From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] Committee prepares same-sex blessings resolution for bishops

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Sun, 03 Aug 2003 15:23:31 -0700

August 2, 2003

Committee prepares same-sex blessings resolution for bishops

Episcopal News Service

By David Skidmore

[ENS] As the Gene Robinson consent is introduced to the House of Deputies
Sunday, the conventions other high-profile issue same-sex unions could
be headed to the House of Bishops as early as Monday.

The Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music met in executive session
following an hour-long hearing this morning to craft a plan for addressing
four resolutions dealing with blessings for same-sex unions. According to
the committee chair, the Rev. Frank Wade, the committee will meet in
another executive session Sunday to decide which resolutions it will report
out to the House of Bishops and what recommendations it will make.

Three of the resolutions C005, D022 and C051 call for the preparation
of rites of blessing for committed relationships outside marriage, while
the fourth B007 lays out a compromise involving the recognition that a
diversity of opinion and practice exists regarding pastoral support for
gays and lesbians in the church. Sponsored by bishops of Province IV and
authored by Bishop Stacy Sauls of Lexington, the resolution acknowledges
that no consensus exists on how the participation of gays and lesbians is
ordered by the churchs doctrine, discipline and worship. It further states
that the unity of the Episcopal Church depends on compliance with its
constitution and canons and that legislation attempted in the absence of
consensus on homosexuality would imperil the unity of the church."

In his testimony before the committee, Bishop Sauls noted that the genesis
of the resolution was something of a miracle since it was the first time in
his memory that the Province IV bishops ever unanimously supported a
resolution or memorial to General Convention. The intent, he said, was to
lay out ground large enough to accommodate bishops like himself, one who is
passionately committed to same-sex unions, and those who are passionately
opposed, a place where we could stand and move forward on this issue.
What it offers the church, he added, is a way in which a bishop such as
myself can allow blessings of same-sex unions to take place as a matter of
pastoral care in my diocese without requiring a bishop who is opposed to
have such blessings take place in his or her diocese. 

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