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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The clear message of the September 25th House of Bishops (HOB) statement is that they are determined to stay on the exact same course that they have been on all along.
Although promising “not to authorize public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions” sounds like a prohibition, in reality it is a “don’t ask; don’t tell” policy in practice. This has been demonstrated by Bishop Bruno’s recent comments that he has not authorized such blessings, while priests in the Diocese of Los Angeles do so without hesitation. If this were a prohibition, priests who conduct such blessings would be inhibited by Bishop Bruno. To date, this has not happened. Not authorizing “a public rite” means that The Episcopal Church (TEC) will not authorize and publish an official prayer book service for same-sex unions. In other words, clergy in dioceses who wish to perform same-sex unions may continue to do so, so long as it is not an official public rite. This is neither prohibition nor restraint. It is simply turning a blind eye.
Likewise, the promise to “exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church” is a proclamation of intent that falls far short of repentance, and is no guarantee of cessation. At best this is a pause, not a change in direction. Were this a change in direction, a lesbian candidate for the Diocese of Chicago would be removed from the list. What did the HOB statement say about ordaining practicing homosexuals to other clerical orders? Nothing.
Read it all.
Next entry (above): Joint Statement on the Resolution of the House of Bishops (AAC, Network, FiFNA)
Previous entry (below): The Bishop of Newark’s Reflections on the House of Bishops’ Meeting
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