Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Responding to B033

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of El Camino Real has published a revised charge to their bishop search committee, which deletes the previous admonition not to nominate any "homosexual persons" and replaces it with the following:

"The Search Committee shall be mindful of General Convention Resolution B033."

That is a definite improvement, but I prefer the response to B033 that will be brought to the Diocese of California's Diocesan Convention in October:

Dissent from B033

Resolved, the 157th Convention of the Diocese of California dissents from Resolution B033 of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church as inconsistent with Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church and our baptismal promise to respect the dignity of every human being; repents of the continuing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people that B033 represents; and strongly urges the Standing Committee and Bishop of the Diocese of California to refuse to discriminate unjustly against bishops-elect for any reason.


Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church states: "No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexualorientation, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons. No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby established."

Resolution B033, which our deputation and Bishop Andrus voted against, reads as follows:

“Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, that the 75th General Convention receive and embrace The Windsor Report's invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation; and be it further resolved, that this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.”

The intent of B033 is to subvert Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons by institutionalizing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in response to the Windsor Report. This exemplifies the ongoing spiritual violence against LGBT members of our church. Such an effort is incompatible with an Anglican approach to the interpretation of scripture and tradition, the exercise of human reason, and the lived experience of the gifts of lesbian and gay people in this diocese.

Respectfully submitted,

Oasis/California Advisory Board
The Rev. John L. Kirkley, President

1 comment:

Marshall Scott said...

My own opinion is that B033 wasn't intended to subvert Canon III.1.2, nearly so much as to temporize so as to make "someone else" responsible for coming divisions in the Episcopal Church. After all, it didn't change who has the functioning authority. That remains with the bishops and the Standing Committees of dioceses. So, anyone can be considered for election, and even elected. In the short term, I would not expect a GLBT person in a committed relationship to get the necessary 50+%, however qualified. That doesn't mean, though, that those persons can't or shouldn't be nominated.

Indeed, I could argue that they should. I don't want to play the game of "It's an honor simply to be nominated." However, nominating such persons gives more opportunities to see the faithful and valuable ministries of those siblings in our midst. If our standard is to know persons by their fruits, then seeing the fruits of the Spirit in their ministries encourages us who want progress and confronts those who opposed listening.