U.S. bishops express regret for hurt caused by consecration

Published February 1, 2005

The bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) have expressed “sincere regret for the pain, the hurt, and the damage caused to our Anglican bonds of affection” by their General Convention’s decision to ordain an openly gay bishop in 2003.

But they failed to act on a recommendation made by the Lambeth Commission for a moratorium on consecrating gay bishops who are in same-sex relationships and on authorizing official prayer services for same-sex blessings, saying they did not wish to “act in haste.” The bishops will meet anew in March to discuss these issues.

The House of Bishops met for a special, two-day meeting in Salt Lake City to discuss the Windsor Report issued last October by the Lambeth Commission, which was formed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to seek ways of arresting a schism in the Anglican Communion because of deep divisions over homosexuality.

Conservative bishops within ECUSA said they were disappointed that “the response of the House of Bishops did not rise to the level expected by the Communion.” They issued a counter statement “of acceptance of and submission to the Windsor Report 2004,” pledging, “to maintain the bonds of affection by only making decisions that are ‘fully compatible with the interests, standards, unity and good order’ of the Anglican Communion.” Twenty-one bishops (out of 149) signed the statement.

The House of Bishops also noted that while it was offering its regrets, it did not intend to “pre-empt the canonical authority” of ECUSA’s General Convention.


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