The Episcopal Bishop of Texas on Same Gender Blessings Vote(s) at GC 2012

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Written the day before the Deputies Vote--KSH).

As I have explained this will be passed by the House of Deputies. The Diocese of Texas has a plan for dealing with this. Our plan, rolled out in April, communicated to all Diocese of Texas clergy, and posted for the diocese in order to have access to the materials is available at:

In our plan the progressives will be allowed generous pastoral provisions to respond to gay and lesbians while the traditionalists who oppose the blessing of same-gender blessings are protected by the legislation and by my desire to make room for all people of many views on this subject within our diocese. In the Diocese of Texas we have a way to move forward with our continued work of proclaiming the uniqueness of Christ Jesus and participating in God's mission of salvation.

Our goal is to keep the church together for the sake of mission. In the past we have not had a plan that enabled us to stay together, so people on all sides have been frustrated, fearful, and suspicious of one another. Traditionalists and progressives alike have left as our church because of a lack of direction. The Texas plan offers a vision of unity for the sake of mission of God; it reminds us that our future resides in the arms of God and God's kingdom.

Read it all.

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

Posted July 11, 2012 at 7:00 am

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1. c.r.seitz wrote:

“1) Ensuring that this liturgy did not kick off Book of Common Prayer revision”—No, instead it voided its logic.

July 11, 8:45 am | [comment link]
2. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

In our plan the progressives will be allowed generous pastoral provisions to respond to gay and lesbians while the traditionalists who oppose the blessing of same-gender blessings are protected by the legislation…

Does anyone else find this turn of phrase, “protected by the legislation,” somewhat ominous? If the legislation is repealed at some future point, does this mean the protection will be voided? Perhaps I am reading too much into this.

July 11, 9:51 am | [comment link]
3. Christopher Johnson wrote:

Not at all, #2.  Remember the “protection” provided for those opposed to women’s ordination.

July 11, 10:36 am | [comment link]
4. Sherri2 wrote:

Our goal is to keep the church together for the sake of mission.

What mission can there be with such a divided message?

July 11, 10:43 am | [comment link]
5. Henry wrote:

Yes Bishop—that’s what they said about the ordination of women to the priesthood…see where that got us?!?  Also, I thought the primary purpose of the church was to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ…when you “vote” to throw out the Gospel, how can you work to spread it?!?!?!?

July 11, 11:11 am | [comment link]
6. f/k/a_revdons wrote:

traditionalists who oppose the blessing of same-gender blessings are protected by the legislation

This is how it was with women’s ordination (wo). As we all know that provision was eventually removed and wo was enforced because ultimately it is a “justice” issue. Given this history and since the LGBT issues are seen in the same light as wo, I am curious to see how long the generous provision for traditionalists will last.

July 11, 11:24 am | [comment link]
7. David Keller wrote:

#2-3, Read carefully. The resolution says anyone who objects “should” be protected. That is a poor choice by the right or very intentional choice by the left. Legally, should means not always, with some exceptions, etc. I suspect the remnant of the orthodox has been hoodooed again just like they were at Port St. Lucie and Denver.

July 11, 11:26 am | [comment link]
8. Br. Michael wrote:

&, I suspect that it’s just sloppy.  The provision applies to both supporters and opposers and I would think that the left wants maximum protection for themselves in the few conservative dioceses that remain.  I would have used “shall” myself.

July 11, 11:36 am | [comment link]
9. tjmcmahon wrote:

Look folks, it is a “provisional” liturgy and will be replaced at the next GC by an official rite or prayer book revision or by a “provisional” gay marriage ceremony.  Pay attention to Russell, Glasspool, Budde and the others who are now setting the TEC liturgy agenda for the next 9 years or so.  According to the tweets and blogs, this is only stage one of a multi year project to end in fully recognized gay marriage ensconced in the 2018 or 2021 or 2024 BCP (depending whose schedule you go by).  There is NO protection for the orthodox- since the minimum would be separate bishops maintaining the Apostolic orders which 111 bishops of TEC just renounced (in fairness, most of them had already done this in the various depositions, and at the 2009 GC).  Several of the bishops who voted “no” have already announced their intention to abandon the communion of the Church by allowing the rite even though they cast a vote against it, because it is the will of “this church” (not to be confused with the one headed by our Lord).

The Bp. of Texas wants traditionalists to stay and put money in the plate to continue to fund this and other revisions.  How you stay in a diocese run by a bishop and people you are no longer in communion with, since they have an entirely different definition of Christianity and what the sacraments are, I really don’t know. For the bishop to allow this makes him a heretic who has abandoned the communion of the church.  But he wants you to keep paying his salary, and that of all the people paid by the diocese to spread heresy.  Your call.  But get over playing the game of revisionist semantics (“it’s not really doctrine until it is in the prayer book” or “I am sure that the bishop will not force this on unwilling congregations”)- it is the revisionists game.  Try calling your bishop and telling him, as you were promised in 1996, that you want a male Anglo Catholic rector who does not recognize the authority of women clergy, and see where that gets you.

July 11, 11:49 am | [comment link]
10. tired wrote:

[9] Spot on.  The words “progressives will be allowed generous pastoral provisions” mean nothing less than a diocesan endorsement of SSBs for all so inclined.  That game is over.


July 11, 3:17 pm | [comment link]
11. magnolia wrote:

no. 9 you hit that nail squarely on the head.

July 11, 4:00 pm | [comment link]

© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com

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