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Positions on the Election of V. Gene Robinson
Page updated 05/16/2010 04:27 PM EDT

The Rev. V. Gene Robinson

The Rev. V. Gene Robinson was elected bishop coadjutor of New Hampshire on June 7, 2003. He is the first openly gay man to be elected to the office of bishop in the Episcopal Church. (Photo courtesy Diocese of New Hampshire)

 TABULATION

Steps to Approval of N.H. Election

Committee on Consecration of Bishops recommends consent resolution  8/1/2003 and sends to HoD.

HoD passes consent resolution 8/3/2003. HoB to consider matter 8/4/2003 at 2 PM.
Read votes by deputation on Louie Crew’s site.

HoB vote delayed by allegations against Robinson 8/4/2003. Griswold announces investigation into allegations.
* E-mail message on harassment.
Statement about Web site.
Details of initial investigation.

Investigation completed 8/5/2003, exonerating Robinson.

Bishops approve Robinson 8/5/2003.
* Official vote tally.
* Graphical representation of vote in both houses. (Scroll down to see maps.)
* ENS reports some initial reactions.

On June 7, 2003, the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, gathered in convention in Concord, N.H.,  elected The Rev. V. Gene Robinson bishop coadjutor. As bishop coadjutor, he will succeed current diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Douglas E. Theuner, upon his retirement. What made the event remarkable was the fact that Robinson, now divorced, is living in a long-term homosexual relationship. As explained in the ENS story about the election, because the election occurred within 120 days of the triennial General Convention (July 30, 2003 – August 8, 2003), the House of Deputies  and House of Bishops each had to consent to the election. (Procedures are set forth in Canon 22 of  Title III. Only current diocesan bishops—bishops “exercising jurisdiction”—are allowed to vote on newly elected bishops.) It was widely assumed that the House of Deputies, which comprises lay and clergy members, would approve the election. The outcome in the House of Bishops was less clear. As explained in an ENS story, however, elected bishops have rarely been rejected by the wider church.

Like other American churches, the Episcopal Church has been beset by disputes over human sexuality, and, for many Episcopalians, the election of a non-celibate homosexual to the episcopate was, as Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh characterized it, a “grievous wound to the Episcopal Church.” Other bishops emphasized Robinson’s pastoral gifts and argued that voting to affirm his election would not make a doctrinal statement on homosexuality. (Some, of course, wanted to make a doctrinal statement.)

Also of Interest to Episcopalians

Lionel Deimel’s Farrago contains a section called Church Resources, much of which is aimed specifically at Episcopalians. Of particular interest are Web Resources for Episcopalians and the more concise Quick Links for Episcopalians. Episcopalians may also appreciate a recent poem (in the Poetry section of Lionel Deimel’s Farrago), “9/11 Memorial.”

As soon as the New Hampshire election was completed, bishops began commenting upon it. The first table below lists public (and, in some cases, not-so-public) statements made by bishops or standing committees prior to and just after Gene Robinson’s confirmation by General Convention. The second table focuses on reactions to the election by Episcopal organizations or by their leaders. (Note that Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold declined to take a position on the election before General Convention, although he addressed the issue in a letter to all bishops.) Many other pronouncements were made, of course, including notable ones by foreign church leaders, but I did not try to track these. Opinion within the Anglican Communion was and remains a major issue for the Episcopal Church.

Some Personal Thoughts

When I designed this page, I did not quite know what I was getting myself into. With General Convention over, there is a little time—though probably not much—to reflect on the experience.

It has certainly been both interesting and edifying to read what bishops have had to say about the New Hampshire election. I was impressed with the thoughtfulness with which most bishops seem to approach their vote on Canon Robinson, and I enjoyed my (mostly unanticipated) conversations and e-mail exchanges with bishops, communications directors, webmasters, editors, and reporters.

Were I to do this over again, I would probably add a mechanism to help people find what material is new or changed. (I have often updated the page three or more times a day.) No one complained about the lack of such a mechanism, but I wonder if it didn’t diminish the usefulness of the page somewhat. It is not too late to e-mail comments about what you liked or did not like, by the way; I will keep your suggestions in mind the next time I take on such a project.

My thanks to Louie Crew, who encouraged this project, and to Kendall Harmon, who usually knew about statements before I did. Many others help me track what often seemed a flood of commentary. I now have a new appreciation for the work of journalists, who have harder jobs than we usually imagine.

I hope that, in some small way, I have been useful to General Convention 2003, to Episcopalians concerned about their church, and to the wider Anglican and secular communities.

I do not expect to do many more updates of this page, even though the reaction to Gene Robinson’s approval is still unfolding. Some links may have to be updated, and I’ll do my best to keep up with them. Some statements may disappear from the Web altogether, and I have not yet decided if I should try to rescue such material.

