Episocopal Church held to 'double standard,' says Jefferts Schori: Other churches have similar practices

January 29, 2008

Episcopal presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says other member bodies of the Anglican Communion apply a “double standard” when they challenge the U.S. church for having an openly gay bishop and blessing same-sex unions.

Other provinces in the 77-million-member communion have gay bishops and blessing ceremonies, Jefferts Schori told BBC Radio in an interview broadcast January 1, but are not as open about it. “There is certainly a double standard,” she said.

The election of V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 widened divisions in the family of Anglican churches over sexuality and biblical interpretation. But Jefferts Schori said Robinson “is certainly not alone in being a gay bishop; he’s certainly not alone in being a gay partnered bishop. He is alone in being the only gay partnered bishop who’s open about that status.”

Jefferts Schori also said other Anglican provinces hold unofficial same-sex blessing ceremonies: “Those services are happening in various places, including the Church of England, where my understanding is that there are far more of them happening than there are in the Episcopal Church.” –Religion News Service