Frank Griswold, apostate Presiding Bishop
of the Episcopal Church

[COMMENT:  the following letter to the Anglican Primates is a typical example of the arrant nonsense of which Frank Griswold is capable.   There seems to be nothing the man cannot say in order to justify his support of clearly anti-Christ behavior and doctrine.   The judgement is coming. 

If one were to ask Griswold, "Are there any limits at all on what you would allow as 'Christian'?" what could he say?  What ground has he left himself on which to stand?  When truth goes "relative", it goes all the way.     E. Fox]

 

(The link to this article has been broken.)

For the Primates of the Anglican Communion and Moderators of the United
Churches

8/19/2003
   
My dear brothers:

I write to you with a heavy heart, knowing that, in some instances, our bonds
of fraternal affection and respect have been strained by an action of our
General Convention: namely the consent to the election of the bishop-elect of the
Diocese of New Hampshire. I am keenly aware that for many of you this is
clearly contrary to a plain reading of Scripture, and in the contexts in which
you live, it is unthinkable. Should you be of that view, our action would say
to you that the Episcopal Church has gone beyond the bounds of what is morally
acceptable.

This view, as you are aware, is shared by some in my own church. In fact, 18
of approximately 175 bishops in attendance at our General Convention stood to
object to the consent to the election. I have been in contact with a number
of these bishops, and in the days ahead plan to explore how we are called to
live with divergent points of view in a way that will not undermine the mission
we share.

It is difficult for me to know just what you may be hearing and not hearing
about our General Convention, and I hope that it is not simply the urgent
voices which speak of crisis or extreme pastoral emergency. The mission of the
church was the primary focus of the General Convention, and one of the most
important aspects of our work was a strong and clear acceptance of our call to be
active ministers of global reconciliation. It is my hope that leading the
church to live out this commitment in very active and practical ways will be the
focus of my final three years as Presiding Bishop.

I am aware that some of our bishops and others are promoting the
establishment of an alternative structure to the Episcopal Church, a notion that has been
put forward in a variety of ways – including soliciting the support of some
Primates – since the 1998 Lambeth Conference. My own sense is that one of our
Anglican gifts is to contain different theological perspectives within a
context of common prayer. This is not a matter of compromise but of acknowledging
that the “truth as in Jesus” is larger than any one point of view. A church
unable to make room for difference in how Scripture is understood and how
Christ’s work of reconciliation is to be carried out could be in danger of
neglecting the continuing unfolding of God’s truth worked among us by the Holy Spirit.

I see my ministry now as helping our church to find a way forward that both
preserves the unity of the church and honors the deeply held divergent points
of view among us. I know many of you are all too familiar with divergent
points of view in your own provinces, though the presenting issues may be quite
different from the ones I have to face. One of the gifts of our Primates
Meetings has been the opportunity to appreciate the different contexts in which we
minister and to bear each other’s burdens. I need not tell you how difficult it
is for me to be a chief pastor at this time, and I ask for your prayers for
me and for our church.

As much as I would have preferred that the attention of the Convention, and
indeed the media, be focused elsewhere, I am now obliged to ask what potential
gift is buried beneath the surface of this present situation. One of the
prayers I say daily contains the phrase: “I am ready for all, I accept all.”
Therefore, I find myself asking God to show me how this occasion might be used
for the good and to build up the life we share in Christ. It is my firm
conviction that in the open space of God’s mercy the present moment may yield a
blessing.

I am grateful to Archbishop Rowan for his leadership, and for calling us
together such that we might share our views and concerns with an eye to finding a
way forward that honors both our provincial realities and struggles and our
oneness in Christ.

I write now in the hope of answering some questions a number of you have
raised. First, I must say in strongest possible terms that if I believed in any
part of my being that the consent to this election was unfaithful to an
authentic way of reading Scripture and contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I
could no longer serve as the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. I pray
that – as most of you have come to know me over these years – you know I
firmly believe, as you do, that the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God and
contain all things necessary to salvation. My life is rooted and grounded in this
understanding.

Unfortunately, the difficulty before us is not about some of us believing
that Scripture is the inspired Word of God and others not believing it is. How
we have been shaped and formed as Christians and the context in which we live
have a great deal to do with how we interpret various passages in the Bible and
the weight we give them in making moral decisions.

In my opening address to the General Convention I said: “We have heard
people on both sides of a number of contentious questions say that their particular
view is in accordance with Scripture, whereas the opposing view is not.
There is no such thing as a neutral reading of Scripture. While we all accept the
authority of Scripture, we interpret various passages in different ways. It
is extremely dishonoring of the faith of another to dismiss them as not taking
the Bible seriously.”

One very appropriate question is: why did I give my consent to this
election? I did so for several reasons. First, it is incumbent upon me as Presiding
Bishop to honor the life of my own church and the canonically prescribed
election process of a diocese. In the past the Presiding Bishop has given his
consent to the election of bishops whose theological points of view were at
variance with his. I think here of three bishops opposed to the ordination of
women. In all cases the Presiding Bishop was chief consecrator, even though he
strongly supported women in ordained ministry.

Second, and very important, to my mind consent does not mean we now have
clarity about the matter of homosexuality in the life of our church, and a vote to
consent is not about this larger question. The matter is far from resolved
and there are strong opinions on every side.

There have also been questions about the resolution passed by our Convention
concerning “Rites: blessing of committed same gender relationships.” The
original form of the resolution called for the authorization of the development of
rites for the blessing of same sex unions, which would then have been
considered by the General Convention in 2006. This was rejected. Here I and many
others were mindful of the Primates letter following our meeting in Brazil. The
resolution Convention passed recognizes the reality of a variety of local
pastoral practices, without either endorsing or condemning the same, and calls
for “continued prayer, study and discernment” under my direction. It is
important to note that this in no way relates to Holy Matrimony, about which our
teachings are clear. I say this because some reports following Convention
falsely indicated we had departed from the teachings on marriage. I see the question
on blessing same gender relationships as a quite separate matter from that of
consenting to the New Hampshire election.

I hope this letter helps to clarify the actions of our General Convention and
my own views, and supplies answers to some of the questions you have raised.
It is my prayer that you will see what has occurred in the life of the
Episcopal Church in its complexity, and not dismiss it as an instance of infidelity
to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or disregard for the bonds of communion
we share.

Please know that if you have further thoughts or queries I am most eager to
be in conversation with you in whatever way is most convenient for you. Your
counsel and wisdom will be important to me over these next months. You can
telephone me at 212.716.6276, fax at 212.490.3298 or email via <A
HREF="mailto:stolley@episcopalchurch.org">stolley@episcopalchurch.org</A>.

“Glory to God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can
ask or imagine.” These words of St. Paul give me strength and courage and open
me continually to the mystery of God’s ever unfolding ways. May they sustain
us all in the ministry we share, which is none other than Christ’s continuing
ministry of reconciling love.

Your brother in Christ,

The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church, USA

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Go to: => TOP Page; => Anglican Library;  => Episcopal Library;  => ROAD MAP