In closing, I should add that I sincerely hope that I have not witnessed the event that will cause a major schism in the Episcopal Church, but that remains to be seen.

— LED, 8/13/2003

Some explanation of the tables is in order. The first table lists all dioceses and diocesan bishops, and the second table lists organizations that issued statements of which I became aware. Where a diocesan bishop issued a joint statement with other bishops, those joining in the statement are indicated. This may be a little confusing (or even confused), in cases were a bishop signed on to several statements. Any date shown is the date, as best I could determine, of the statement in question. If such a statement or news story about it is available on the Web, a link is provided to it in the Date field. The Pro and Con fields are intended to indicate that the bishop or organization in question clearly took a position on consenting to the election. In the case of bishops, this means that the bishop actually announced an intention to vote one way or the other. I have been cautious in my interpretation here, showing no position in cases where a position might reasonably, though not irrefutably, be inferred. I have not attempted to quantify degrees of support or opposition. The Comments/Excerpts field provides additional explanations or quotations that, I hope, capture significant aspects of public statements. I make no warranty as to the correctness of this information, but, as mentioned earlier, I would appreciate corrections of errors, including omissions. Some bishops signed on to multiple statements, and links to statements other than the first one made are found in the Comments/Excerpts field.

Poem for Whatever Comes Next

I suggested that my poem “Christian Unity” was especially appropriate for General Convention. After an eventful meeting in Minneapolis, the poem seems even more relevant.

— LED, 8/13/2003

Chalice and wafer

Bishops who made statements in advance of General Convention did not change their minds when it came time to vote. We can only speculate about what bishops were thinking who did not announce their intentions in advance. One should not, I think, make any assumptions about a bishop’s ultimate opinion without explicit evidence of it, as issues other than the fitness of Gene Robinson may have influenced votes.

In the first table, “x” generally means that the sitting diocesan bishop indicated an intention to vote one way or another. In some case, I avoided marking a column, even if a statement was made if that statement seemed ambiguous. No mark is shown for bishops (such as retired bishops) who do not vote. Final votes are marked with "“Y” for a consent vote and “N” for a no consent vote. Abstentions are marked with “A.”

Background on Canon Robinson and his election can be found on the Diocese of New Hampshire Web site. He offered his own take on his election in The Dallas Morning News. A CNN interview is also available on the Web. An AP story provides additional biographical details. A 2000 interview with Anglican Voice offers an ironic historical perspective. A two-part profile in the Concord Monitor offers a useful view of Robinson’s personal life, though it touches only briefly on his professional life. An extended audio interview with Canon Robinson by Terry Gross from July 24, 2003, can be heard at NPR’s Fresh Air site. (Terry Gross again interviewed Robinson a year after his consecration, on December 9, 2004.)

As General Convention approached, activity with regard to the vote in the House of Bishops intensified.  The statement by 24 bishops seemingly threatening schism was followed by a two-day meeting in Fairfax, Va., that produced a similar statement promising church “realignment” (a term also used in a declaration by Forward in Faith North America). The Virginia meeting is also described in an Episcopal News Service story. Meanwhile, the Presiding Bishop wrote a letter to all primates that seemed to be designed to cool emotions. In a July 29, 2003, story, The Daily Telegraph reported that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams wrote a private letter to primates intended, among other things, to discourage confirmation of Robinson’s election, though without mentioning Canon Robinson by name. (Viewing this latter story requires site registration, which is free. The substance of the story can also be found on RainbowNeworkwork.com.) Once Robinson's election was ratified by the House of Deputies, the American Anglican Council renewed a plea to bishops to reject it.

It should surprise no one that many bishops have issued statements subsequent to Robinson’s election. Parishioners will, I suspect, want their bishops to justify their votes. In general, these statements are not tallied here. Jason Green, however, is making a list of such statements. (The list includes statements made before General Convention.)

Quite worrisome now is the question of what the most vocal bishops (and like-thinking clergy and parishioners) in opposition to the Gene Robinson’s election will do. Led by Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh and the American Anglican Council, a meeting is planned for October 7-9 in Plano, Texas. (The meeting is mentioned in advice from the AAC to the conservative faithful. The AAC is also promoting a statement for parishes repudiating the 74th General Convention.) Dissident bishops expect to discuss strategy for dealing with the “crisis” in the Episcopal Church just prior to the extraordinary meeting that has been called for October 15-16 in London by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Williams, in his letter announcing the meeting, does not really suggest what he expects from it, although the AAC seems to view the meeting as a vindication of its stand. The Archbishop of Canterbury, of course, may be primarily interested in cooling overheated rhetoric.

