Hoping to stave off schism within the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church has agreed to “exercise restraint” before electing any more openly gay bishops. The 11th-hour resolution at the triennial Episcopal General Convention last month in Columbus, Ohio, urged Episcopal leaders to refrain from electing bishops whose “manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church.”
The Episcopal Church sidestepped a potential crisis early this month when a married father of two was elected bishop of San Francisco over three openly gay contenders. The winner, however, was no less supportive of gay rights in the church.
When it comes to questions of whether to ordain gay and lesbian rabbis and perform same-sex commitment ceremonies, Reform and Orthodox Jews know where their movements stand. Simply put, Reform Jews do both, Orthodox Jews do neither.
“I have become profoundly disenchanted with our General Assembly process . . . the unsatisfactory way we were dealing with difficult and complex theological issues . . . and the toxic by-products of perpetually creating winners and losers, friends who are with us and enemies who oppose us.”
A seminary is conducting an online self-defense course for United Church of Christ members besieged by conservative reactions to their denomination’s liberal social positions on gay rights and other issues.
A special panel has urged the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to maintain its ban on noncelibate gay clergy, but the panel also wants local congregations to determine when to apply—or bypass—that standard.
On the face of it, the nation’s largest Lutheran church didn’t budge on issues of homosexuality. Though aware that some same-sex couples receive blessings from pastors and that some openly gay or lesbian pastors are ordained, delegates to the biennial assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, held in Orlando, declined to authorize either practice, even on a provisional basis.
The nation’s largest Lutheran denomination will finally speak with a collective voice this month on whether to allow gay and lesbian pastors and on whether same-sex couples may receive rites of blessing. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, whose biennial Churchwide Assembly meets August 8-14 in Orlando, is one of the last mainline church bodies to act on the controversies.
Statement in report to Anglican Consultative Council
Jul 12, 2005
Leaders of the Episcopal Church, in an analysis requested by Anglican peers overseas, stood by their decision to ordain an openly gay bishop and to bless same-sex unions, with a report arguing that there is a “genuine holiness” among gays and lesbians.