Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bishop Howard (Florida)

Bishop John Howard (Diocese of Florida) offers his thoughts on the House of Bishops meeting and notes he "wholeheartedly endorses" the results of that meeting.

As have several others, Bishop Howard observes the bishops' discussions were framed by an awareness of the suffering world in which we live: "We looked outward and properly shifted the focus of discussion from internal affairs to those of the world we seek to serve."

He describes how the bishops wrestled with the primates' communique and the present difficulties within the Anglican Communion:
One might suppose that, in the context of the controversial demands being made upon our church, there would exist great tension or even bitterness amongst a divided House of Bishops. Nothing could have been further from the truth. A spirit of great charity and gentle understanding permeated throughout the whole meeting. We listened together; we discussed together; then we responded to certain demands of the primates together. Some dissented, it is true, but there were none of the after-session minority reports and statements of recrimination which have, in the past, been so much in evidence. I am proud of the unity and courage the whole House displayed . . . .
He speaks of his concerns regarding the proposed Anglican covenant:
[W]e are not a confessional church but a creedal one. We are a communion bound by a common history, a common liturgy and by a desire to be in global partnership for the sake of the gospel. I fear the consequences of replacing our traditional bonds of affection with the legalistic, Communion-wide juridical body such a "covenant" may establish.
There is much more rich matter in Bishop Howard's statement. Click here to read it all. Or go to the diocesan website to locate it.


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