[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] Much happens each day during General Convention. To complement Episcopal News Service’s primary coverage, we have collected some additional news items from July 7.
Committee to put forward a resolution to admit Cuba as a diocese now
The Episcopal Church in Cuba Committee decided on July 7 to write another new resolution, A238, this time calling for the 79th General Convention to admit the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba to the Episcopal Church during this convention.
A day earlier, the committee thought it necessary to make a change to the church’s Constitution and Canons to allow for the admittance of an Anglican Communion diocese and a bishop elected, or in this case appointed, in another Anglican province. But citing Resolution 1976-D004 to the White and Dykman Annotated Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, which established that “all power is in the General Convention which the constitution itself does not limit.”
Full ENS coverage of the 79th meeting of General Convention is available here.
The committee spent two sessions July 6 deliberating the language of two new resolutions, A209, Reunification with the Episcopal Church of Cuba, and A214, which sought to address the necessary constitutional and canonical changes. Previously, the committee was considering A052 and D060, which it discarded.
The committee’s next open hearing is set for July 9 at 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton. The Episcopal Church of Cuba has expressed its desire to join Province II, which includes dioceses in New York and New Jersey, Haiti and the Virgin Islands.
– Lynette Wilson
Pastoral relationship discussion spurs additional review
The Safeguarding and Title IV Committee on July 7 considered a handful of the more than 40 resolutions assigned to it, with one drawing the most discussion.
Resolution A124 seeks to clarify a section of the Title IV canons on clergy misconduct to better define what the term actually means. It says, in part, that unless a member of the clergy has written permission from the bishop, he or she may not be involved sexually with a person with whom the clergyperson has had a previous pastoral relationship.
The logistics of how that permission would be requested and obtained, as well as how to differentiate pastoral relationships that can range from a one-time hospital visit to ongoing counseling, prompted the committee to send the matter to a subcommittee for further work. They are scheduled to report back on July 9.
– Melodie Woerman
Committee expresses regret for lack of language interpreters, seeks changes
The Committee to Receive the Report of Resolution 169, which is dealing with a variety of resolutions regarding the Book of Common Prayer, on July 6 drafted a resolution of regret for situations that took place in one of its hearings on July 5 and sought ways to keep them from happening in the future.
In that hearing, on Resolution B012, Diocese of Honduras Bishop Lloyd Allen criticized the committee for failing to have an official interpreter available for Spanish speakers who wished to testify. He said it was symptomatic of the constant feeling he has of being unwelcome in the church. (ENS story about the hearing.)
In response, the committee crafted Resolution A220, which expresses “deep regret for our lack of sensitivity and hospitality to our Latino and Latina siblings in Christ,” noting both the lack of interpreters and translations of the resolutions up for debate.
The resolution also recognizes that the committee itself is lacking in diversity and urges the presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies, who appoint members of legislative committees, to take note of this fact. It also asks that the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons review the convention’s Joint Rules of Order and suggest changes so that translations of all resolutions, as well as availability of interpreters, are required.
– Melodie Woerman