and transparency, remarking that "Christians operating with a hermenuetic of generosity might consider that my signing the agreement was an act of compassion." I understand him to mean that the agreement was a means of protecting people who might otherwise be harmed. I was so proud that we elected him our next bishop.

Virtue's report on the consent hearing is one-sided, and inaccurate in its account of the order of the proceedings (+Marc led the folks at the hearing in singing at the end of his opening remarks, and not after the question period during which Virtue verbally attached him as Virtue implies). The man can't take a joke, and puts the most innocuous comments in the worst possible light. I would recommend banning him from Convention, were it not for the fact that he doesn't deserve the halo of martyrdom.

Oh well, at least I can't complain that Convention is boring!

Other good news included the passage of resolutions making a million dollar plus commitment to renewing the Church's commitment to foriegn missions and missionaries during the next triennium, an important sign of our desire to build personal as well as institutional relationships with our partner Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

The major public hearings on the Windsor Report's call for a moratorium on the consecration of gay bishops and on the blessing of same-sex unions will be tonight. Stay tuned!

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