Friday, July 24, 2009

Bishop: Episcopal Diocese of Dallas won't accept gay unions

From the Dallas Morning News-

Bishop James Stanton says the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas won't join in what he sees as the Episcopal Church's growing acceptance of gay unions.

"We will not consent to the election of a bishop living in a same-sex relationship, and we will not allow the blessings of same-sex relationships," Stanton said in a letter to clergy.

Stanton, a theological conservative, wrote in response to the recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

The General Convention passed a resolution noting that some states now allow gay marriage, and calling on the denomination to "develop theological and liturgical resources" in response. The resolution stopped short of authorizing rites for gay unions.

The resolution does say that bishops – particularly where gay marriage is legal – "may provide generous pastoral response" to all members.

Stanton said such language appears to give a "green light" to blessings of gay unions.

While acknowledging that the Dallas diocese has many gay members, Stanton said it will continue "affirming the primacy of scripture, the sanctity of marriage and the call to holiness of life."

Stanton's letter also argues that the General Convention moved from a position of restraint on approving any more openly gay bishops. The acceptance of Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire has been a major concern for Episcopal conservatives.

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