ENS reports on the work of Social and Urban Affairs Committee:
Efforts to deal with the Episcopal Church’s legacy of complicity in slavery have been difficult and slow, and the church needs more time to deal with the issue, say several resolutions pending in the Social and Urban Affairs Committee.
In recent hearings at General Convention in Anaheim, members of the committee have considered resolutions A142, A143 and C050, which would extend and expand the Episcopal Church’s exploration of its role in the institution of slavery and its modern-day repercussions.
General Convention 2006 passed several resolutions on the subject of the church’s complicity in slavery as well as other forms of exploitation and abuse of non-white peoples. The resolutions called on dioceses to explore the history of slavery and its aftermath and to find ways to seek reconciliation and healing.
“The reality is that the two resolutions [on slavery] that were passed in 2006 have elicited a paucity of response,” the Rev. Canon Ed Rodman, a retiring member of Executive Council, told ENS. “Only 12 or 13 dioceses began to do the work.”
Even though the progress towards repentance and reconciliation is slow, said Rodman, it’s essential that resolutions calling for this work be passed. “If you don’t have this mandate on the books,” he said, “there’s no chance that anyone will do anything about it out of the goodness of their own hearts.
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