An Episcopal News Service story published today reviews the process of amending and adopting Substitute Resolution D013. The story makes it clear that the House of Deputies and House of Bishops had very different ideas about paying the PHoD for his or her work on behalf of the church. The story includes this paragraph:
“When someone volunteers to do a job, it is not an injustice not to pay them,” said Diocese of Milwaukee Bishop Steven Miller during debate in the House of Bishops on July 3.One might argue that the President of the United States and, indeed, all bishops of The Episcopal Church, have stood for election in the same fashion as the PHoD. In other words, this is a stupid and self-serving argument.
As it happens, I was watching the debate in the House of Bishops when the matter of a stipend for the PHoD was being discussed. Because I was actually interested in Resolution A019, which was on the day’s consent calendar, I was not taking notes. I do remember, however, that one of the bishops expressed the concern that the PHoD was accumulating too much power.
I think that clericalism is the real reason the bishops do not want to pay the PHoD. Simply put, bishops do not want to cede too much power to a layperson or even a priest or deacon who might be PHoD. (Perhaps the real problem is episcopalism.) Frankly, we give bishops too much power in the church and ordinary clergy, and especially laypeople, too little.
I hope that, at the 79th General Convention, the House of Deputies will insist that their leader be paid.