— LED, 8/23/2003

On the day of the vote in the House of Bishops, 107 bishops were eligible to vote on Canon Robinson’s election. Mechanics of the House of Bishops vote are described in a letter from the Secretary of the House of Bishops. On 7/31/2003, bishops approved the voting procedures. The final vote was 62 for consent, 43 opposed, with 2 abstentions.

Episcopal Statements and Votes

Diocese Bishop Date Pro Con Comments/Excerpts
Alabama Parsley (date uncertain)   x
N
Bp. Parsley has written a letter for the July-August (?) diocesan newsletter, The Apostle. As chair of the House of Bishops Theology Committee that cautioned a go-slow approach to the homosexual issue in its recent report (“we believe it is imperative that the Episcopal Church refrain from any attempt to ‘settle’ the matter legislatively”), Bp. Parsley calls it “untenable” to effectively approve a “manner of life” by a vote for Robinson.

In an article in the August 3 issue of The Living Church, Bp. Parsley reiterates points made in The Apostle and proposes seeking consensus in the broader Anglican Communion by referring issues of human sexuality to the next Lambeth Conference.

 

Alaska MacDonald   Y    
Albany Herzog (diocesan); Bena (assisting), 7/23/2003 statement and 8/5/2003 protest 6/13/2003 (date shown on AAC site is date of post to that site   x
N
In a reply to the Presiding Bishop’s letter, Bp. Herzog disputes the suggestion that consenting to Robinson’s election is not taking a church position on homosexuality. “It would be disingenuous to suggest that we can vote for/against this consent and not be simultaneously voting on the issue.” 

Bp. Herzog joined Bp. Robert Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Herzog and Bp. Bena also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

Bp. Herzog and Bp. Bena protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Arizona Shahan   Y    
Arkansas Maze 6/20/2003 x
Y
  Bp. Maze has written an essay on how his life experience has brought him to support this election and the blessing of homosexual relationships. The essay should be thought-provoking to all sides of these issues.
Atlanta Alexander 6/13/2003 Y   Without taking a position on the election, Bp. Alexander is quoted as saying, “He has served the church there with great distinction and creativity … and has played a significant role in keeping the church focused on our primary mission—bringing people into a faith relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Bp. Alexander has offered some “Thoughts on General Convention” in the July-August issue of the diocesan newsletter Dialog (available here). He declares that he is going to General Convention as an undecided, and he provides a good discussion of issues involved in confirming Robinson and proceeding along the path of approve for same-sex blessings.

Bethlehem Marshall   Y    
California Swing   Y    
Central Florida J. Howe (diocesan); Pina-Lopez (assisting), 7/18/2003 press release only 7/18/2003   x
N
Bp. Howe joined Bp. Duncan in this press release.

Bp. Howe also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

Bp. Howe protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Central Gulf Coast P. Duncan (date uncertain)   N Bp. Duncan offers his thoughts on General Convention in the diocesan newsletter, The Coastline: “I believe that this is a no-win situation for all sides and I am personally saddened that we find ourselves at this juncture and in this place. ... I believe we as a church will emerge stronger because of the struggle and our faith and trust in God who leads us, even if the Convention does not ‘do it my way.’”
Central New York G Adams   Y    
Central Pennsylvania Creighton   Y    
Chicago Persell (diocesan), Scantlebury (assisting), Standing Committee 6/11/2003 x
Y
  “... it would be a shame to deny the right of the clergy and people of New Hampshire to have Gene Robinson, their overwhelming choice, to serve as their bishop.”
Colombia Duque-Gomez     N  
Colorado Winterrowd   Y    
Connecticut A. Smith   Y    
Dallas Stanton 6/14/2003   x
N
“The confirmation of Canon Robinson would in effect change church teaching.”

Bp. Stanton joined Bp. Robert Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Stanton also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

Bp. Stanton protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Delaware Wright   Y    
Domican Republic Holguin     N  
East Carolina Daniel 6/12/2003 Y   Bp. Daniel has been noncomittal in the press. According to a report on the diocese’s Web site of an Executive Council meeting, Daniel, when asked how he would vote, likewise declined to say, though he described Robinson as “a fine priest and very well thought of,” and he defended Robinson against charges that he abandoned his family. [Quotations here are from the report and may or may not capture the bishop’s exact words.] He went on to say that Robinson “was overwhelmingly elected by the people of New Hampshire,” but that “bishops serve not only their diocese but also the larger church and that had to be taken into consideration.”

Also on the diocesan Web site is a resolution “unanimously adopted by the House of Bishops of our Province [IV, comprising the southeast U.S.]” to be presented to General Convention. The resolution acknowledges the diversity of opinion regarding homosexuality and urges a “non-legislative” approach to dealing with it until a consensus develops. The resolution was passed the day before Robinson’s election (on 6/6/2003).

