Episcopalians: Bishops can bless same-sex unions

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    Jul 18, 2009 2:02 AM GMT

    By MICHELLE RINDELS, Associated Press Writer Michelle Rindels, Associated Press Writer – Fri Jul 17, 6:07 pm ET

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – Episcopalians on Friday authorized bishops to bless same-sex unions and research an official prayer for the ceremonies, capping a meeting that moved the church closer to accepting gay relationships despite turmoil over the issue in the Anglican family.

    The Episcopal General Convention also underscored the church's desire to remain a full member of the global Anglican Communion. But the actions at the national assembly are likely to damage the already strained relations within the fellowship.

    Delegates voted earlier this week to effectively drop a pledge that they would act with "restraint" when considering any more openly gay candidates for bishop.

    ...(snipped)...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_rel_episcopalians_gays

  • HndsmKansan

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    Jul 18, 2009 2:19 AM GMT
    How very interesting indeed..... I'll have to talk to Father Tom (at my Episcopal church in Wichita) to get his take. Thanks for sharing, I had not heard it.
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    Jul 18, 2009 5:51 AM GMT
    Yep, just read it. Great news, but I think there will be a split. The Anglican Communion is none too happy about this and they have threatened to kick the American section out if they were to do this. It will be interesting to see what the Archbishop of Cantebury will say about this since he is the head of the church, essentially the counterpart of the Catholic church's Pope Benedict.
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    Jul 18, 2009 7:34 AM GMT
    My ex goes to an Episcopalian church near Silverlake in Los Angeles. They have a good outreach for people living with HIV also.
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    Jul 18, 2009 2:07 PM GMT
    well they kicked the colonists away once already. a second time, won't matter much icon_razz.gif
  • dantoujours

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    Jul 18, 2009 2:11 PM GMT
    There has already been a split. The reason all this got passed is because the right-wingers are gone.

    I think there will be lots of screaming and yelling from abroad, but the Episcopal Church USA pays for most of the Anglican Communion's expenses, so, that's as far as it will probably go. Besides, the (Anglican) Church of England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia (outside Sydney) and South Africa are debating the same issues. The Lutheran Churches of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, which the Anglican Communion has a close relationship with through the Porvoo Agreement, already have gay bishops and perform same sex unions. It would be hypocritical to kick the American church out and ignore what is happening elsewhere. (I do think that some of the African churches: Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda as well as the church in Argentina/Chile may withdraw though.)

    In my home country of Canada, the Diocese of Niagara and New Westminster (Vancouver BC area) already bless same sex couples and Ottawa, Montréal, Québec and Toronto have signalled that they want to do it too.

    Besides allowing the election of openly gay bishops and allowing dioceses to bless same sex unions, the Episcopal Church's General Convention passed a resolution affirming the rights of transgendered people and supported full equality of same sex couples when it comes to immigration.
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    Jul 18, 2009 2:18 PM GMT
    ErikTaurean saidYep, just read it. Great news, but I think there will be a split. The Anglican Communion is none too happy about this and they have threatened to kick the American section out if they were to do this. It will be interesting to see what the Archbishop of Cantebury will say about this since he is the head of the church, essentially the counterpart of the Catholic church's Pope Benedict.

    Yes, the Archbishop has not been supportive of gay issues in the past. But isn't Queen Elizabeth II the titular head of the COE? Does she exercise any influence over the Anglicans, or does she leave all doctrinal matters to the Archbishop? I simply don't know how that works. icon_question.gif
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    Jul 18, 2009 2:35 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    ErikTaurean saidYep, just read it. Great news, but I think there will be a split. The Anglican Communion is none too happy about this and they have threatened to kick the American section out if they were to do this. It will be interesting to see what the Archbishop of Cantebury will say about this since he is the head of the church, essentially the counterpart of the Catholic church's Pope Benedict.

    Yes, the Archbishop has not been supportive of gay issues in the past. But isn't Queen Elizabeth II the titular head of the COE? Does she exercise any influence over the Anglicans, or does she leave all doctrinal matters to the Archbishop? I simply don't know how that works. icon_question.gif


    She is just a titular head.
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    Jul 18, 2009 2:41 PM GMT
    Blackguy4you said
    Red_Vespa said
    ErikTaurean saidYep, just read it. Great news, but I think there will be a split. The Anglican Communion is none too happy about this and they have threatened to kick the American section out if they were to do this. It will be interesting to see what the Archbishop of Cantebury will say about this since he is the head of the church, essentially the counterpart of the Catholic church's Pope Benedict.

    Yes, the Archbishop has not been supportive of gay issues in the past. But isn't Queen Elizabeth II the titular head of the COE? Does she exercise any influence over the Anglicans, or does she leave all doctrinal matters to the Archbishop? I simply don't know how that works. icon_question.gif

    She is just a titular head.

    With no influence whatsoever? Interestingly, when I right-clicked on the word "titular" to make sure I had used it correctly as I was writing my post, my Apple dictionary used this very example (paste):

    "the queen is titular head of the Church of England"
  • dantoujours

    Posts: 378

    Jul 18, 2009 2:47 PM GMT
    The Queen is the Defender of the Faith, a title given to the monarch by the Pope before the first split (under Henry VIII. The second and final split was under Elizabeth I)

    As in common in Westminster Parliaments, the Queen has reserved powers that are never exercised in real life. In this case, she appoints bishops but only on the advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister. She could legally refuse the appointment and appoint someone else, but in practise would never do so.
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    Jul 18, 2009 3:05 PM GMT
    dantoujours saidThe Queen is the Defender of the Faith, a title given to the monarch by the Pope before the Split.

