September 2, 2014

Advertise with Stand Firm

April 25, 2012


The Collapse of the Diocese of Texas

The Diocese of Texas has been, since the retirement of orthodox stalwart Bishop Ben Benitez, trending leftward. Now, under Bishop Doyle, the journey to the dark side is complete. When General Convention approves same sex blessing liturgies this summer, Bishop Doyle will support congregations that choose to use them in the Diocese of Texas. [Update: The Diocese of Texas removed the PDF from their site. Stand Firm has safely archived it here.]

Allowing rectors and individual parishes to decide for themselves how to respond to General Convention 2012 and using resources found in this text and online is not a move towards congregationalism. The final decision belongs in the parish and in conversation between rector and people. We do this while maintaining our unity for mission and thereby walk the middle way together with our diverse opinions on sexuality set aside. I encourage the people of the diocese to prayerfully seek to walk the via media and to honor our Anglican heritage of making new decisions in new contexts for the sake of common mission. As Hooker wrote, “When the best things are not possible, the best may be made of those that are.” Mordecai urged Esther: “You have been chosen for such a time as this.”

This is our time, our moment to come together for the sake of the one who loved us and died for us that we might be coworkers in the heavenly vineyards of God.

This controversy has little to with “diverse opinions”. Who really cares what I think or what Bishop Doyle thinks? The question is: “What has God said about homosexual behavior?”

Which really means there is no “question” at all because scripture contains not even a hint, shadow or shade of ambiguity (Leviticus 18:22, Rom 1:18-33; 1 Cor 6:9). Bishop Doyle has made a compromise to be sure. It’s not a compromise between “liberals” and “conservatives”. His compromise is with the pit.

How many people will now be led away from Christ and into the darkness down the bishop’s middle road?

But don’t even think of escape. This “middle road” is lined with barbed wire, this from the FAQ accompanying the bishop’s note:

Can the bylaws be changed so that the deed of a church’s property is transferred from the diocese to the parish? No

Nice. It turns out “walking the middle way together” involves all the warmth and togetherness of a death march.

It’s a sad day for a once great diocese.


Share this story:


Recent Related Posts

Comments

Facebook comments are closed.

97 comments

Bishop Payne was one of the major advocates of “putting mission and ministry ahead of ‘issues’”. 

It is a catchy idea for most of us: for conflict-shy clergy (that’s a big % of us) and laity who just want a pleasant and reassuring morning with some familiar friends.

But what really happened?  The “issue(s)” ran rampant and “mission and ministry” withered.  TEC even admits that it couldn’t fulfill the task of writing token checks to the UN MDGs - which was its stated #1 mission priority.

Where the “issues” are not confronted and rejected for the compromises of the Gospel that they are, don’t expect “mission and ministry” to suddenly appear.

[1] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 4-25-2012 at 06:18 AM · [top]

Just checking those FAQs, I don’t see that they’ve addressed anything like these:

“Will our priest and congregation be required to take part in diocesan conventions and other functions which require us to support the work of congregations advancing same sex liturgies?”

“Can our congregation reduce our giving to the diocese so as not to fund mission churches which are engaging in same sex liturgies?”

Does anybody else think the responses to #6 & #7 on the FAQs are contradictory?

[2] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 4-25-2012 at 06:50 AM · [top]

6. Does this plan diminish the Church’s theological understanding of marriage?
No. The Book of Common Prayer’s definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman is not affected by this development within The Episcopal Church.

7. Why are some Episcopal dioceses allowing clergy to perform same-­gender “marriages”?
Some dioceses within The Episcopal Church are allowed to “marry” same-­‐gender people because their mission context is one that exists within a state where same-­‐gender marriages are legal and recognized by the state.

So, according to the Diocese of Texas, the Book of Common Prayer definition is not changed by TEC’s approval of ssbs and ssm (6) EXCEPT in the places where it IS changed by TEC’s action (7).  Or, looking at it another way, the Book of Common Prayer says whatever the local state legislature or city council wants it to say.  No doctrine, no theology, just “mission context”.

[3] Posted by tjmcmahon on 4-25-2012 at 07:25 AM · [top]

Of course, #6 and #7 are contradictory. The Doctrine of TEC is that marriage is between a man and a woman. Period. No exceptions. Those who are doing same-sex “marriage” ceremonies are liable to Title IV discipline - not to mention God’s judgment.

