Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Gay Episcopalians

Are there any other kind, one might ask some days? Surely the Episcopal Church has some other issues to discuss at its triennial conventions?

On the whole this has been a great week for lesbian and gay people in Mainline American Protestantism. Presbyterians have essentially agreed to allow the ordination of open lesbians and gays, and Episcopalians have both elected a LGBT-friendly female leader and refused to bow to the demands of African bible-thumping conservatives to apologize for consecrating a gay man as a bishop, nor to definitively rule out ordaining another one.

The Episcopalians adopted a last minute resolution that "this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion." exercise restraint by not consenting...! This verbiage is hardly an insult to LGBTs, gives the Archbishop of Canterbury some cover, and really does nothing to stop the further gradual acceptance of LGBTs in society and the Church. They seem to have done nothing to stop more dioceses creating commitment ceremonies.

But some LGBT Episcopalians are going ballistic.

I'm a Roman Catholic, and intend to remain one. I think Fr. Jake and some other LGBT commentators seem more than a little bipolar (not in a technical sense) in their responses to the various resolutions.

TEC remains a very welcoming Church for LGBTs in most dioceses (not, however in Jacksonville FL, where I live). The final resolution is clearly a make-nice effort, not a rubbishing of LGBTs, and, if one thinks politically, quite a good way to make sure the breakaways, etc., remain marginalized.

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