The Bishop of Fond Du Lac on General Convention 2012—Same Sex Blessings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yesterday the House of Deputies concurred with the decision of the House of Bishops to approve resolution A049, “Authorize Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships”. There was a roll call vote in the HOB where I voted “no”. In the HOD vote by Orders, the majority in both Orders from Fond du Lac voted against the resolution. However, the resolution passed by about a 75% majority in each of the Houses.

I would suggest you go to the web site and read the text of the resolution yourself, but let me make a few comments here.

The liturgy referenced in A049 is clearly a service of “Blessing”. It may look similar to the marriage service but it is not and cannot be used as a marriage liturgy. In Genesis God created us male and female; at Cana in Galilee Jesus recognized and honored the covenant of the marriage between a man and a woman; and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin says that marriage is between one man and one woman. The General Convention is clearly stating this is not a marriage, but a blessing of a life-long relationship between two persons of the same sex.

The wording of the resolution was changed to read that this is not for “trial use” but for “provisional use”. “Provisional is defined as “temporary”, “short term” and “conditional”. My understanding is that this means the use of the liturgy is for a period of time, during which it will be studied. It is also conditional in that the use of the liturgy requires the approval of the local Bishop for use in that Diocese. Regarding the approval of the Bishop, the resolution states the liturgy be used “under the direction and subject to the permission of the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

7 Comments
Posted July 15, 2012 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. C. Wingate wrote:

Sorry, but I think “provisional” means “until we can enact same-sex marriage.” And given the authority to rewrite it to fit local law, it’s no great stretch to predict that some diocese will authorize such marriages, using this rite, well before next GC.

July 15, 8:01 am | [comment link]
2. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

And the spin begins…

July 15, 8:04 am | [comment link]
3. Tomb01 wrote:

If may look like a duck, walk like a duck, and quack like a duck, but in The Episcopal Organization it’s a provisional Eagle.

July 15, 8:20 am | [comment link]
4. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Not a marriage…my fanny.  I saw this very morning, right on Facebook right after I posted on No. 2 on this thread, some pictures from a “blessing” done by a friend of mine from Seminary who had rushed home from GC to do one of these things. From the pictures…one bride in a white dress, the other (?)bride in a suit, it sure looked like a wedding to me.

July 15, 8:24 am | [comment link]
5. Katherine wrote:

I am disappointed that Bp. Jacobus did not say outright that he will not permit use of this liturgy in his diocese.

July 15, 6:18 pm | [comment link]
6. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Umm,  I thought this ‘provisional rite’ was available starting in December 2012- not as soon as we get home from GC. They wonder why we don’t believe them when they say things like this is a “provisional rite” and then give a date. Yeah sure, just go ahead and do it- WE can disregard any rules because we are an “oppressed” minority. Yeah,yeah bunch of you-know-what!

July 15, 6:20 pm | [comment link]
7. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Well, this person had his bishop’s permission, so, yeah. It’s already being used and the seats at General Convention aren’t even cold yet. Of course, I am pretty sure this diocese was doing this long before General Convention. I think the only parameters the Bishop set was don’t put pictures on your blog or facebook.

July 15, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
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