I think #14 is also a direct contradiction to #6. And, #12 only adds to the confusion.

Then, there’s #2 which makes no mention whatsoever of the paper that conservative theologians delivered to the HOB in 2010, in the same report with the liberal paper.

Vacuous.

[4] Posted by Ralph on 4-25-2012 at 07:27 AM · [top]

This is so typically ... I don’t know ... how about tone deaf to reality.  Who responds to threatened disaster by writing a 120 page epistle?  Nothing before about page 109 will ever be read by anyone.  The average person will flip immediately to the FAQ.  Leadership will add Chapter 6 about ‘Strategy.’  But Chapters 1-5 might as well have never been written for the number of eyes that will actually peruse them.  The bishop might be impressed by his style and geometric logic, but few are they who will take the time to slog through that tome.

If the Bishop wanted to make an impact, he should:

1.  Identify the actual parishes that are threatened.

2.  Physically travel to those locations.

3.  Tell them how he is going to make it possible for them to give witness to the understanding that homosexuality is a sin even though he, the bishop, will teach otherwise. 

Oh.  I think I see why he wrote the 120 page epistle.  Because there is no answer the question implicit in 3, and that question is the only question that matters.  It also explains why this whole effort is stillborn. 

But, hey, at least he got to write a cool epistle with lots of turgid prose.

carl

[5] Posted by carl on 4-25-2012 at 07:46 AM · [top]

120 pages to say, “Here’s your Kool-Aid, now drink it.”

[6] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 4-25-2012 at 08:21 AM · [top]

At some point - assuming you disagree with the national church, and I’m sure many in this diocese are fine with the new things - if you want to stay at your TEC parish, good stewardship means you just have to quit giving money to the parish.  As we’ve seen, designating it not go to TEC simply does not work.  (In Virginia, the judge has thrown out all of those designations.)  I like giving to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund.  Be prepared for some name-calling if you are in a divided parish.  (Or I guess now you can give to the ACNA church-planting fund and hope they plant one in your area.)  But I suspect things are going to start getting painful for the orthodox parishes left in the diocese.

[7] Posted by pendennis88 on 4-25-2012 at 08:51 AM · [top]

The 120 pages of litter box liner has been taken down.  Would Stand Firm be so kind as to post it?

[8] Posted by Ralinda on 4-25-2012 at 09:30 AM · [top]

Can the bylaws be changed so that the deed of a church’s property is transferred from the diocese to the parish? No

Nice try, Bishop. I don’t know what the odds are on the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd of San Angelo winning its appeal before SCOTX, but I figure their case hinges largely on the Diocese of Fort Worth case since both cases deal with ‘hierarchical church’ issues. However, if Good Shepherd wins, then any parish in the Diocese of Texas can either transfer to the Diocese of Dallas through DEPO, or they can leave TEC altogether for ACNA, and Bishop Doyle can just sit there and scratch himself.

This statement is just a little exercise in preemptive intimidation. God be with the Diocese of Fort Wort and Good Shepherd as the state supreme court decides how to rule. The implications for lots of parishes are HUGE.

[9] Posted by All-Is-True on 4-25-2012 at 09:55 AM · [top]

Boyle doublethink doubleplus good, make oldthinkers unpersons speedwise.

[10] Posted by Jeffersonian on 4-25-2012 at 10:17 AM · [top]

#5, “...give witness to the understanding that homosexuality is a sin even though he, the bishop, will teach otherwise.”

I think we need to be really careful to distinguish between “same-sex attraction” and “homosexual practice,” not to mention the blessing of a “relationship” versus the affirmation that homosexual practice is OK, at least under certain (as yet undefined) circumstances. (Bishop Doyle would do well to have a “friend” take him to a bath house, to observe first-hand what homosexual practice is like.)

The SCLM document does talk about homosexual practice, but it doesn’t really set boundaries…

Notice how the FAQ is only talking about the blessing of “relationships.” It says nothing about having sex. Thus, #16 stands out as unfair. Two lay people can have their lifelong friendships blessed, but not two clergy.

