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Bishops express deep concern about violence released by political rhetoric

Bishops express deep concern about violence released by political rhetoric

From the Facebook page of Bishop Dan Edwards

The Bishops have unanimously passed a resolution expressing deep concern about “the violent forces being released by this season’s political rhetoric” and calling “for prayer for our country that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail and we will not betray our true selves.”

Statement released from the Office of Public Affairs

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church, meeting in retreat, unanimously approved the following Word To The Church.

A Word to the Church

Holy Week 2016

“We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others.”

On Good Friday the ruling political forces of the day tortured and executed an innocent man. They sacrificed the weak and the blameless to protect their own status and power. On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead, revealing not only their injustice but also unmasking the lie that might makes right.

In a country still living under the shadow of the lynching tree, we are troubled by the violent forces being released by this season’s political rhetoric. Americans are turning against their neighbors, particularly those on the margins of society. They seek to secure their own safety and security at the expense of others. There is legitimate reason to fear where this rhetoric and the actions arising from it might take us.

In this moment, we resemble God’s children wandering in the wilderness. We, like they, are struggling to find our way. They turned from following God and worshiped a golden calf constructed from their own wealth. The current rhetoric is leading us to construct a modern false idol out of power and privilege. We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others. No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, we must respect the dignity of every human being and we must seek the common good above all else.

We call for prayer for our country that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail and we will not betray our true selves.

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops met in retreat March 11 – 15 at Camp Allen Conference Center in Navasota, TX.

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John Chilton

The Rev. Howard White abuse of minors case was also discussed:

http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20160316/NEWS/160319470

Bishops in dioceses where the Rev. Dr. Howard W. White Jr. has been accused of sexual abuse convened during a House of Bishops retreat in Texas to discuss the allegations, an Episcopal Church spokeswoman said. White, 74, is a former assistant chaplain at St. George's School in Middletown.
...
“All levels of the Church are cooperating in an effort to ascertain what happened here,” according to Neva Rae Fox, Episcopal Church spokeswoman. She said that statement specifically refers to White, and involved bishops affected.

In the White case, those dioceses include (at least) West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Western North Carolina. The ProJo lists White's job history.

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David Allen

I think that the non-church folks who actually know about the law suits by TEC to recover stolen assets, are few and far between. Even those who profess to know something of the cases seem confused about them.

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Chris Parsons

I agree with this statement about ..."deep concern about “the violent forces being released by this season’s political rhetoric” and calling “for prayer for our country that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail...”

The problem is, however, that non-church people will point to the $40 million in lawsuits being pursued by the Episcopal Church against those who dissent and wonder about how that "spirit of reconciliation" is going?

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John Chilton

https://www.facebook.com/wnknisely/posts/10154576673936509?pnref=story

"Just been informed that the Conference Ministers of the UCC have also unanimously endorsed our "Word to the Church" statement the Episcopal bishops released yesterday.
Thanks be to God."

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Dr. William A Flint, MDiv, PhD

As a Biblical historian: "the ruling political forces of the day tortured and executed an innocent man" actually "the ruling religious forces of the day caused the torture and execution of an innocent man at the hands of the Romans.”

Let's not try to make what happened 2000 years ago about the Presidential Election of 2016.

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Marshall Scott

William, I certainly see your point. At the same time, this appears to be another one of those moments when "those who forget the lessons of history" get opportunities to re-learn them the hard way. I don't think we need to draw too close a parallel between First Century Roman politics and Twenty-first Century American politics to note that we are still human, and so prone to the same sins as our forebears.

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Prof. Christopher Seitz

Absolutely.

And..."who knowingly and willfully confronted those forces of darkness he knew would kill him, so that he might defeat them forever, as the Son of God. For us."

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