East Tennessee vonRosenberg     N  
Eastern Michigan Leidel   Y    
Eastern Oregon Gregg   Y    
Easton Shand   Y    
Eau Claire Whitmore (diocesan); Wantland (retired diocesan)     N Bp. Whitmore is not known to have made any statement.

Bp Wantland joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Wantland protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Ecuador Central Larrea   A A  
Ecuador Litoral Morante     N  
El Camino Real Shimpfky 6/13/2003 x
Y
  In a letter to clergy, Bp. Shimpfky expresses his joy at Robinson’s election and states his belief that it will be confirmed by General Convention. “To say that all homosexual relationships are bad is like saying all heterosexual relationships are good.”
Europe Whalon (Bishop in Charge—does not vote); Presiding Bishop Griswold exercises jurisdiction and can vote) 6/29/2003 Y   Many bishops are troubled by the uncertainty of what individual dioceses can or cannot do on their own. Bp. Whalon has given a clear presentation of the issues involved and hints at possible resolutions. He does not directly deal with what should be done about Robinson’s election. 
Florida Jecko 6/12/2003   x
N
Citing Lambeth resolution I.10, Bp. Jecko rejects “non-scriptural, pseudo-theological approval of homosexual behavior” and hopes for the Archbishop of Canterbury to become involved.

Bp. Jecko joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Jecko also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

Bp. Jecko protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Fond du Lac Jacobus     N  
Fort Worth Iker (diocesan); Pope (retired diocesan), press release of 7/18/20003 only 6/10/2003   x
N
“If he is ... consecrated, he will not be permitted to exercise any ministry in this Diocese.” On 6/16/2003, the Standing Committee endorsed Bp. Iker’s statement. “We do not commend to our General Convention Deputation the confirmation of V. Gene Robinson.”

Bp. Iker joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Iker also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

In an 8/1/2003 News Hour story on PBS, Bp. Iker denied that inclusion of homosexuals and inclusion of women are comparable issues, and he attacked Robinson's personal history: “But to divorce his wife and leave his children and take up with another man and then purport to be a leader of the Christian church is very upsetting.”

Bp. Iker protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Georgia Louttit     N  
Haiti Duracin     N  
Hawaii Chang   Y    
Honduras Allen     N  
Idaho Bainbridge   Y    
Indianapolis Waynick 6/9/2003 Y   Without explicitly declaring a position, Bp. Waynick calls us to be loving toward one another, even when we disagree. While declaring her faithfulness to scripture, she says, “What I do not believe scripture addresses at all is the experience of many of our members, who have committed themselves to monogamous, life-long partnerships which are neither promiscuous nor exploitative, but have, rather, proven to be enduring and life-giving to them and those around them.”
Iowa Scarfe   Y    
Kansas Smalley   Y    
Kentucky Gulick   Y    
Lexington Sauls   Y    
Long Island Walker   Y    
Los Angeles Bruno   Y    
Louisiana Jenkins     N  
Maine Knudsen 6/7/2003 Y   “Reconciliation happens when Gene is present; the movement of grace is apparent in every dimension of his ministry.” Bp. Knudsen’s statement is as president of Province One; it is not clear if she speaks for all the bishops of the province.
Maryland Ihloff   Y    
Massachusetts Shaw 6/19/2003 x
Y
  Bay Windows, “New England’s Largest Gay & Lesbian Newspaper,” reports Bp. Shaw as saying: “We see this as a wonderful time of growth for the Episcopal Church and very much in line with the kind of inclusion that’s been part of the tradition of the Diocese of Massachusetts in electing the first African-American diocesan bishop and the first woman bishop in the world.”

Bp. Shaw was interviewed by WBUR on 8/4/2003, the morning before the vote in the House of Bishops. When asked about the significance of a favorable vote, Bp. Shaw said, “[I]t’s a step forward in the full inclusion of all people in the life of the church.