    As in common in Westminster Parliaments, the Queen has reserved powers that are never exercised in real life. In this case, she appoints bishops but only on the advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the General Synod. She could legally refuse the appointment, but in practise would never do so.

    That I knew, the title Defender of the Faith ironically given to Henry VIII for his strong defense of Catholicism against the early Protestant movement, and subsequently retained by his successors despite his later break with the Pope over his divorce from Catharine of Aragon.

    But the Archbishop of Canterbury has been making statements that suggest the US Episcopal Church might be expelled from the worldwide Anglican Communion over the gay issue, and I wonder if he would not at least privately consult with Her Majesty over such a momentous decision. But then, I simply don't know about these matters, and perhaps he would act entirely on his own.
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    Jul 18, 2009 3:13 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    dantoujours saidThe Queen is the Defender of the Faith, a title given to the monarch by the Pope before the Split.

    As in common in Westminster Parliaments, the Queen has reserved powers that are never exercised in real life. In this case, she appoints bishops but only on the advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the General Synod. She could legally refuse the appointment, but in practise would never do so.

    That I knew, the title Defender of the Faith ironically given to Henry VIII for his strong defense of Catholicism against the early Protestant movement, and subsequently retained by his successors despite his later break with the Pope over his divorce from Catharine of Aragon.

    But the Archbishop of Canterbury has been making statements that suggest the US Episcopal Church might be expelled from the worldwide Anglican Communion over the gay issue, and I wonder if he would not at least privately consult with Her Majesty over such a momentous decision. But then, I simply don't know about these matters, and perhaps he would act entirely on his own.


    No the archbishop doesn't have to. it is purely a matter of formality. just like she is head of the government (political) as well. She merely endorses what the elected government says
  • dantoujours

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    Jul 18, 2009 3:20 PM GMT
    If the Archbishop of Canterbury expels the Episcopal Church, it would merely mean that the Bishops of the Episcopal Church would not be invited to the worldwide Anglican conferences (like the Lambeth Conference) or be invited to participate in joint ministries and on decision making bodies (like the Anglican Consultative Council). The Archbishop of Canterbury doesn't consult the Queen before issuing those invitations. She isn't involved in these decision making processes.
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    Jul 25, 2009 7:49 AM GMT
    nothing could be less consequential for modern gays than the approbation or disapprobation of a dying, effete sect of a bizarre ancient religion . . .
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    Jul 25, 2009 9:37 AM GMT
    noren saidnothing could be less consequential for modern gays than the approbation or disapprobation of a dying, effete sect of a bizarre ancient religion . . .


    I'm not so sure, even though as an atheist I see where you're coming from. It seems to me that a great tragedy is that everywhere these days conservative religion has the greatest voice, to the detriment of moderate religion.

    The Church of England is, unlike Catholicism for example, not a denomination with strong central power; indeed it is the very political weakness of the Archbishop of Canterbury that causes him to appear intransigent. And yet a very powerful part of the communion of the CofE fully embraces gay people, including ordaining them. It is not at all clear to me that the bishops who oppose homosexuality are as powerful, though often they are characterized as such.

    Nor is it fair to characterize the issue as Europe/America versus Africa. Desmond Tutu in South Africa has been perhaps the staunchest and most scholarly advocate of gay rights: he says that homophobia is a "crime against humanity" and "every bit unjust" as apartheid. It is because of the influence of people like him that South Africa has a constitutional guarantee of equality for gay people.

    In Islam at present in the UK, there is a small and very loud group of people trying to demand Sharia, when there is no evidence that many Muslims want it. That conservative -- even fundamentalist -- groups are able to claim the identity "Muslim" or "Christian" ought to be profoundly disturbing for all of us, because it affords them power to constrain others.

    One could argue that all of these people are misguided, though the liberal ones quite definitely less so, but to many many people their actions are not irrelevant.
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    Jul 26, 2009 7:06 AM GMT
    Let me be blunt and quote Stalin -- "Gratitude is a dog's disease."

    Do you get it now?

    We don't need the solicitude of a befuddled, half-witted, flounced and furbelowed irrelevant clergy.

    Thanks, and have a nice day!
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    Jul 26, 2009 10:05 AM GMT
    dantoujours saidIf the Archbishop of Canterbury expels the Episcopal Church, it would merely mean that the Bishops of the Episcopal Church would not be invited to the worldwide Anglican conferences (like the Lambeth Conference) or be invited to participate in joint ministries and on decision making bodies (like the Anglican Consultative Council). The Archbishop of Canterbury doesn't consult the Queen before issuing those invitations. She isn't involved in these decision making processes.


    In Europe and America, the anti-gay conservatives are swimming against the tide. If the CofE split completely, I'd be fine with it, because the liberal side would have moral authority and I think it's time for a reinterpretation of the scriptures along liberal lines.