Skip to comments.Arkansas Episcopal Bishop Gives Nod For Gay Blessings
Posted on 07/19/2006 5:44:27 PM PDT by sionnsar
A month after the Episcopal General Convention failed to answer the Windsor Report's call for a moratorium on public same-sex blessing rites, Arkansas Episcopal Bishop Larry Maze has announced that certain congregations will "likely move forward" on gay blessings in the weeks ahead.
Maze announced his policy supporting the exploration of same-sex blessings, on a congregation-by-congregation basis, in a letter to clergy today (July 19). It appears that the first gay blessing in the diocese could take place at St. Paul's, Fayetteville. In a letter to colleagues dated July 18, the Rev. Lowell Grisham of St. Paul's announced the availability of this "pastoral office" at his parish, with the bishop's permission and "with appropriate preparation." Bishop Maze says St. Michael's, Little Rock, is also nearing the possibility of blessing gay relationships.
In his letter, Bishop Maze acknowledged continuing disagreement in the church on the gay issue. But as he sees it, the Episcopal Church (TEC) remains "in the forefront of the effort to assure that gay and lesbian persons are made welcome in our churches" and under the governance of two relevant resolutions; one, adopted by the 1976 General Convention, states that "homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church." The second, adopted by General Convention 2003, states that local faith communities "are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions." It is on this basis that TEC leaders have claimed that the denomination has not authorized same-sex blessing rites, meaning in a churchwide sense, though clearly the convention has authorized such rites as are composed locally for the same purpose.
Maze's rather confused explanation about exactly what he is authorizing reflects this double-mindedness. "Neither the General Convention nor the Diocese of Arkansas has produced or approved official rites for the blessing of same-sex unions....No congregation, vestry, or priest is expected to interpret the pastoral concern and care of the Church for gay and lesbian persons in a way that includes the possibility of formal rites of blessing," the bishop stated. "However, those that do, have permission to proceed to work as a congregation to come to clarity around the issues involved when the Church blesses anything or anyone. If a couple seeks blessing in that congregation, they will join in that exploration much to the benefit of the congregation and the couple. This is a pastoral response and it is expected that each case will reflect the uniqueness of the congregation and the couple involved. It is expected that the bishop will be informed of each process, receive a report of work done, and see any liturgy that is produced before proceeding with a blessing rite."
A source in the Arkansas diocese said that, as he understands it, the position of the diocese's deputies to General Convention is that the convention's 11th-hour resolution, calling for diocesan bishops and standing committees not to consent to the consecration of actively homosexual bishops, will be an acceptable enough answer for the Anglican Communion, even though it does not address gay blessings.
The same source says he thought it was "unusual for the bishop to make this decision now, because an election for a new bishop is slated for November this year, and the new bishop will be consecrated on January 6, 2007."
In his letter, Fr. Grisham said that there are currently "no blessing services planned or in preparation" at St. Paul's, "but I anticipate that there will be couples who would like to avail themselves of this ministry in the near future. We'd love for that to happen with absolutely no publicity..."
Why stop at celebrating homosexuality in the church? There are other forbidden practices that need the same sort of support like beastilality and pedophilia; let's not forget necrophilia and I'm sure there are others as well.
I'll just bet.
I'm drinking to that!
I'm so sorry to see this church fall apart like this. I once was an Episcopalian and relatives who still are think it's no big deal.
That can't be his REAL name, can it? Somehow, it reminds me of the feminazi "theologian" Amy Hollywood!
Oh well, Arkansas is where clinton came from, isn't it? What can you expect?
That's true. Jesus never mentioned them, did he?
I'm guessing polygamy is next. Much more support for it.
Yes, there is some ancient precedent for polygamy in the Judeo-Christian tradition, although it died out within Judaism long before the time of Christ.
By contrast, there is zero support for buggery. I find it amusing that the same liberals who want gay marriage claim to find polygamy abhorrent.
Most of our population (and probably nearly all of the liberal population) lives in serial polygamy already. Their support of the one and their rejection of the other has absolutely no basis in logic...
How much liberalthink has a basis in logic? It's primarily emotion-based want-think, the stuff of pubescent, angry, want-to-be-grown-up teens.
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