Michigan Gibbs   Y    
Micronesia Packard (Bishop in Charge—does not vote)        
Milwaukee (vacant)        
Minnesota Jelinek 7/23/2003 x
Y
  In a letter to deputies, clergy, and people of the Diocese of Minnesota, Bp. Jelinek explains his notion of preserving the faith: “When we promise ‘to continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,’ we do not promise to hold onto a certain collection of truths, we promise to be true to the living Christ and to the Spirit they knew as dynamic energy, forever calling them beyond the confines of culture and custom into the whirlwind of God’s continual creating.” Bp. Jelinek goes on to say that he believes Robinson’s election “is,” not merely “might be” of the Holy Spirit.
Mississippi Gray     N  
Missouri G. Smith   Y    
Montana (vacant)        
Navajoland Area Mission Plummer   Y    
Nebraska Krotz     N  
Nevada Jefferts Schori (undated) Y   Bp. Jefferts Schori addresses both the question of authorizing same-sex rites and of confirming Robinson’s election in her June/July letter on the Nevada diocese Web site. She does not reveal how she intends to vote, but she says, in part, “The Holy Spirit continues to shake us up, whether we are ready or not. When we are confronted with an issue of inclusion, it seems to be an invitation to remember that the Body of Christ does not look just like any one of us, and that this Body is far more complex than we can imagine.”
New Hampshire Theuner (date uncertain) x
Y
  Bp. Theuner, under whom Robinson has worked for many years, has been quoted as having said many positive things about Robinson. He seems not to have made an explicit on-the-record statement that he will vote for the person selected to replace him, but the Concord Monitor reports that “he has indicated he supports Robinson.” 

Bp. Theuner spoke on Robinson's behalf in the 8/1/2003 meeting of the Committee on the Consecration of Bishops.

New Jersey (vacant)        
New York Sisk 7/21/2003 (date uncertain) x
Y
  In response to a letter from a congregation, Bp. Sisk wrote back expressing his support for Robinson. “While I have no doubt as to the propriety of the larger Church’s responsibility to confirm the election of bishops—the selection of a bishop is not a private matter—the thoroughness and transparency of their [people of the Diocese of New Hampshire] process make it abundantly clear, however, that the people have worked hard to select a man, not an issue, and I believe that the election should be confirmed.”
Newark Croneberger (date uncertain) x
Y
  The Standing Committee endorsed Robinson on or before 6/19/2003.

North Jersey Media group reports in a 7/27/2003 story that Bp. Croneberger “enthusiastically supports Robinson and thinks there are more than enough votes to confirm him.”

North Carolina Curry 6/9/2003 x
Y
  “It is important to remember that we are now talking about a specific person rather than a generic issue.”
North Dakota Fairfield 7/18/2003   x
N
Bp. Fairfield joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Fairfield protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Northern California Lamb 6/11/2003 (date from private comm.; date shown on AAC site is date of post to that Y   “I really don't know where I stand on this issue at this time. Part of me responds that it is New Hampshire's choice, let New Hampshire deal with it. On the other hand, a Bishop is not elected for a Diocese but for the Church at large and we have significant relationships, both within the Anglican Communion and the Ecumenical and interfaith world.” [I had put Bp. Lamb in the Con column, in part because his statement appeared on the AAC Web site. This was my mistake; even the page on the AAC site described the bishop as “unsure.” Consider this a retraction.]
Northern Indiana Little 6/18/2003 (date from private comm.)   x
N
In a “pastoral word,” Bp. Little affirms his belief that the church should welcome everyone, but he says that he can teach nothing but “revealed truth.” “Such an ordination [of a gay bishop] would declare as normative behavior that the Christian church has not affirmed.”

Bp. Little protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Northern Michigan Kelsey (date uncertain) x
Y
  Bp. Kelsey declares his intention to vote in favor in the lead story of the July/August issue of the diocesan newsletter, The Church in Hiawathaland: “I rejoiced when he [Robinson] was elected, and I am eager to add my vote to those who will be consenting to his election in Minneapolis.”
Northwest Texas Ohl     N  
Northwestern Pennsylvania Rowley     N  
Ohio Grew   Y    
Oklahoma Moody 6/11/2003 x
Y
  “... Christ keeps breaking down barriers that religious people once thought were sacred.”
Olympia Warner   Y    
Oregon Ladehoff   Y    
Pennsylvania Bennison 6/7/2003 x
Y
  Bp. Bennison is quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer: “This is a breakthrough for which we’ve been waiting.” (The date is presumed; the story is dated 6/8/2003.)
Pittsburgh R. Duncan (diocesan); Scriven (assisting), press release of 7/18/2003, statement of 7/23/2003, and protest of 8/5/2003; Hathaway (retired diocesan), press release of 7/18/2003 only 6/7/2003   x
N
Bp. Duncan says that he expects the election to be confirmed. “My prayer is—and my efforts will be—that the election not be confirmed.”

On 7/8/2003, Bp. Duncan issued a statement with Bp. Salmon of South Carolina relating the Robinson situation to that of Jeffrey John: “If the General Convention votes to approve Bishop-elect Robinson the Convention will vote to do something the Episcopal Church has never agreed to do. ... Finally, approval of this election will be a vote to rupture the Anglican Communion.”

