If there’s one book that you would have expected every Episcopal priest to have read, it’s the Bible, but apparently such an expectation would be wrong. From the front page of :
By David O’Reilly, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
Sixteen fractious years after it allowed the ordination of homosexuals, the Episcopal Church appears poised to adopt a blessing rite for same-sex couples wishing to wed.
If approved, as expected, at the church’s General Convention starting Thursday in Indianapolis, the liturgy would be the first such rite endorsed by a major denomination in the United States.
Advocates of the blessing — already written, down to the “We have gathered here today” and “I do” and the exchange of rings — stress that it is not a sacrament and would not confer “marriage” on the couple.
Episcopal Church law defines marriage as the union of man and woman, and there are no plans to change that this year.
But the 2009 convention had encouraged bishops in states allowing same-sex marriage – currently six, and the District of Columbia – to “provide generous pastoral response” to gay and lesbian members. It also authorized creation of the rite now under consideration.
More at the link.
The Episcopal Church is in the process of tearing itself apart, as your Editor noted as far back as 2005. Since that time, schism has wracked the Episcopal Church, with come congregations deciding to move under the umbrella of a more reasonable diocese in Africa, while others have just plain left the Episcopal Church and become Catholic.1 If the learned Episcopal priests have somehow failed to read their Bibles, it seems that many of their parishioners have done so for them. It is one thing to not wish to see homosexuals discriminated against, or even allow same sex civil marriages, but the good Episcopal priests and bishops are now contemplating a blessing for something which is condemned in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, as wholly sinful. They are, in effect, rejecting the traditional for the trendy, rejecting the word of God for the approbation of the glitterati.
The role of the Christian pastor is to uphold the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible. Not all pastors are perfect, and some have truly fallen from grace, but the notion that a purportedly Christian denomination would actually create a blessing for something specifically prohibited in the Bible they profess to believe can do nothing but undermine the faith of those whom they are charged with teaching the faith.
The Episcopal bishops may do as they wish, but so may their parishioners . . . and their parishioners are leaving.
- The actual theological differences between Catholicism and Anglicanism are fairly small. ↩