Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ephraim Radner–The March Statement by the House of Bishops: Confusing the Flock

Many, including those opposing its content, have praised the recent House of Bishops Statement for its “clarity”. In what follows, I want to dispute that evaluation. The Statement is unclear in numerous important respects, except one, viz. its animus against the Anglican Communion’s Primates’ Meeting. The reasons for that animus, however, are hardly spelled out, are often contradictory, and are lodged within a tissue of assertions that are without stated rationale. This is not clarity at all. And in the context of the current agonized and conflicted debate within TEC and the Communion, the Statement amounts to an act of pastoral and theological irresponsibility of the highest order.

Many bishops who supported the Statement have since criticized conservative members of their church for drawing dire conclusions from their work, arguing that such conclusions are precipitous and uncharitable, even while they pat themselves on the back for finally “standing up” to the so-called Communion bullies. The celebration will be short-lived. The Statement itself, rushed out without open consultation on key elements which supposedly inform its perspective, in the face of pledges to hold off from just such rash and emotive response to the Primates, does nothing but encourage despair over our bishops’ capacity to exercise their ministries with a modicum of prudence, let alone the humility of Christian wisdom. The dire conclusions are more than justified, short of some unexpected reversal of attitude and performance by the House of Bishops in the near future.

the rest at titusonenine


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