July 15, 2009
Same-Sex Blessings Vote Anticipated
Episcopal Church leaders likely to vote today for same-sex blessing rites
One day after The Episcopal Church vote to open the sacramental offices of clergy and bishop to active gays and lesbians, the church is poised today to vote on a resolution that will endorse the blessing of same-sex unions through a officially permitted rite.
Here are some of the details from George Conger, now writing for the Washington Times:
The U.S. Episcopal Church put itself on a collision course with the rest of the Anglican Communion by formally approving Tuesday the ordination of gay bishops, defying warnings that the Church of England may respond by recognizing a rival Anglican church. The 2.1-million-member U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion also was preparing Wednesday to approve blessing ceremonies for same-sex unions, a further slap at the Archbishop of Canterbury, who warned the U.S. church last week not to act in ways that deepen the splits in the 77-million-member worldwide communion. In Tuesday's actions, the U.S. church reversed a promise made to the rest of the communion by agreeing to end the church's gay-bishop ban, which the church imposed in 2006 at its last triennial convention after the worldwide furor over the 2003 consecration of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
Conservative reaction to these events is growing hotter. Virtue Online raised further anxiety about "tyranny of the majority:"
Bishop Peter Beckwith of Springfield [IL] rose in opposition to the whole matter. "Why waste my time and your time...is it casting a pearl before swine thing. This is another clear instance that we are allowing our church to be shaped by the secular culture rather than pursuing our God given mission in pursing the secular culture." Bishop Stacy Sauls of Lexington said the church allowed divorced persons as a concession to human frailty. "It is time for the church be liberated from hypocrisy under which it has been operating about our gay brothers and sisters. Divorce contradicted sexual ethics. Our gay and lesbian members don't think much about what other Anglicans around the world think. The Nigerians are our most ardent critic. The Scribes and the Pharisees tied people up in burdens..." Bishop Beckwith then requested the resolution be approved by a roll call vote, which would ensure voting on it is public and recorded. This was passed and the House went into recess. C056 is now scheduled for consideration tomorrow afternoon; if it passes through the House of Bishops it will move to the House of Deputies for adoption. Not all bishops were in favor of C056.