Saturday, June 06, 2009

Episcopal Church removes ‘transparent’ governance pledge from website

Hat tip to Frank Lockwood of Bible Belt Blogger for this reference to the wide-spreading story in light of criticism for the House of Bishops' withholding information from the wider Church. Right now, the House of Bishops' is looking pretty bad for not providing the names of this "Star Chamber" committee supposedly studying same-gender relationships in the Church. For crying out loud, the Church has been studying this topic for nearly 30 years. It is obvious to this Episcopalian that it is simply a further effort to deny our brothers and sisters the full promise of The Baptismal Covenant.

Facing criticism for withholding information, Episcopal Church removes ‘transparent’ governance pledge from website

Facing criticism for withholding information from its 2.3 million members, the Episcopal Church has quietly removed from its new website assurances that the church is committed to openness and transparency in government.

For months, the site had proclaimed on its home page: “Our controversies and conversations have been public. Our governance is transparent. You are free to see our imperfections…” See the original message:

Welcome to I am Episcopalian, launched this Ash Wednesday 2009, the beginning of Lent.
The Episcopal Church is a big, colorful, vibrant church. We hope you will see that in the wide spectrum of its members represented here on this site.
In our Church you may touch ancient traditions and experience intelligent inquiry. It is an expansive Church, a loving Church, with strong ties to our roots as a nation. We are a thoughtful, inquiring, freedom-loving and welcoming body, and we thrive not only in the U.S., but also throughout Latin America, Asia and Europe.
We invite you to see and hear the very personal reasons we choose to be Episcopalians. Our controversies and conversations have been public. Our governance is transparent. You are free to see our imperfections, as well as share our joy in that which unites us - our openness, honesty and faith.

But sometime this week, after the church was repeatedly criticized for concealing key governance decisions from the people in the pews, the “transparency” and “openness” message disappeared.

Compare this to the statement above:

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.
You will hear this recurring theme in the videos by clicking on them above. We welcome you not only in the U.S., but also in parts of Latin America, Asia and Europe.
In the Episcopal Church, we may all serve as preachers, teachers, or worship leaders. Both men and women are welcomed into ordained ministry. Each and everyone of the baptized may experience God's grace at the altar, and the knowledge that God loves you and forgives is always present.
The best way to experience how the Episcopal Church welcomes you is to visit. To find a church, please click "continue" below to the main website. To share a personal story of why you are an Episcopalian, follow the directions for uploading your video here.

Definitely missing from this revision is "Our governance is transparent".

Meanwhile, Episcopalians who support full-inclusion for gays and lesbians are calling on the church to release the names of a secret committee which is studying the theology of same-sex relationships. They say the secrecy is an insult and contradicts the church’s commitment to “transparent governance.”


Again I thank MadPriest at "Of Course I Could Be Wrong" in the UK for alerting us to this story as brought to us by Frank Lockwood at "Bible Belt Blogger" in Arkansas.

This news, disturbing and sudden, in my opinion does not bode well for TEC especially in light of our upcoming General Convention in July. Praying is needed, my brothers and sisters...



Jan said...

Thanks, Catherine. Praying is needed, and I needed that reminder (yet again). I always appreciate the news about TEC, which I don't seem to look for on my own.

AND thank you for the nice letter I got today.

Catherine said...

Thank YOU for the get well card I received today! :-) It is always good to hear from you, Jan.

As for the Episconews, I feel a responsibility to inform those who otherwise would be unaware and who don't have the time to go digging around the Internet. My pleasure...

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Pat said...

I read the story,too. Much prayer needed.