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From Southwest Florida’s Bishop John B. Lipscomb

[Episcopal News Service]  The statement from the primates' meeting in Newry, Northern Ireland, provides a way forward by maintaining the integrity of the Communion and the autonomy of the provinces of the Communion. I was very pleased to see that they have taken seriously the calls of the Lambeth conferences to include gay and lesbian people in the conversation.

I am somewhat concerned that two North American provinces have been invited to absent themselves because I think it is going to make dialogue all the harder.

I think the coming meeting of the House of Bishops is going to be critical as we have to wrestle with our ability to live into the provisions of the Windsor Report. I think it's going to especially critical that we address the question on moratorium on ordinations of bishops living in any union outside the bonds of Christian matrimony and blessing of same-sex unions.

If we are not able to declare a moratorium, I believe we should voluntarily, for the sake of the health of the Communion, abstain from participation, except as requested by the various constitutional bodies.

I was especially grateful that the primates acknowledged the constitutional requirements that we have to go to General Convention before we can fully act as a church and have provided a period of grace before the next Lambeth Conference for us to follow this process to its appropriate conclusion.

I think that we are still in a process and we have not reached the end of the process. But we certainly have a clearer picture of its direction.

The Rt. Rev. John B. Lipscomb,
Bishop of Southwest Florida