Bp. Duncan and 23 other bishops (14 additional diocesans, 7 retired diocesans, 2 assistants, and 1 suffragan) issued a press release 7/18/2003 describing (and containing) a letter of 7/15/2003 addressed to “concerned bishops of the Global South” that hints how such a rupture might begin. After lamenting the likelihood of assent to the election of Robinson and the approval of “any same-sex marriage provisions,” the bishops accuse the Presiding Bishop of encouraging “these church-rending innovations.” “We desire to act in concert with you, and are ready to take counsel from you. ... We now join in your declaration of impaired communion with the Bishop and Diocese of New Westminster.” [There is some confusion about who signed the original letter, because it says that it is from “Bishops of the Church catholic with jurisdiction (or office),” which does not describe all the reputed signers. Moreover, a post by Bp. Duncan to a Diocese of Pittsburgh e-mail list on  7/17/2003 carried the names of only 23 signatories.]

At the end of a two-day “gathering of worldwide Anglican mainstream leaders” in Fairfax, Va., the more than 60 participants issued a statement 7/23/2003 promising both domestic and international action that “will precipitate a dramatic realignment of the Church” should Robinson’s election be affirmed or same-sex blessings be authorized. Bp. Duncan was one of ten current ECUSA diocesan bishops signing the statement. He was joined by AAC president Canon David Anderson, primates who have been involved in the Anglican Mission in America, and others, including Bp. Scriven.

Bp. Duncan spoke against consent to Robinson's election 8/1/2003 before the Committee on the Consecration of Bishops, arguing that one error in a church council (in this case, General Convention) invalidates all actions by that council, inviting “intervention” by the Anglican Communion. The American Anglican Council site “A Place to Stand” purportedly contains Bp. Duncan’s testimony, although the text are not consistent with the quotations from the ENS story.

Bp. Duncan, with the support of 18 other bishops (including Bp. Scriven), delivered a statement 8/5/2003 immediately after the vote by the House of Bishops: “As faithful Episcopalians and members of this house, we are calling upon the Primates of the Anglican Communion, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in accordance with Lambeth Resolution III.6(b), to intervene in the pastoral emergency that has overtaken us.” The list of participating bishops was published on p. 3 of Convention Daily for 8/6/2003. The bishops are also noted in this table.

Bp. Duncan issued a more personal statement on 8/5/2003: “May our merciful Lord Jesus have pity on us, His broken bride.”

Puerto Rico Álvarez   Y   The diocese of Puerto was added to ECUSA at General Convention 2003, thus allowing Bp. Álvarez to vote.
Quincy Ackerman (diocesan); Parsons (retired diocesan), press release of 7/18/2003 only 6/12/2003 (date uncertain)   x
N
In a letter to clergy, Bp. Ackermann’s position is strongly implied: “I know Canon Robinson to be a talented, winsome, and energetic priest. These wonderful attributes, however, are not qualifications alone for inclusion as a Successor to the Apostles. ... Even an approval by General Convention cannot legitimize the circumstances related to this election, nor alter the divinely inspired Word of God.

Bp. Ackerman declared his opinion unambiguously by joining Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Ackerman also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

In a Peoria Journal Star story of 8/4/2003, Bp. Ackerman expressed disappointment in the House of Deputies vote and said that he believes that “the middle,” rather than liberals or conservatives will determine the final outcome in the House of Bishops.

Bp. Ackerman protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Rhode Island Wolf (date uncertain, see p. 5) Y   Bp. Wolf, in the Summer 2003 issue of diocesan newsletter Risen, declares that she “need[s] time for prayer and reflection.” In a 7/31/2003 NPR interview, she is quoted as saying that “God is doing a new thing in the church” with gay relationships. “And I suspect that if unity is our goal, we¹re going to find ways to live together in spite of these profound differences.”
Rio Grande Kelshaw 7/18/2003   x
N
Bp. Kelshaw joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Kelshaw protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Rochester McKelvey 6/11/2003 x
Y
  Bp. McKelvey, who narrowly defeated Robinson in the vote for Bishop of Rochester, is quoted by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle as saying that he expects Robinson to be elected. “He was chosen because he will be the best person to lead the diocese as a bishop, not because he is gay.”
San Diego Hughes 6/16/2003   x
N
In a letter to local clergy, Bp. Hughes says, “I am deeply disappointed at this turn of events, and I cannot give my consent to this election.” He cites the lack of theological consensus about homosexuality as described in the House of Bishops Theology Committee report, “The Gift of Sexuality: A Theological Perspective,” a complete copy of which was sent along with the letter.

Bp. Hughes joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

The Standing Committee of the diocese passed a resolution on 7/15/2003 opposing both confirmation of Robinson and moving forward on blessing of same-sex unions.

