A Recent Press Release from All Saints, Pasadena

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Today’s decision is consistent with All Saints Church, Pasadena’s identity as a peace and justice church,” said [Ed] Bacon, following the historic vote. “It also aligns us with the Scriptures’ mandate to make God’s love tangible by ‘doing justice and loving mercy’ (Micah 6:8) and with the canons of our Episcopal Church that forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

“In this our 125th year, this morning’s decision was a natural step forward on All Saints’ lengthy journey of justice, peace, and inclusion,” Bacon concluded. “As the rector of All Saints Church, I am inspired by the visionary stride All Saints’ lay leaders took today. I am honored to serve a church where the leadership demonstrates such stirring courage to move beyond lip service about embodying God’s inclusive love to actually committing our faith community to the practice of marriage equality.”

“As a priest and pastor, I anticipate with great joy strengthening our support of the sanctity of marriage as I marry both gay and straight members and thus more fully live out my ordination vow to nourish all people from the goodness of God’s grace.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships

Posted May 27, 2008 at 7:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. D. C. Toedt wrote:

I’m all for same-sex marriage.  And we have to respect people who soberly take significant personal risks to defy laws they regard as unjust.

But that’s not the impression I get from reading the linked article and the comments following.  I can’t help but think there’s more than a bit of nyah-nyah nose-thumbing going on, by people who:

• have seized on the California Supreme Court decision as an excuse to do what they want;

• seem pretty confident that they’re not at risk of suffering any significant personal consequences as a result of their willful violation of the marriage canon.

Given that California same-sex couples can get all the legal protection of marriage by going through a civil marriage ceremony, “justice” would not seem to require California’s TEC clergy to violate the church’s marriage canon by officiating at same-sex weddings.

I agree with the commenter at Susan Russell’s site who said that this sort of action chips away at respect for the rule of law.

It’d be great if Bishop Bruno would immediately inhibit Susan Russell from all sacramental ministry, pending the outcome of GC2009, while leaving her in her administrative role at her parish.  If he doesn’t do so, a presentment against him, along similar lines, would be appropriate.

But I’m not holding my breath.

May 27, 10:29 am | [comment link]
2. D. C. Toedt wrote:

Whoops - the inhibition should be against All Saints’ rector J. Edwin Bacon, who’s quoted in the article as saying he looks forward to marrying gay couples, and against any other clergy who makes a similar announcement or actually officiates at a same-sex marriage.

May 27, 10:48 am | [comment link]
3. Cennydd wrote:

I believe that California’s clergy are not required to perform same-sex “marriages,” because for the State to require them to do so would be in violation of the Separation of Church and State provision of the US Constitution.

May 27, 10:49 am | [comment link]
4. Sue Martinez wrote:

#1 I fail to see the difference between a “blessing of a same-sex union” and a “marriage” of same, except for its civil legality, it’s obvious that Bishop Bruno would have to do something he’s quite unwilling and unable to do, and that is to inhibit himself. Note the date of this blessing he presided at—after the emergency Primates’ Meeting of October, 2003 and before the Windsor Report.  This is definitely an “in your face” action. He has set the example for his clergy himself. http://www.malcolmboyd.com/twothousand.htm

May 27, 1:28 pm | [comment link]
5. Choir Stall wrote:

So, California allows secular civil unions and All Saints takes this as impetus and permission to solemnize. Who says that they have no agenda?  Canons anyone? Anywhere?....NOW?!  Ever heard of inhibition of clergy and bishops who refuse to inhibit?  BUT this one will slide off of Schori’s radar as insignificant.

May 27, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
6. William P. Sulik wrote:

I take a view in opposition to D.C. Toedt, in that I am opposed to gay “marriage” from both a Scriptural and public policy perspective.  Nevertheless, I believe that if clergy sincerely believe that Scripture teaches that persons of the same sex should be encouraged to be married, they should stand up and be faithful to their belief.  I would tell such a person that if you really believe the Holy Spirit is calling you do perform these services or blessings, you shouldn’t let man hold you back.  You should do what’s right, as you see it. As Martin Luther said “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen. “

[But then Luther is also quoted as saying the following:

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point. 

You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you. ]

May 27, 1:52 pm | [comment link]
7. Daniel wrote:

Gee, I wonder if any of the “Windsor” bishops will utter a peep of protest about this development?  Think the subject will come up at Lambeth?  Nah - nothin’ to be decided there!

As part of raising our children we teach them that actions have consequences, and that they have to take responsibility for their actions.  Wouldn’t it be nice if some TEC clergy could act better than selfish little children.

May 27, 3:13 pm | [comment link]
8. Branford wrote:

At Fr. Jake’s, Susan Russell+ wrote this in the comments:

Although it’s certainly debatable, reading Canon 17:5 in conversation with Canon 18:1 we believe that the spirit of those canons transcends the letter of the language describing marriage as a union between a man and a woman in Canon 18:2b. And we’ll be suggesting fixing that in Anaheim.
It’s arguable that the 1976 approval of the ordination of women wouldn’t have happened without 1974 and Philadelpia pushing the church to amend the canons to reflect the reality there WERE women who were priests. I’ll argue it’s the same here ... and that the church needs to amend the canons to reflect the reality that there are same-sex couples who are MARRRIED.

and this:

+Jon’s letter to the clergy said ...
I remind you that pastoral acts are personal decisions between clergy and members of your congregation.
... which is why we don’t have to ask for “permission” for blessings—which have been happening at All Saints Church for over 15 years—and where we’ll stand when we start marrying gay couples on June 16th.

The actions by All Saints appear to be well thought out and keeping in line with what they have been pushing for 15 years.

May 27, 3:49 pm | [comment link]
9. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

When a canon meets a canon a comin’ through the rye
You can make a how for any ol’ why
And to do so is not to lie
For to lie, she knew, was a sin, a sin!
For to lie she knew was a sin!
(apologies to Tom Lehrer)

May 27, 5:25 pm | [comment link]
10. Connecticutian wrote:

Re #8, I wonder if Susan would then support the proposition that “the church needs to amend the canons to reflect the reality that parishes and dioceses can and have left TEC.”

May 27, 5:52 pm | [comment link]
11. Branford wrote:

#10 - hummmm . . . gee, I wonder?

May 27, 6:05 pm | [comment link]
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