bishop expresses regret for hurt but not decisions over same-sex blessings - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
October 19, 2004

Bishop expresses regret for hurt but not decisions over same-sex blessings -19/10/04

A bishop in British Columbia says he regrets contributing to an international rift in the Anglican communion, but won't apologise for the decision to permit same-sex blessings or immediately go along with a proposed moratorium. Bishop Michael Ingham said he will continue to allow same-sex blessings in the diocese of New Westminster until his synod meets next May and decides what course to follow. "I have not acted apart from the diocesan synod and I don't intend to begin now," he said. The report of the Lambeth Commission on Communion, called on bishops who have allowed same-sex blessings and those who took part in the consecration of gay Bishop Gene Robinson, to express regret for the hurt the actions have caused the global church. It asked that bishops cease actions that are causing further division in the church ó blessing gay unions and electing gay bishops. But the statements by the Bishop also seem to point to a problem with the interpretation of the wording of the section of the Windsor Report - section 134 - which deals with this issue. While Ingham made his regrets public in a letter published on the diocesan website, he upheld his own synod's decision to bless gay unions and said he did not apologise for the decisions that were made. "To the extent that people feel hurt or injured by our decisions, I apologize," Ingham told Anglican Journal. "But not for the decisions themselves."

The other Canadian bishop who helped consecrate Bishop Robinson last November (besides Bishop Ingham), Bruce Stavert of Quebec, told the Anglican Journal that he attended because of a long-standing companion relationship between his diocese and New Hampshire. He said he does not believe he has anything for which to apologise.

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Frank Griswold made similar comments, expressing "regret" for the pain that the actions of the Episcopal church had caused, but also stopped short of an apology for the decisions. Ingham said while the report raps dioceses that have proceeded on same-sex blessings, it also chastises bishops and primates who have interfered and undermined the bishop's authority in his own diocese. Some parishes in New Westminster have attempted to break away from the diocese and welcomed the oversight of a bishop who supported their opposition to same-sex blessings. "It (the report) is an attempt to be even-handed and balanced ó it's not punitive and calls on Anglicans to find the highest common values," Ingham said. The report stressed that all had failed to attach sufficient importance to the "bonds of affection" ó which were breached ó and the unity of the greater Anglican Communion: "All have acted in ways incompatible with the Communion principle of interdependence, and our fellowship has suffered immensely as a result of these developments." Andrew Hutchison, Canada's new primate, who was elected last spring, noted that the report's recommendations are not binding. "There's nothing authoritative about this. It binds no one, but makes important recommendations that the 38 provinces (of the worldwide Anglican Communion) have to consider."

Bishop expresses regret for hurt but not decisions over same-sex blessings -19/10/04

A bishop in British Columbia says he regrets contributing to an international rift in the Anglican communion, but won't apologise for the decision to permit same-sex blessings or immediately go along with a proposed moratorium. Bishop Michael Ingham said he will continue to allow same-sex blessings in the diocese of New Westminster until his synod meets next May and decides what course to follow. "I have not acted apart from the diocesan synod and I don't intend to begin now," he said. The report of the Lambeth Commission on Communion, called on bishops who have allowed same-sex blessings and those who took part in the consecration of gay Bishop Gene Robinson, to express regret for the hurt the actions have caused the global church. It asked that bishops cease actions that are causing further division in the church ó blessing gay unions and electing gay bishops. But the statements by the Bishop also seem to point to a problem with the interpretation of the wording of the section of the Windsor Report - section 134 - which deals with this issue. While Ingham made his regrets public in a letter published on the diocesan website, he upheld his own synod's decision to bless gay unions and said he did not apologise for the decisions that were made. "To the extent that people feel hurt or injured by our decisions, I apologize," Ingham told Anglican Journal. "But not for the decisions themselves."

The other Canadian bishop who helped consecrate Bishop Robinson last November (besides Bishop Ingham), Bruce Stavert of Quebec, told the Anglican Journal that he attended because of a long-standing companion relationship between his diocese and New Hampshire. He said he does not believe he has anything for which to apologise.

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Frank Griswold made similar comments, expressing "regret" for the pain that the actions of the Episcopal church had caused, but also stopped short of an apology for the decisions. Ingham said while the report raps dioceses that have proceeded on same-sex blessings, it also chastises bishops and primates who have interfered and undermined the bishop's authority in his own diocese. Some parishes in New Westminster have attempted to break away from the diocese and welcomed the oversight of a bishop who supported their opposition to same-sex blessings. "It (the report) is an attempt to be even-handed and balanced ó it's not punitive and calls on Anglicans to find the highest common values," Ingham said. The report stressed that all had failed to attach sufficient importance to the "bonds of affection" ó which were breached ó and the unity of the greater Anglican Communion: "All have acted in ways incompatible with the Communion principle of interdependence, and our fellowship has suffered immensely as a result of these developments." Andrew Hutchison, Canada's new primate, who was elected last spring, noted that the report's recommendations are not binding. "There's nothing authoritative about this. It binds no one, but makes important recommendations that the 38 provinces (of the worldwide Anglican Communion) have to consider."

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