Bp. Hughes protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

San Joaquin Schofield 6/12/2003   x
N
Cites American Anglican Council statement.

Bp. Schofield joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Schofield protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

South Carolina Salmon (diocesan), Skilton (suffragan); Allison (retired diocesan) press release of 7/18/2003 only 6/9/2003   x
N
“If Gene Robinson’s election is confirmed by General Convention, it would bring through the back door a practice that the Episcopal Church has never agreed to approve through the front door.”

Bp. Salmon and Bp. Skilton joined Bp Robert Duncan in his statement of 7/8/2003.

The three bishops joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Salmon and Bp. Skilton also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

After the vote in the House of Deputies on 8/3/03, Bp. Salmon is quoted by a Los Angeles Times reporter as saying, “We are not going to accept this.”

Bp. Skilton protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

South Dakota Robertson   Y    
Southeast Florida Frade 6/18/2003 Y   Bp. Frade calls for prayerful consideration at General Convention. “We do not need to fear controversy or opposing views; our Anglican heritage has been strengthened by diversity and dissent.”
Southern Ohio Thompson 6/13/2003   N Acknowledging that whatever General Convention decides will be painful for many, Bp. Thompson calls for unity. “We are a Church that values unity over uniformity.”
Southern Virginia Bane     N

 

 
Southwest Florida Lipscomb 6/21/2003   x
N
Quoting a General Convention resolution of 1979 and the now well-know Lambeth resolution of 1998, Bp. Lipscomb explains that he cannot consent to Robinson’s election. “Such relationships [as Robinson’s] fall outside the boundary of the current and historic teachings of this Church and the majority of Christian Churches regarding the sanctity of marriage and our understanding of the place of sexual expression in human life.” The Standing Committee issued a similar statement.

Bp. Lipscomb protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Southwestern Virginia Powell 6/25/2003 x
Y
  Bp. Powell acknowledges that people will be upset irrespective of the outcome of the vote, and he applauds the ability of Episcopalians to discuss such matters. The Standing Committee distributed a message on 6/12/2003 saying that it voted “to affirm the election of ... Robinson ... and wanted to commend this vote to the deputies of our diocesan delegation.”
Spokane Waggoner   Y    
Springfield Beckwith 7/18/2003   x
N
Bp Beckwith joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Beckwith also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

Bp. Beckwith protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

Taiwan Lai     N  
Tennessee Herlong 6/25/2003 (date uncertain); newsletter version   x
N
Bp. Herlong issued a statement in which he suggests procedural grounds for not voting to affirm the New Hampshire election. He then goes on to say, in part, “The approval and blessing of sexual intimacy, heterosexual or homosexual, outside of traditional marriage of one man and one woman is not a question of justice or civil rights, it is a question of morality.” The statement was edited slightly and published in the July-August 2003 issue of the diocesan newsletter, Cross & Crozier.

Bp. Herlong joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Herlong also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

Texas Wimberly (diocesan), Payne (retiring bishop), statement of 6/11/2003); Benitez (retired diocesan), press release of 7/18/2003 and statement of 7/23/2003; Charlton (assisting), statement of 7/23/2003 only 6/11/2003   x
N
A statement was sent by the bishops to all clergy and congregations in the diocese that said, in part, “we have consistently opposed the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals, and we oppose the confirmation of the New Hampshire election.”

Bp. Benitez joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Benitez and Bp. Charlton also signed the Fairfax statement of 7/23/2003.

Upper South Carolina Henderson 6/9/2003   N Bp. Henderson speaks of the difficulty in making a decision about the Robinson election and says that he will decide on his position at General Convention. “Committing the Church to a decision now affirms a decision which has not yet been reached.”
Utah Irish 6/11/2003 (date from private comm.) x
Y
  “Speaking for myself, I see no obstacle whatever in his [Robinson’s] sexual orientation or in his dedicated relationship to serving faithfully as a bishop of the church, just as I would not with reference to women, people of color, or varying backgrounds—in education for example.”
Vermont Ely 6/16/2003 x
Y
  Bp. Ely is reported by the Concord Monitor as supporting the New Hampshire election. “In some ways, Gene is a reluctant symbol of the church’s need to reach out to those who have often experienced themselves on the margins of the church.”
Virgin Islands Daniels     N  
Virginia Lee 6/2003 (date uncertain) Y   Bp. Lee cites a 1994 Virginia declaration in support of the traditional view of sex and marriage and their relation to ordination. He concludes: “It’s tempting but finally faithless to dismiss those with whom we disagree as prejudiced fundamentalists on the one hand or heretical revisionists on the other. Somewhere in the midst of our differences, Christ is calling us to unity, love and witness in our discipleship. That center, where Christ dwells, is where we are called.”
Washington Chane 6/9/2003 x
Y
  “Not to affirm the New Hampshire election would be, I believe, a challenge to the revelation of the Holy Spirit ... .” Bp. Chane is on record as expecting that Robinson’s election will be affirmed and the church will go ahead with liturgies for the blessing of same-sex relationships.
West Missouri B. Howe   Y    
West Tennessee D. Johnson (diocesan), statement of 7/9/2003 and protest of 8/5/2003; Dickson (retired diocesan), press release of 7/18/2003 7/9/2003   N Bp. Johnson emphasizes that issues of human sexuality are not the most important ones before General Convention. He mentions Robinson without taking a position on his election.  He is more forthcoming on related issues: “Others are just as convinced that the time is not right to make this decision [to change the church’s position on homosexuality].  I tend to be of this persuasion. ... I will not be voting in support of making these changes at this Convention.”

