anthills–Episcopalians & the Anglican Communion

June 29, 2006

-NEWARK NOMINEE ASKS FOR GAY CHURCH MARRIAGES

Filed under: Uncategorized — anthill @ 6:04 am

An observant person alerted me to the original proposal by Louie Crew of a resolution to General Convention to allow the marriage liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer to be used for same-sex couples in church weddings.

The document is on Crew’s website.

The point here is not the resolution, which was not sent ahead for approval by its committee. The significance is that one of the endorsers is the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, partnered gay, and nominee for bishop of Newark.

I report this because the trajectory of the General Convention is toward church weddings for gays and lesbians. This quiet shift is why no last-minute resolution was attempted in the Convention addressing the Windsor request for a moratorium on same-sex blessings. It would have had no chance of passing.

The proposed resolution, to “Authorize use of marriage rite in Book of Common Prayer for Same-Sex Couples,” was introduced as follows:

Resolved, …General Convention authorizes use of the rites for Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage and The Blessing of a Civil Marriage in the Book of Common Prayer for same-sex couples in those civil jurisdictions that permit same-sex marriage, and further authorizes modification of gender references in the rites to accommodate such marriages….”

Particular resolves addressed the language of the rite. For Example: “That both parties understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman two persons.”

While reference in the resolution was to states which allow same-sex civil marriage, watch for this to be put to use elsewhere. Susan Russell’s liturgy with her partner was billed on her website as a wedding—claimed there as “traditional marriage.” The service in All Saints’ Church, Pasadena, had all the trappings and a liturgy matching the outline of the prayer book (published on the Integrity website). And California is not a state with same-sex civil marriage.

Having resisted the godly pressure from the Anglican Communion at General Convention on the issue of same-sex blessings, the Episcopal Church cannot be expected ever again seriously to debate the unique value of a marriage blessing for a man and a woman.

Consistently, we would expect a Bishop Barlowe to find a place for gay marriages in Newark if he is elected and eventually confirmed in rebellion to Resolution B033.

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