From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] Deputies OK Robinson as bishop

From "Mika Larson" <>
Date Sun, 3 Aug 2003 18:13:49 -0400

August 3, 2003

Deputies OK Robinson as bishop

by David Skidmore
[ENS] Gene Robinson's journey to becoming bishop of New Hampshire passed
a crucial milestone Sunday afternoon when the House of Deputies voted to
consent to his election as bishop coadjutor. 

In a vote by orders on resolution C045, lay deputations voted 63 yes, 32
no, and 13 divided. Clergy deputations voted 65 yes, 31 no, and 12
divided. With the deputies' action, the final decision now rests with
the House of Bishops, which will take up Robinson's consent at 2 p.m.

If the bishops grant consent, then Robinson may well be seated in the
house that same day. The custom with the other bishops-elect who have
achieved full consent this week has been for the bishops to give them
seat and voice. 

The spirited but cordial debate tracked the issues that have been
filling e-mail lists and news and talk-show broadcasts for weeks leading
up to convention and were addressed in the Friday morning hearing of the
Committee on the Consecration of Bishops: faith and order in the
Episcopal Church, sexual morality, and accountability within the
Anglican Communion. 

"I would imagine there are many deputies in this house who have made up
their minds. I'm not going to try to change your mind," said Bonnie
Anderson of Michigan before the vote. "My grandmother always told me
fear is the absence of faith. Your vote to consent may have some
repercussions for you at home. You may be called to exercise your
pastoral skills in ways you never imagined. You may be afraid of schism.
Do not be afraid." 

But the Rev. James Flowers from Western Louisiana was concerned. "I do
not know what I will tell my people back home should this election be
confirmed," he said, "how to tell them that on a certain Sunday this
church chose to separate itself from the body of Christ."

"My parishioners are not homophobes, they are not bigots. They are good
people, hardworking people, and I don't have a clue what I might tell
them. I am profoundly opposed to this resolution," he said.

For some of the strongest critics of Robinson's consent, the decision
today may threaten the financial health of Episcopal congregations and
jeopardize the church's standing in the Anglican Communion.

The American Anglican Council, which has opposed Robinson's nomination
from the start, issued a statement shortly after the vote.  "The AAC is
deeply grieved by the decision today. It is a tragic decision that leads
the Episcopal Church to the brink of shattering the Anglican family. The
Episcopal Church now has one foot outside the door," the release said.

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