The “No” votes are already in.

Bishop John Howe had written his diocese following the meeting at Camp Allen. You can read his assessment here.

You can make of his remarks what you will. Their positive tone has caused some puzzlement among commenters on Titusonenine and StandFirm. I have written the following on Titusonenine (with one editorial correction) and repeat it here:

Bishop Howe writes

We were assured that no action would be taken at this meeting regarding the two major requests that were directed to us by the primates’ Communique (no more consents to the elections of partnered gay Bishops, and no more blessings of same-sex relationships).

There has been much discussion of both of these requests, and a number of individual Bishops have very clearly expressed their unwillingness to agree to either of them. But there has been no official action taken by the House as a whole regarding them. The tenor of the discussion makes it clear (to me) that whenever we do address them (presumably in our September meeting), there will be an overwhelming decision to say No.

On the one hand, Bp. Howe is to be commended for reading the handwriting on the wall. On the other, he makes two crucial mistakes.

First, there were not two requests, but three, the third being the Primatial Vicar scheme. This was voted down absolutely, and if the bishops had left it at that, the rest of Bishop Howe’s comments would almost make sense.

However, as to the other two, one need only read this from the statment issued by the House of Bishops:

We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children, including women, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church.

Can anyone doubt that 100% of those bishops who voted in favor of these sentences believe that the first sentence requires the “ordination” of women? And if so, then can anyone doubt the 100% of those bishops who voted in favor of these sentences believe that “gay and lesbian persons” should be ordained and their relationships blessed?

The other two request of the Primates, then, have been addressed, by a clear majority of the H o B, not individually, but collectively. Bishop Howe need not wait to September to get his “official” NO. It has already been given.

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