Episcopalians to allow gay marriage in churchesBy Brady Mccombs and Rachel Zoll Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the pioneering election of the first openly gay bishop.
The vote came in Salt Lake City at the Episcopal General Convention, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. It passed in the House of Deputies, the voting body of clergy and lay participants at the meeting. The House of Bishops had approved the resolution Tuesday by 129-26 with five abstaining.
The Very Rev. Brian Baker of Sacramento said the church rule change was the result of a nearly four-decade long conversation that has been difficult and painful for many. Baker, chairman of the committee that crafted the changes, said church members have not always been kind to one another but that the dynamic has changed in recent decades.
“We have learned to not only care for, but care about one other,” Baker said. “That mutual care was present in the conversations we had. Some people disagreed, some people disagreed deeply, but we prayed and we listened and we came up with compromises that we believe make room and leave no one behind.”
Baker said the House of Bishops debated the issue for five hours earlier this week before passing it on to the House of Deputies.
The Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago, a lesbian married to a fellow Episcopal priest, hugged fellow supporters Wednesday and said, “We’re all included now.”
“For the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in our congregations now know under the eyes of God and in every single state in this blessed country, they are welcome to receive all the sacraments,” she said.
The Rev. Jose Luis Mendoza-Barahona of Honduras gave an impassioned speech, saying the new church law goes against the Bible.
“The fight has not ended, it’s starting,” he said. “Those of us in the church who are loyal followers of Christ are going to remain firm in not recognizing what happened today.”
The vote eliminates gender-specific language from church laws on marriage so that same-sex couples could have religious weddings. Instead of “husband” and “wife,” the new church law will refer to “the couple.” Under the new rules, clergy can decline to perform the ceremonies. The changes were approved 173-27. The deputies approved a gender-neutral prayer service for marriage on a 184-23 vote.
The measures take effect the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29.
Many dioceses in the New York-based church of nearly 1.9 million members have allowed their priests to perform civil same-sex weddings, using a trial prayer service to bless the couple. Still, the church hadn’t changed its own laws on marriage until Wednesday.
The Episcopal Church joins two other Protestant groups that allow gay marriage in all their congregations: the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. The 3.8-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lets its congregations decide for themselves, and many of them play host to gay weddings.
The United Methodist Church, the largest Protestant church with 12.8 million members, bars gay marriage, although many of its clergy have been officiating at same-sex weddings recently in protest.
Bad news indeed. But surely you are not surprised? The Episcopalians are so "broad-minded" that they would probably ordain Anton LaVey.
Thanks Father, I am so glad you are being a leader.
The present pope, when he was cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, was undermining Pope Benedict XVI on this issue. Cardinal Bergoglio stated to his Anglican friend that he thought the ordinariate was not needed and that Anglicans should remain Anglican, an absolutely shocking thing for a Catholic prelate to say.
That may be true when he was a lowly cardinal, but since becoming pope, Pope Francis has been extremely supportive of the Anglican Ordinariate to the point of even signing off on its revised Roman Missal with Extraordinary Form options in it similar to what Cardinal Sarah will implement for the rest of us!
I read that John Paul 2 held off on the Anglican Ordinariate in an attempt to reach reconciliation with the Church of England. But with the ordination of women bishops during this 26-years, it was pretty clear by the time of his death that such reconciliation was illusionary at best, impossible at worst. Thus Benedict opened up the Anglican Ordinariate. Some Anglicans have gone over to Orthodoxy, but western Orthodoxy remains controversial among many Orthodox who think it has too much in common with Rome.
You would not have to revise too much the current (1979) Book of Common Prayer to be acceptable for Roman use. You would have to add some things like commemoration of the local bishop and the pope in the Eucharistic prayer, but there isn't much difference in say Eucharist Rite 1 in the modern Prayer Book and the OF form of the Mass. In contrasts, there is no set liturgy among fundamentalists---remember one time attending a Baptist wedding here in Atlanta, and there was a hymnal, but no guidelines in there for liturgy. Pretty much whatever the pastor wanted.
Doesn't matter if he was a cardinal or not. A bishop and prince of the Church openly advocating indifferentism?
Anon at 11:49,
What you're describing has already been done under Catholic auspices. Google "Book of Divine Worship." The Rite 1 appearing therein is far superior to the NO.
I think Cardinal Burke has done the same thing as well as Archbishop Leferbrve.
Interesting that the particular heresy that started with Henry VIII continues in this cult - the heresy that doctrine can change to suit whatever the leaders want to do. Obstacle to your desires? Easy!!! Just change the rules! See how easy that was!
Some Rock they are building on, huh?
I can't help but ponder as to how the ruling in question by the Episcopal Church bishops symbolized the futility of the supposed New Springtime (the revolution, if you will) that our Catholic Churchmen bestowed upon us some 50 years ago (even prior to that).
The overthrow of the TLM...collapse of the Roman Liturgy...Ecumenical Movement...destruction of Friday penance...wreckovation of once beautiful churches...futility of interreligious "dialogue", particularly with Islam...on and on...
It all is tied to the notion that the Catholic Church should "raze Her bastions" to open Herself to non-Catholics and the world.
Let us apologize to the world for our majestic liturgy, our "arrogant" triumphal Church, and our supposed endless "sins" as a Church.
