Episcopal Dispute Over Gay Policies Halts All U.S. Bishop Appointments
Sad decision. With all the ills in the world that could be attended to by the church, the most urgent matter for the Episcopal Church is to put a stop to the appointment of any more bishops. I have no idea how they are going to come to a resolution by sitting this out for a year. It’s clear that there isn’t going to be a meeting of the minds over openly-gay Gene Robinson’s consecration and what it means to the church’s future. Openly gay and closeted priests are in church, and there are gay Episcopalians in the pews. It’s hard to imagine that there isn’t going to be a split over this. (NYT):
The bishops said that they needed to take such an “extraordinary action” in order to “contribute to a time of healing” in the global communion, where fractures over homosexuality deepened after the American church consecrated an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.
After a six-day retreat and meeting in Navasota, Tex., that ended today, the American bishops also pledged not to bless same-sex couples or to authorize “public rites” for such ceremonies for a year. But the wording of their statement left open the possibility that some priests could bless gay unions, since some in the church consider the blessings to be “pastoral care.”
The American bishops themselves are deeply divided over the issue of homosexuality, but together they must lead an American church that is now being ostracized by fellow Anglican churches, to which they are linked through a common heritage in the Church of England.