House of Bishops posts
same-sex report(s)

Once again the Episcopal News Service is on top the story with a timely report:

The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops, concluding its six-day retreat meeting at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas, has posted a draft of the long-awaited 95-page report titled “Same-Sex Relationships in the Life of the Church” on the College of Bishops’ website [resources page]here.

[Thanks, College, for giving Episcopal Cafe a prominent place on your links page.]

The House of Bishops had asked its theology committee in 2009 — prior to the 76th meeting of General Convention — to study the theology of same-gender relationships. In its report to the convention the committee said that the study would be “designed to reflect a full spectrum of views and to be a contribution to the listening process of the Anglican Communion, as well as to the discussion of this subject in our province.” The committee said the study would be “a long-term, multi-step project that is designed to be completed in 2011.”

Controversy developed in early June 2009 when Parsley initially declined to release the names of the theologians appointed by the committee to conduct the study. The names have since been released and the authors listed on the report….

ENS notes that one blogging bishops pointed out that the HOB requested one study but got two papers with familiar opposing views. In the report these are given the labels, Liberal and Traditionalist.

From the preface of the report:

[A]fter much conversation, the eight theologians formed two affinity groups consisting of four theologians each and have prepared two main papers. One adheres to what it understands to be the church’s traditional ethical and sacramental teaching about marriage. The other revisits this teaching in order to call for the church’s recognition of faithful, monogamous same-gender relationships. Each affinity group has then prepared a formal response to the other’s work.

The Traditionalists:

John E. Goldingay, Fuller Theological Seminary

Grant R. LeMarquand, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry

George R. Sumner, Wycliffe College, Toronto, Canada

Daniel A. Westberg, Nashotah House

The Liberals:

Deirdre J. Good, General Theological Seminary

Cynthia B. Kittredge, Seminary of the Southwest

Eugene F. Rogers, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Willis J. Jenkins, Yale Divinity School

The Editor:

Ellen Charry, Princeton Theological Seminary

Let the reading begin.

Early returns:

Hmmm from Susan Russell

Read this from Kendall Harmon

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