(Journal-Sentinel) Milwaukee Episcopal bishop yet to decide on same-sex blessings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When the Episcopal Church voted last summer to allow the blessing of same-sex unions, many clergy and faithful in Wisconsin and the nation saw it as a major step toward the full inclusion of gay and lesbian members in the life of the church.

Six months later, the prior ban on same-sex blessings remains in effect in the southern third of the state covered by the Diocese of Milwaukee. Bishop Steven Miller has yet to decide whether he'll allow the provisional rite approved by the church to be used in its parishes. And the lack of a decision is frustrating many in a diocese that strongly supported the change.

"I have people here in my parish - faithful, committed Christians - who are partners in same-sex relationships and long to have their re lationships recognized by the church they love. So I'm really anxious to be able to do that," said the Rev. Andy Jones of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Madison, echoing the concerns of several pastors in the diocese.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

5 Comments
Posted January 15, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br. Michael wrote:

Can you be a faithful committed Christian it you ignore Scripture’s teachings on sexual immorality?

January 15, 10:07 am | [comment link]
2. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

Can you be a faithful committed Christian if you ignore Scripture’s teachings on sexual immorality?

You can, at least in your own mind, if your Rector and your Bishop ignore Scripture’s teachings on sexual immorality.  While it is so sad that so many cannot read the scriptures to see what God has revealed to us through them, it is a deliberate mockery of God for priests, deacons, and especially bishops to pretend the scriptures don’t say what they say.

The ordained clergy took an oath to to guard the faith.  From page 518 of the 1979 BCP, each bishop-to-be is asked this: “Will you guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church?  I will, for the love of God”.

They vowed this before God; one day they will have an accounting for their apostasy.

January 15, 12:11 pm | [comment link]
3. Undergroundpewster wrote:

He hasn’t said “Yes” because he thinks the blessing ritual does not go far enough.

“Miller argues the provision as adopted creates a two-tier system in the Episcopal Church and does nothing to advance marriage equality.”

“He has proposed eliminating the church’s civil function in conducting marriages, returning that to the state, and rewriting the Book of Common Prayer to define marriage as between two people, regardless of gender.”

“‘There is a difference between Christian marriage and civil legality,’ Miller said.”

“‘The blessing rite, while trying to achieve justice for one group of people, creates an injustice for another,’ he said, pointing to, for example, elderly heterosexual couples who cannot marry for financial reasons.”

January 15, 12:44 pm | [comment link]
4. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

This Bishop, because of his own deliberate apostasy, is not only leading thousands which God has placed under his care away from the faith, he is endangering their eternal salvation.  Multiply him by nearly the whole HOB and you get a sense for the tragic consequences of sin; the sin of TEC.

January 15, 12:55 pm | [comment link]
5. John Boyland wrote:

Allow me to try to defend Bishop Miller in his indefensible position.

It seems that last summer he came up with this “compromise” (no to civil unions, yes to Christian (same-sex) marriage) as a way to delay having to approve SSB in Milwaukee until there was a stronger consensus and better theology.  He may have recalled the nonsense that VGR was confirmed (by the same GC that confirmed Miller) despite having divorced his wife and having moved in with a lover.  PB Griswold, when asked whether GC would confirm as bishop a heterosexual who had done the same, said “of course not”.  The whole episode showed that ECUSA had gotten the cart (of gay bishops) before the horse (of SSB/SSM).  Miller’s point was that gay blessings are making the same mistake, and I agree with him as far as that goes.

The problem was that Miller, who seems to have surrounded himself with people who won’t tell him the hard truth, thought that his proposal would satisfy both sides, when of course it angers both.  The reappraisers are perfectly happy with an inch at a time, facts on the ground and will brook no recalcitrance.  The reasserters meanwhile
were horrified to see Bishop Miller (who had previously refused to publicly approve same-sex behavior) actually proposing same-sex BCP marriage, as practiced in, say, Boston.

The problem is that in endorsing the reappraisers’ final goal, Bishop Miller has cut off any retreat to orthodoxy, barring a *major* mea culpa, and who has the stomach for that much humble pie?

Please pray that Bishop Miller would recall his true allegiance to our Lord and that he would listen to the persistent voice of Scripture above the siren calls of our current culture and the culture of TEC.

January 15, 2:33 pm | [comment link]
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