Thursday, June 26, 2014

Archbishop Duncan stated that each member of the College of Bishops spoke during the conclave. At times there was “intense fellowship,” even “vigorous fellowship” surrounding the discussions. But “at the end, we were clear that Foley Beach was the one to lead us.”

Sources tell Anglican Ink the issue that generated the most vigorous fellowship was the question of women’s orders, with the bishops unable to rally round a common view. The theological issues surrounding women clergy were coupled with fears that behaviors exhibited in the Episcopal Church in its debates were being repeated within the ACNA. A hypothetical example of such a tactic, it was explained, was the aggrieved minority veto. The desire to accommodate pastorally a minority viewpoint without holding it accountable to theological scrutiny was the slippery slope that led the Episcopal Church to its present state, it was suggested.

Yet the frankness of the debate appears to have strengthened the bishops’ desire for unity, and may have led to the election of Bishop Beach – a moderate conservative on the issue of women’s orders, but also a bishop noted for his pastoral gifts. A "good bishop to his priest” and a “good priest to his people” one participant in the conclave explained.

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