The Church Times has a solid account of the speech that the Bishop of Exeter gave to our House of Bishops earlier this month under the heading: ECUSA could wreck it all, envoy warns US bishops. Reading through the story, my mind stuck on one particular point which I had overlooked previously:
“Your process must command respect and a belief that your intention and desire is to do not just what is expedient but what is right.”
The bishop has this exactly backward. As he frames the issue, the only way forward is for the majority of our bishops and deputies to vote for legislation that they would never support if the future of the Communion were not at stake. He is imploring us to allow expediency to trump conscience while professing to do the opposite.
If saving the Anglican Communion requires the Episcopal Church to throw gays and lesbians under the bus, as we say in the somewhat hyperbolic world of sports radio, then let’s state that clearly and debate the matter in those terms. An unwillingness to do so indicates, at least to me, that we recognize that this is precisely what we are being asked to do, and that we find the prospect shameful, yet potentially necessary. Hence we take refuge in ambiguity, obfuscation, or, in the Bishop of Exeter’s case, inversion.
His speech and some early commentary is here.