Friday, January 16, 2009

B033 Followup

Another snippet of my participation in the ongoing HoB/D discussion on the repeal of B033. Among those who post there, the sentiment is overwhelmingly in favor of either replealing it or eclipsing it with another (contradictory) resolution or canonical action. I am dubious that these posters represent as statistical "mind of the house."

At any rate:

I find myself flummoxed by assertions that B033 was a "failure." That depends, I suppose, on what one considers its purpose to have been. As I understand it, the purpose was to get our bishops to Lambeth and to keep our Presiding Bishop at the Primates' Meeting. Well, our bishops (minus one) were at Lambeth, and, as far as I know, Katharine is planning on being in Egypt next month. Sounds pretty much like a success to me. That some (most who are vocal on this list, at any rate) consider B033 too high a price to pay for such success I totally get. But it is manifestly not a failure if it is evaluated in terms of what it was designed to accomplish.

I find myself equally flummoxed by assertions that "a lot has changed" or that "society has moved on" since 2006, thus consigning B033, or anything like it, to the ash heap of history. As another poster has observed, the success of Proposition 8 in California, along with other similar measures in other states, gives the lie to such an assertion. But even if the assertion were true, it would still be at best marginally relevant to B033, since B033's "audience" is not TEC, or American society, but the rest of the Anglican Communion in general, and the Four Instruments in particular. I suspect many in TEC have been lulled into the notion that the "Windsor Process" has ground to a halt because it hasn't been making news of late. This is a serious mistake, IMO. It's taking a long time to work itself out (thus having long alienated conservatives of a GAFCON disposition), but it is working itself out with a higher level of inexorability than many realize. Any movement to distance ourselves from B033 will only hasting and intensify the day of reckoning in which we will be forced to choose between the vision of (what the majority party calls) "full inclusion" and the vision of a worldwide Anglican Communion. 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Among those who post there, the sentiment is overwhelmingly in favor of either replealing it or eclipsing it with another (contradictory) resolution or canonical action. I am dubious that these posters represent as statistical 'mind of the house.'"
Being "dubious" is much less certain than your first post. "I’m going to weigh against anything that even smells like repealing B033." Am I beginning to hear a definite "maybe"? Dale Matson

Dan Martins said...

You're confusing two different things, Dale. I, of course, stand behind my oft-enunciated opposition to GC backing off from the commitment expressed in B033. And I am also doubtful, despite the apparent critical mass on HoB/D, that GC will indeed do that. Remember, anything has to pass both houses, and I think the bishops have a better read on the implications of such a move.

robroy said...

"Remember, anything has to pass both houses, and I think the bishops have a better read on the implications of such a move."

Is anyone actually thinking about implications or consequences? The implications of the heretofore actions are that the denomination is now the fastest declining and budget surpluses have become deficits. If people were thinking of implications, they would have modified their actions. Do the people in the cigar smoke filled back rooms care about membership in the Anglican Communion like you do? It is clear by the existence of B033, the bishops like sipping tea with the queen. However, I think that most of the current bishops got their invitations and are probably thinking they will be comfortably retired before Lambeth '18.

This being said, some depends on the final form of the covenant (which I am not at all hopeful about). If the form is such that the bishops feel they can sign on to and then disregard without fear of consequences, then for sure B033 is history. Rowan's subgroup report gave the TEO a Windsor pass and was able to manipulate the situation at the Fall HoB meeting after DeS to get an official Windsor "semi-pass". If Rowan is the ultimate arbiter of the Covenant, the bishops will feel confident that they can proceed with carte blanche and again B033 is history.

plsdeacon said...

Dan,
I don't think B033 will be formally overturned.

What I believe will happen is that some measure of "trial use" services for blessing same sex unions will be authorized or developed at the provincial level and that B033 will be overturned the first time a LGBT candidate is elected as bishop in a diocese. I believe that it will probably be a Bishop Suffragan, rather than an ordinary, but the bishop will receive the necessary consents by both the Bishops with Jurisdiction and by the Standing Committees.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

tjmcmahon said...

One can expect that B033 will stay on the books so everyone can say "we are Windsor compliant", but will go ahead and ignore it just as they have ignored Lambeth 1.10 for the last 11 years. No one repealed B020 of 1991, but TEC certainly never paid any attention to it. If the planned wording changes to Title III go through, B033 will be in violation of canon law. Actually, although I don't like it, I agree with the progressive posters on the listserve that B033 is in violation of Title III even as currently written. Any bishop who refuses consent to a candidate for bishop (or to an ordinand) because said candidate is in a non-marital sexual relationship (gay or hetero) is violating the clear wording of Title III, and subject to discipline. Of course, it would be hard to prove that was the reason for refusing consent, but given the way canons are interpreted nowadays, refusing consent could be construed as renunciation of orders.

At any rate, the most likely scenario is to leave B033 alone, but pass canon changes and new resolutions that make it even less effective than it is, if that is possible. Will they repeal it? No. Will they back off from it? Absolutely. Will they continue to state they are Windsor compliance? You bet. Will they be Windsor compliant? No way.