Jeff Walton—Virginia TEC Bishop Conducts Same-Sex Blessing

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Shannon Johnston of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has presided over the blessing of a same-sex union, according to an Arlington clergywoman.

Mother Leslie J. Hague, rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Arlington was joined in “holy union” with her partner, Katie Casteel, at Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Dunn Loring on November 23. The afternoon blessing ceremony followed Hague and Casteel’s civil marriage in nearby Washington, DC exactly one year before. Same-sex marriages are not recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

4 Comments
Posted December 6, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Hats off to Jeff Walton for calling attention to this scandalous affair.  Complete with a photo of two women in wedding gowns that really says it all.

As someone who was a licensed priest in the Dioc. of VA for many years, I still am stunned and amazed at how quickly and radically the diocdese has lurched far to the left since the big conservative churches left in 2006-2007.  +Shannon Johnston likes to portray himself as a moderate and a consensus-builder who continues the centrist “middle aisle” approach of +Peter James Lee, but in reality he is fully committed to furthering not only the whole pro-gay agenda but more importantly, he fully and openly endorses the theological and moral relativism that underlies that agenda.  Walton is absolutely right in connecting the two things and highlighting the bishop’s flagrant public association with the likes of Dominic Crossan and John Shelby Spong. +Lee would never have done what Johnston did, in providing a platform for the outrageously heretical remarks of those two notorious “debunkers” of historic Christianity, whereby Jonston condoned, promoted, and even implicitly celebrated their caustic, sneering attacks on the apostolic faith.  Clearly, +Shannon Johnston is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  He’s a smooth talker, but he no longer feels the need to appear all that moderate anymore since the hardcore conservatives have now revolted and left.

Two more quick points.  For a long time, I’ve had the hunch that +Johnston is positioning himself for being the next PB.  He knows which way the wind is blowing in TEC (to the left), and he is trimming his sails accordingly.

Second, it shouldn’t be forgotten that +Johnston came to Richmond from Biloxi, MS, the home of Don Wildmon and his conservative radio hetwork that is one of the major crusading forces in the Culture War.  +Johnston is one of those many, many clergy in TEC who think that Fundamentalism is the archenemy, and that Southern Fundamentalism in particular represents everything that is most vile and contrary to the “enlightened” Episcopal way.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m no fan of Don Wildmon or southern Fundamentalism, but what metters is that Wildmon is on the right side of the Culture War, and +Johnston is on the wrong side.

What in the world would old evangelical bishop William Meade (a founder of Virginia Seminary and an ardent champion of theological orthodoxy) think of +Johnston??

David Handy+

December 6, 10:51 am | [comment link]
2. David Keller wrote:

I have gratefully left TEC so I really don’t care what Bp. Johnson is doing.  TEC is an irrelevant marginal sect. But, the thing that is totally whacky is how two lesbians who shun tradition, or even turn tradition on its head at every turn want to have a “wedding” with white gowns and veils.  I can’t even think of the correct English word to describe that idiocy.

December 6, 11:15 am | [comment link]
3. Ross Gill wrote:

In his letter to Christ Church, Johnston wrote of how “support from such an iconic place as Christ Church will be very helpful indeed for the witness of our Diocese in this matter of pastoral care for all of our people…I look forward to working with you for LGBT inclusion in every way that I can.”

A clear indication of what happens when pastoral care becomes divorced from a sound theology grounded in holy scripture.

December 6, 11:31 am | [comment link]
4. MichaelA wrote:

Interesting that this is being reported by word of mouth.  Has +Johnston said anything?

December 8, 1:14 am | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): The Latest Anglican Unscripted on the Pilling Report and Much more

Previous entry (below): A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)