Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wrestling bishops: Rival Churches both claim high ground


This is a big week for letter writing for bishops staking out their claims to the righteous high ground on the future of the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued letters to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and to the Church in the USA clarifying the controversial gay-friendly moves made by the 11-day long governing convention that wrapped up last week.

Schori says they've been mis-interpreted in the media. Let's clarify here -- and I'm paraphrasing her:

First, they have not repudiated their ties with traditionalists in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Indeed, the resolution which opens the door to approving more gay bishops is entirely packaged with reiterations of the Episcopal Church's desires to keep listening to others and pursuing mission together.

However, the Episcopal Church, contrary to traditionalists, recognizes that homosexuals can also respond to God's call to ministry, a call that is always a mystery. The resolution, she writes:

...acknowledges that the members of The Episcopal Church, and of the Anglican Communion, are not of one mind, and that faithful Christians disagree about some of these matters.

Secondly, despite some reports, no prayer books have been changed to add blessings for same-sex couples. What hundreds of deputies and bishops overwhelmingly approved was a resolution that they'll look into writing those liturgies and presenting drafts three years from now at the next governing meetings.

Meanwhile, bishops have "generous discretion" to bless gay couples as they please -- or don't please -- "to honor the theological diversity of this Church in regard to matters of human sexuality," she writes.

Get the difference between the actual resolutions and public perception? Read both resolutions here and decide for yourself.

More here-

1 comment:

Celinda Scott said...

"My pain and my distress I find it is not easy to express. My amazement and my surprise you may learn from the expression of my eyes."
(_HMS Pinafore_)