Western Mass. Episcopal clergy to bless, but not wed, same-sex couples

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts will allow its clergy to bless same-sex couples, beginning the first Sunday of Advent.

Bishop Gordon P. Scruton and Bishop Elect Douglas J. Fisher made the announcement in a recent letter to clergy and laity.

“Our church has prayed, debated, and sought guidance for this decision for a number of years,” wrote the two bishops. “Same gender couples, committed in love, may now be blessed to enter into a lifelong covenant of fidelity with one another and the living God.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry

Posted July 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. GrandpaDino wrote:

What rot!

July 16, 10:16 pm | [comment link]
2. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Well, I got news for the Bishop. A wedding using that Same Sex blessing has already been performed in Western Massachusetts. A friend of mine from seminary rushed home from General Convention and performed it. The pictures were all over Facebook…wedding cake and all.

July 16, 11:06 pm | [comment link]
3. NoVA Scout wrote:

A lot of things get “blessed” in Episcopalian circles.  Shucks, even my dogs have been blessed by a priest (I’m not sure why, really, but the kids thought it was marvellous.  I could not discern that the dogs much appreciated it).  The blessing of a long-term friendship (of whatever gender combinations) doesn’t seem that out of the mainstream in that context.  The problem comes when the “blessing” becomes an Orwellian stratagem for some sort of non male-female “wedding” by another name.

July 17, 7:36 am | [comment link]
4. c.r.seitz wrote:

“The problem comes when the “blessing” becomes an Orwellian stratagem for some sort of non male-female “wedding” by another name.”

This is very wise. It is also manifestly already so.

What kind service purporting to pronouce God’s blessing is also a service which concedes by its creation that God’s blessing will only be in certain places, and will be ‘provisional.’ Your dogs didn’t get a provisional blessing from a provisional blessing service that began as a trial rite that was adjusted for lack of votes and which many had hoped would be a marriage rite full stop and still do and will be planning to so propose next time around.

July 17, 10:36 am | [comment link]
5. David Keller wrote:

Based on the history of TEC, is there any reason to believe we won’t eventually have rites for blessing beastiality, pedophilia, prostitution, pick ups in bars etc.?  In fact, GC just passed a canon that says we can’t discriminate against anyone based on their “sexual expression”. Why would we be so stupid as to believe to the radicals in TEC, that only applies to transgerdered and/or cross-dressers?

July 17, 12:00 pm | [comment link]
6. Hursley wrote:

#5. In the wake of recent events, a number of people I’ve known over the years who have been more-or-less supportive of SSBs have suddenly come to realize that this isn’t the end of the matter. For reasons I cannot understand, they have not been able to see that the real goal is a complete re-defining of marriage, sexuality, morality, and the notion of holiness of life. As Integrity and their fellow-travellers gradually gain mastery over everything in TEC and reveal their true desires, some folks who should have known better are waking up to the sad reality that the church and faith they have known will be denied them by a group whose language, teaching, and ideas are utterly foreign. I guess a lot of people just cannot “connect the dots.”

July 17, 8:17 pm | [comment link]
7. MichaelA wrote:

#6, well at least they are realising now.  I think people are just starting to wake up.  That could be a very good result out of these bad times.

July 18, 2:53 am | [comment link]
8. David Keller wrote:

#6—At my old TEC pasrish, they are still saying “this doesn’t affect us”.  The prior rector came back from GC 2003 and told the congregation the tiff over VGR would blow over in 6 weeks. They just pretened like it never happened, and they certainly don’t want to talk about it. When people worship the institution, it doesn’t matter what happens at GC.  They just keep burying deeper and deeper in the sand. Someone actually told my wife (knowing we had left) “when I look at the stained glass windows and the beautiful building, I can’t understand how anyone could ever leave Christ Church.” You really can’t reason with someone like that.

July 18, 11:21 am | [comment link]
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