As reported previously on this website, a proposed resolution was offered at diocesan convention that was intended to reiterate the Diocese of Albany's support for General Convention, Province II, and The Episcopal Church. The resolution was moved by Dr. Paula Sippel and seconded by The Rev. Mary White. As a reminder, the proposed resolution stated:
Resolved, that the Diocese of Albany shall hereby re-affirm its allegiance to, and loyal membership in Province II and the Episcopal Church, and
Resolved, that the Diocese of Albany recognizes the legislative authority of the 76th General Convention, and supports the governance of The Episcopal Church, and
Resolved, that the Diocese shall take no actions that may jeopardize remaining fully in support of The Episcopal Church, including, but not limited to declining to support the so-called Bishops' Statement on the Polity of the Episcopal Church promulgated by the Anglican Communion Institute.
In retrospect, it was perhaps a tactical error that the resolution, as offered, singled out the Bishops' Statement on Polity for criticism. The Rev. Christopher Brown, in a comment on this website, noted that this clause would prevent many from supporting the resolution. With that warning, attempts were made to remove this language from the resolution, including an effort on the floor of convention by Mr. Clair Touby, the President of Albany Via Media. But backers of our Bishop's position on the Statement seized this "found opportunity" to introduce amendments that completely reversed the intent. Note in particular the twisting of clause three in the resolution as ultimately passed by convention:
RESOLVED that the Diocese of Albany shall hereby affirm its loyal membership in Province II and in the Episcopal Church, and be it further
RESOLVED that the Diocese of Albany recognizes the legislative authority of The General Convention of The Episcopal Church as outlined in the Bishop's Statement on the Polity of the Episcopal Church, and be it further
RESOLVED that the 141st Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany endorses the Bishops' Statement on the Polity of the Episcopal Church which was signed by Bishop William H. Love, Bishop of Albany.
Realizing that she could no longer in conscience be seen as defending this resolution, Paula Sippel sought and obtained assurance from diocesan loyalists that her name, and that of The Rev. Mary White, would not be associated with the final product of convention. Despite this assurance, the Diocese published in electronic form, viathe PDU Update, the text of the finished resolution, in which the names of Dr. Sippel and Rev. Mary appear as the authors. Whether this egregious error was an unfortunate oversight, or a political attempt to misrepresent the intentions of the originators, remains to be seen. Such a judgment depends largely on any forthcoming response from the Diocese to the following letter:
Dear Bishop Love,
At Diocesan Convention this past weekend, a proposed resolution was moved by Paula Sippel and seconded by The Rev. Mary White affirming our diocese's continued support of General Convention, Province II, and The Episcopal Church. The convention took this resolution and so twisted and perverted its intended meaning that the final result was the very opposite of what was originally written and presented to convention.
The author and mover of this resolution were assured that their names would not be appended to the final version. But in the most recent Diocesan Update distributed electronically to all members of the Diocese, Paula Sippel and The Rev. Mary White are listed as the authors of the resolution as passed. This is insulting and unacceptable to those of us who understand the intention of the resolution as originally offered.
We expect an immediate addendum to the Diocesan Update in which you retract the names of Paula Sippel and The Rev. Mary White from the resolution as passed by convention. It should be made clear to everyone who received this erroneous communication that these individuals had nothing to do with the final wording of the resolution. The resolution that passed convention is not and never was their proposal.
Bishop Love, I personally expect this retraction and request an apology to these two convention delegates.
John White, Layperson, St. Andrew's Albany
Is anyone listening?