At a worship service today the Archbishop of Canterbury was in attendance as were hundred of GLBT Episcopalians wearing brightly coloured shirts that proclaimed: Here I am; send me.
That sounds really promising but the news is actually depressing. ++Rowan said in the meeting
I do realize that this engagement has been and still is costly for different people in different ways: some feel impatient, some feel compromised, some feel harassed or undervalued, or that their good faith has been ungraciously received. I'm sorry; this has been hard and will not get much easier, I suspect.Just who is being harassed? The people who wish to legislate morality and exclude a significant portion of TEC from full rites of the church - a church that is not THEIR church but ours? Or, those people who are being legislated against? It is not the GLBT community who is the harassers.
Rowan continued that he hoped no decisions would come out of the Convention that would further strain Anglican relations.
Of course I am coming here with hopes and anxieties – you know that and I shan’t deny it. Along with many in the Communion, I hope and pray that there won’t be decisions in the coming days that could push us further apart. But if people elsewhere in the Communion are concerned about this, it’s because of a profound sense of what the Episcopal Church has given and can give to our fellowship worldwide. If we - if I – had felt that we could do perfectly well with out you, there wouldn’t be a problem. But the bonds of relationship are deep, for me personally as for many others. And I’m tempted to adapt what St Paul says to the Corinthians in the middle of a set of tensions no less bitter than what we have been living through and in the wake of challenges from St Paul a good deal more savage than even the sharpest words from Primates or Councils: ‘Why? Because we do not love you? God knows we do.’And there it is, folks. I told you why he was here - to remind the bishops of their fraternity oaths and obligations reaffirmed back at Lambeth in 2008. Yes, coated with "love" but not matter what the coating is, it's plain.
There are about a dozen resolutions dealing with GLBT issues before the convention. The two that concern Rowan are B012 and D043 both of which would authorize blessings of same-gender unions. That is unacceptable to the bigots who have left TEC and those who run other anglicanisk churches.
Why is Rowan so concerned about TEC moving forward with equal rites, rights, and justice which might anger the oppressors who have left the communion, anyway? He's bloody daft, 'e is.
UPDATE: Elizabeth Keaton has the complete text of ++Rowan's remarks here.