Bp. Dickson joined Bp. Duncan in the press release of 7/18/2003.

Bp. Johnson protested the vote on Robinson, along with spokesman Bp. R. Duncan on 8/5/2003.

West Texas Folts (diocesan), Hibbs (suffragan) 6/10/2003   x
N
Bishops Foltz and Hibbs accuse the Diocese of New Hampshire of trying to “force the issue politically,” and they say that they doubt that the election will be affirmed. The statement is referred to in a story on the MySanAntonio Web site.
West Virginia Klusmeyer     N  
Western Kansas J. Adams     N  
Western Louisiana MacPherson 6/21/2003   x
N
Bp. McPherson acknowledges that people will be hurt, irrespective of the result of the vote on Robinson’s election. After describing the polity implications of confirmation, he continues, “Further, and more importantly, we must be mindful of the theological implications, and this being the universal understanding of the church down through the ages of God’s revealed plan for his creation, a plan that very intentionally defines the relationship of man and woman, and this being in the context of a monogamous lifelong union.”
Western Massachusetts Scruton   A A  
Western Michigan Gepert   Y    
Western New York Garrison   Y    
Western North Carolina R. Johnson 6/11/2003 x
Y
  “I think we’ve learned to live together with our differences on many issues.” (Bp. Johnson quoted in an AP story.)
Wyoming Caldwell   Y    

 

Organizational Statements

Organization Date Pro Con Comments
American Anglican Council 6/12/2003   x “The election of Canon Robinson, who left his wife and children to pursue a homosexual relationship, is a clear illustration of the deep dysfunction in our ‘anything goes’ Episcopal Church, and is a witness that is not consistent with the global Anglican Christian Church.”

A 7/21/2003 press release, describes AAC plans for General Convention. According to President Canon David C. Anderson, “We will also work diligently to prevent, on theological and practical grounds, any attempt by General Convention to step out of orthodoxy and affirm homosexual behavior.”

Episcopal Church Publishing Co. 6/13/2003 x   This organization publishes The Witness. “We also rejoice that a barrier of sexual orientation has been crossed in our church: the election to the episcopacy of an openly gay person living in a committed relationship.” (Statement posted to House of Bishops and Delegates list.)
Episcopal Peace Fellowship 7/2/2003 x   “The Episcopal Peace Fellowship is committed to peacemaking in all areas of life—within ourselves, our neighborhoods, regions, nation, world and Church. Peace is only possible when all voices are heard and can legitimately participate at the table of life and in the decision making process.”
Episcopal Women’s Caucus 6/10/2003 x   “His openness about the fact that he is a gay man living in a committed relationship during the process gives hope and inspiration to countless women and men in similar situations as they get news of his election.”
Forward in Faith/North America 6/10/2003   x “The election of V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, says Forward in Faith, North America, is evidence that what we are witnessing is more erosion of the Faith and Order of Christianity—an erosion that has been rampant for decades.”
General Theological Seminary 6/11/2003 x   Dean Ewing is quoted as saying, “I am personally convinced he [Robinson] will make a fine bishop.” Robinson is a graduate and trustee of GTS.
Integrity 6/7/2003 x   “Sexuality should not be an issue in those hearings given the Church’s canonical prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation (among other things) in the process for ordination (Title III, Canon 1).”

Integrity issued a press release 8/5/2003 immediately after the House of Bishops approved Robinson’s election.

Oasis/Newark 6/10/2003 x   “We share with Canon Robinson his belief that our love of Jesus Christ is bigger and more unifying than any differences of opinion.”
Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry 6/10/2003   x Dean Peter Moore says, in part, “Only hubris can have motivated otherwise well-intentioned people to scorn the wisdom of the church that through its history has taught that sex belongs within the covenant of heterosexual marriage.” He calls for the election to be rejected, so as not to rend the Anglican Communion.
 

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