July 2, 2009
Some may recall my huffing about a ‘secret panel’ appointed by the House of Bishops to ‘study’ same sex relationships in some way. (June 2 entry). It seems an Episcopalian called Lisa Fox has unmasked this panel and her blog entry can be read here: http://my-manner-of-life.blogspot.com/2009/07/formerly-secret-panel.html It is worth following some of the links to learn more about a fairly distinguished and pertinent group. It seems that there are four people who might identify themselves as against moving forward and four who would be more inclined to be in favor. Their charge is still not crystal clear but it seems to be that they will produce at lest two papers, one from each point of view. They meet to challenge each others arguments and, presumably, try and get themselves to answer rather than dismiss the concerns of those who disagree with them.
It is not clear to me why Bishop Parsley chose to keep the names secret or what might have been served by such a decision. The most recent issue of The Living Church has an editorial urging convention not to move forward in the mater of same sex blessings and I fear the existence of this panel will be used to delay moving forward by bishops who are buying an ‘either/or’ approach to the wider communion. (Either we can be in communion with Anglicans throughout the world or we can move forward with same sex blessings.) There are plenty of alternatives to this route within our own tradition of common prayer.