It’s one of those wink-wink, nudge-nudge things that Episcopalians do.

[11] Posted by Ralph on 4-25-2012 at 10:28 AM · [top]

Ralinda (#8), the document is available at this link—for the time being, at least.

[12] Posted by A. S. Haley on 4-25-2012 at 10:30 AM · [top]

We’ve archived it permanently here:

http://c11045744.r44.cf2.rackcdn.com/Unity_final_4-24-12.pdf

[13] Posted by Greg Griffith on 4-25-2012 at 11:12 AM · [top]

Thanks Greg.  I now live in the Dio. of Texas and had been told this was not going to happen here.  I wonder why this was released before convention and not after.

[14] Posted by bob+ on 4-25-2012 at 11:20 AM · [top]

From the FAQs:
20. Will the Bishop have to approve each blessing?
Yes, as he currently approves all remarriages.

Umm.  Ummm…. scratches head:

But I thought in FAQ 5 and 6 you said this WASN’T a marriage:

5. Why does the Bishop’s plan support the blessing of same-­‐gender
covenants and not same-­‐gender marriages?

The Texas law prohibits a clergy person from performing the “marriage” for a same-­‐
gender couple. The law is footnoted on page 116.  The Episcopal Church is not
expected to approve a rite for same-­‐gender marriage.

6. Does this plan diminish the Church’s theological understanding of marriage?
No. The Book of Common Prayer’s definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman is not affected by this development within The Episcopal Church.

If it walks like a duck…

[15] Posted by Karen B. on 4-25-2012 at 11:34 AM · [top]

The noise of the quacking is deafening!

[16] Posted by Ralinda on 4-25-2012 at 12:09 PM · [top]

Personally, I will not bless a same—‐gender couple’s union. I will abstain from voting for the approval of any bishop living in a same—‐gender partnership. And, because I believe that the diocese remains predominately one that holds a traditional understanding of marriage to be the primary teaching of the Church, I will vote against the proposed liturgy for the blessing of a same—‐gender covenant which will be presented at General Convention.

He states the reason for his position is the predominate position of the diocese, not because of what is written in Scripture.  That is the reasoning of a politician, not a bishop.  What happens when the predominate position of the diocese changes?

[17] Posted by JustOneVoice on 4-25-2012 at 01:11 PM · [top]

[17] “What happens when… “

Apparently the same thing that happens if ‘mission context’ or state law were to change. 

What a mercurial religion this man follows. 

Can the bylaws be changed so that the deed of a church’s property is transferred from the diocese to the parish? No

Of course, things are not so changeable when the discussion turns to real estate. 

Perhaps I live in a different mission context - but I would think it quite possible to hold an undiminished view of fiduciary responsibility while permitting (or even blessing) a union of property ownership rights with those who paid for the property. 

I say this to encourage the bishop to maintain our unity for mission and thereby walk the middle way together with our diverse opinions on property set aside.

rolleyes

[18] Posted by tired on 4-25-2012 at 01:49 PM · [top]

Umm…the Diocese did NOT remove the PDF from their site. If you guys bothered to look, rather than jump to a wrong conclusion after posting a dead link, you’d see it was still there.

[19] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-25-2012 at 05:25 PM · [top]

For Anglicans, there are still safe places to worship within the geography of the Diocese of Texas.  One of them is in Austin: 

St. Francis Anglican Church (affiliated with the Episcopal Missionary Church, which is not affiliated with ACNA), 1408 W. 9th Street, Austin.

Masses at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Sundays.

[20] Posted by Connie Sandlin on 4-25-2012 at 06:35 PM · [top]

“Umm…the Diocese did NOT remove the PDF from their site. If you guys bothered to look, rather than jump to a wrong conclusion after posting a dead link, you’d see it was still there.”

Third Mill Catholic, does that mean that the Diocese did in fact remove it from their web-site after SF drew attention to it; then they realised that SF still had the document and had archived it; so now they have put it back on their web-site: “See, its still there! We never removed it!”?

Just wondering…

[21] Posted by MichaelA on 4-25-2012 at 08:28 PM · [top]

So the bishop drags in Hooker and Mordechai to bolster his case.  A wise old Anglican and a wise old Jew, both of whom would emphatically reject the bishop’s doctrine and practice if they were actually here.

