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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018

Phone: 973-395-1068 h


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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


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Power plays

  • Subject: Power plays
  • From: Louie Crew <>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 11:07:59 -0500

****, you (and +Rowan Williams) emphasize that the bishops hold the
trump card in our polity, in that unilaterally the bishops can block
actions even before Deputies or Standing Committees vote.   Caveat: 
that trick can work both ways, and can return to sting the body that
uses it.
Regarding ordination to priesthood, you note:
> The commission [on ministry] can advise and recommend, but it is the
> bishop who is the one who makes the "final" decision on who or who
> not to ordain.
Most emphatically not true!
> So the people participate in the decision, but only recommend.
Again, not true!
The COM advises not just the bishop, but also the Standing
Committee.  Ordination requires a positive vote of both the bishop
and the Standing Committee.  
The consecration of a bishop requires consent of both the bishop and
the Standing Committee (except for elections that occur  under 120
days before General Convention, in which case the HoD, not the SC,
must consent).
+San Joaquin and others have argued that it would be highly unlikely
that Standing Committees [or the HoD]  will knowingly give consent to
bishops who won't ordain women.  That outcome is not guaranteed for
either point of view.
Of course bishops are sworn to guard the faith.  Standing Committees
and the HoD have that obligation as well.    All who consented to +NH
thought they were guarding the faith.  Some even felt that Bp.
McPherson was not upholding the faith. You can't guard the faith by
forcing it to remain stagnant.  God is always calling us to do
something new:
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look
favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred
mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry
out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world
see and know that things which were cast down are being
raised up, and things which had grown old are being made
new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection
by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 
       --From the Consecration of a Bishop, BCP 515
In TEC polity it would make far more sense to try to persuade the
Standing Committees and the HoD than it makes for the junior House to
try to bully them.    I regret that the Archbishop of Canterbury
wanted to use power more than reason to get his way.  I rejoice that
the House of Bishops rejected that temptation in New Orleans.  The
Archbishop has steadily manifested contempt for lay and clergy
leadership in TEC, except for donors.    He doesn't get our polity at
all, possibly because he has never been elected as a bishop of
anywhere, he has never been significantly accountable to those who he
was appointed to lead.  

Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12d, East Orange, NJ 07018.