When I clicked on Unfair Park this morning ("link") I was surprised to see a picture of my Bishop, the Rt. Rev. James Stanton, staring back at me (I love the caption under his picture). It appears he gave a quote to the Chicago Sun Times for a story they reported on the Rev. Tracey Lind, a finalist for bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. There are four other finalists, but of course the article is about Rev. Lind because she is a lesbian. And Bishop Stanton doesn’t like it one bit. I’m not sure how they chose Stanton for the anti-gay quote, but here ‘tis:
Bishop James Stanton of Dallas, a catalyst in the global effort against gay bishops, called Lind's nomination distressing.
"It's an action that says Chicago really doesn't care what the rest of the Anglican Communion says," he told the Sun-Times.
Allow me to respond (since this is my blog). First of all, Rev. Lind has not been elected yet, so I’m not sure why her being a finalist is so distressing. Of course, she could be elected and then what? I suppose then we’re really going to be in trouble with those African Archbishops who have already set up shop in the United States against the wishes of the Windsor Report, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC), the Archbishop of Canterbury, a handful of other official statements from the Communion, and of course against good catholic order. I’m sure they will write more nasty letters with help from their American friends about the Episcopal Church and how we’ve abandoned the Christian faith delivered once and for all to the saints, and we’re heretics, and (my favorite) apostate. So since that’s already happening, what’s the difference?
The difference would be that TEC would be taking a stand to say that we welcome all of God’s children warmly and that all orders of ordained ministry are open to faithful Christians, their sexuality notwithstanding. We would be stating that we intend to stand by our non-discrimination rules that already state that we will not bar the door to a candidate based on their sexual orientation.
And most importantly, we would be sending a message to the world that proclaiming God’s radical welcome is more important than staying in the good graces of blustery bigoted Archbishops who would require nothing less than our repentance of this welcome. I think the majority of TEC has already made this choice. Let’s not be shy about proclaiming it, with God’s help.
Father Jake has a snippet from each of the nominees that they wrote to introduce themselves. Looks like a good slate of candidates. God bless them and the Diocese of Chicago as they call their new bishop.