Note to world: Sorry, that we are the Catholic Church. Forgive us for having been Catholic. We apologize to you for our past.
From there, non-Catholics would simply love us. They would come over each afternoon for coffee and cake.
Well...there goes another part of the revolution, that is, the Ecumenical Movement, down the drain.
Our Churchmen were so keen to have razed the Church's bastions to embrace the world of non-Catholics.
Another "mainstream" Protestant "Church", the Episcopal Church, has shaken its fist at God and His True Church.
The Catholic Church all but stands alone in Her spiritual war against Satan. Even worse, our Churchmen have weakened the Church Militant considerably.
The New Springtime continues to usher in cold weather.
More than ever, we need His Holiness to shout to the Faithful and world the Church's teachings in regard to family and marriage.
The Eastern Orthodox have been very critical of the liberal trends in Anglicanism too. In fact, if you look at a lot of Eastern Europe---more in the Eastern Orthodox camp---there is largely no recognition of same-sex marriages. Unlike Western Europe with its mix of Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Presbyterian.
The latest action by the Episcopalians should pretty much cut off any Catholic-Episcopal relations. Time for the cold freeze. After all, they make up less than 1 percent of the country's population.
What the heck is a "trial prayer"? I suppose if one is pleading guilty of sin rather than asking a blessing of it. Also, Fr, McDonald, I notice you have been losing weight. You'll be a new man if you keep this up. Does that make you transfat?
ECUSA claims to be part of the 'world-wide Anglican communion' which of course does not, and cannot, exist. The so-called Church of England (for which I have a lot of respect) is by law established since the beginning of Elizabeth I's reign. It can solemnize marriage without reference to the State and this is enshrined in several acts of Parliament. Those who wish to marry outside the CofE, and this includes Catholics, must first fulfil the requirements of a civil marriage (without a civil ceremony) although larger Catholic churches are licensed for marriage, which means the registrar need not be present.
It is a legal requirement that the vows be public and in English, which is something of a disappointment for those traditionalists who would prefer to say 'volo'.
Since the 'same-sex marriage' law only applies to civil marriage it does not apply to the CofE and it would take complex legislation and repeal of existing statutes to change this. There are some advantages to having an established Church (even if it is strictly speaking only an 'ecclesial community' and is Protestant to boot).
HM the Queen is probably the only sincere Protestant left in the Church of which she is Supreme Governor (the rest are agnostics or crypto-Papists) but at least we have a Head of State who can publicly proclaim Christian values and indeed is expected to do so.
Montana Resident Applies for Polygamist Marriage
Well, that didn't take long.
Will the Ordinariate experience much growth via the Episcopal Church's acceptance of the SCOTUS' same-sex ruling?
During the past 10 years, I have experienced close interactions with several Episcopalians. At the parishes that they've attended, I have found strong acceptance of sodomite "marriage"...also abortion, artificial birth control, and pre-marital sex.
At said parishes, I have found widespread disinterest in religion among the younger folks...teenagers in particular. They abandon the Episcopal Church and, for that matter, "organized religion," as fast as they can.
Overall, my impression of the Episcopal Church is that it's losing membership rapidly...particularly among its younger members. The majority of the remaining folks accept the Culture of Death.
Therefore, in the worldly sense, to play to their membership, what did the Episcopal Church bishops have to lose when they voted to support same-sex "marriage"?
Had the Episcopal Church bishops sided with God and the Culture of Life, many Episcopal Church laymen would have abandoned their church for a different Culture of Death Protestant community ...or simply have formed their own Culture of Death communities.
Again, from their point of view, the Episcopal bishops simply made a business decision to keep their dying community afloat for a time.
Wouldn't be surprising if there have also been Catholics inquiring about joining the Episcopal Church...There are two sides to a coin....
The Episcopal Church, perhaps the most liberal of all mainline Protestant denominations had a peak of about 3 million in the 1960's and about 1.5 million today. This reflects the dramatic decline in numbers of most traditionally liberal Protestant denominations none of which are gaining members, similar to liberal religious orders in the Church, in fact there are striking parallels.
Conservative Protestant Evangelical Churches are the fastest growing usually with a pentecostal or charismatic twist.
Conservative Catholicism is the fastest growing element in the Church also. Liberal orders are on life support and will be disconnected completely in the next 10 to 20 years.
The mustard seed that will rebuild society after its collapse or take over by militants in radicalized groups will be conservative Christians and the Catholic Church, something she has done for 2000 years now.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you say that your conservative parish has grown from 2,400 to 1,200 families since you got there?
More than likely I said Macon Georgia has grown my 10,000 people moving away or we have grown by half our parish moving or dying
But conservative Catholicism is the "fastest growing element in the Church....mustard seed"....Seems to be growing backwards. Maybe you should get more pentecostal...charismatic...
I can almost hear it now...Gene speaking in "tongues".
Gene already speaks in tongues.
Anonymous at 2:48,
If I understand your comment correctly, you seem to fall into the progressive error of assuming that all change is progress and that all progress is good. In American culture, wrapped up as it is in the idea of progress, , going backwards is usually portrayed in negative terms, but in reality going backwards is not always a bad thing, such as when you are teetering on a cliff or have made a wrong turn.
I don't think you understand the comment correctly...Can I explain it so you'll understand? I don't think so...
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