[22] Posted by MichaelA on 4-25-2012 at 08:30 PM · [top]

@Michael.  Very doubtful that was the case, since I went to the site four or five times today with no problems, beginning at 7:00 am when I sent the link to my vestry, and none of my vestry members mentioned any problems with the link, and we’ve been talking about the document among ourselves throughout the day.  So a more credible scenario is that Stand Firm inadvertently posted a dead link and then insinuated that the EDOT removed it.  It’s what I’ve come to expect.

[23] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-25-2012 at 08:55 PM · [top]

Hey Third Mill—you’re welcome to comment here and even to postulate that the link was made up out of the blue by Matt Kennedy, who deliberately posted a “dead link”—although of course, that postulation’s not going to become the new topic of this post.

But if you’re got a problem with any of the bloggers—which you imply by your last sentence and which of course you’ve demonstrated time and time again in years past here—feel free to take it to Private Message rather than a blog thread, since we’re not going to go off-topic.

Off-topic comments will be deleted, although rational comments about how the Diocese of Texas is or is not collapsing—the topic of this post—are more than welcome.

Thanks.

[24] Posted by Sarah on 4-25-2012 at 09:18 PM · [top]

Hey Sarah!  “Inadvertent” does not mean “deliberate.”  [comment edited—feel free to take your personal issues to Private Message; this is a first warning]

[25] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 12:29 AM · [top]

Besides, what could be more on topic than “fact checking” the claims made in this article.  [Nah, no need to delete anything but the trolling bits. Comment edited. Feel free to take your personal concerns to Private Message; this is a second warning.]

[26] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 12:35 AM · [top]

Third Mill,

The diocesan site link was in fact 404 over a period of a couple of hours beginning shortly after Matt made his post. I know because I *did* bother to look, several times thank you very much. Believe that if you like, or don’t, it doesn’t matter to me, but note that neither Matt nor I (who made the update in the body of his post) insinuated anything as to why the link was dead. We’re equally willing to believe accident, incompetence, or conspiracy. We’ve seen plenty of each in our time here.

[27] Posted by Greg Griffith on 4-26-2012 at 01:02 AM · [top]

Third Mill Catholic here are more facts (if you cared to check):

The document was in two locations:

http://www.epicenter.org/unity/

and

http://www.epicenter.org/mediafiles/unity-in-mission-white-paper.pdf/

The first link still works the second link is not longer working.  The second link is currently the first entry if you search Google for “unity diocese of Texas” so yes, the diocese did remove the PDF from the link referenced in the article.  Even if it is in a different location, it was removed from the location where it Stand Firm first linked to it.

[28] Posted by JustOneVoice on 4-26-2012 at 01:06 AM · [top]

Hey Just One Voice—thanks for that bit of research.  I’m pretty much indifferent as to what Third Mill thinks about the link.

We’ll be talking about the collapse—or the non-collapse—of the Diocese of Texas in future comments.

[29] Posted by Sarah on 4-26-2012 at 01:46 AM · [top]

“Can the bylaws be changed so that the deed of a church’s property is transferred from the diocese to the parish?”

What an interesting question to drop in the middle of a list of FAQ’s dealing with same-sex blessings!  It’s almost Freudian.

[30] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 4-26-2012 at 02:08 AM · [top]

It also implies that the bishop has reason to fear that some of his existing parishes are thinking about doing just that. 

It clearly isn’t directed at people who are long gone.

[31] Posted by MichaelA on 4-26-2012 at 03:03 AM · [top]

Further regarding FAQ 16:

“16.  Will gay and lesbian clergy in the Diocese of Texas be permitted to have their same-gender relationships blessed?

“No, in the Diocese of Texas we have Canon 43, which keeps the diocese from allowing clergy in same-gender partnerships to be deployed as priests-in-charge in the diocese.”

Notice that the question assumes there are or will be clergy in these relationships in the Diocese and the issue is whether they can have their relationships blessed.  But Canon 43 as it appears on the Diocese’s web site provides that clergy in the Diocese (not just priests-in-charge) are under obligation to “model in their own lives the received teaching of the Church that all of its members are to abstain from sexual relations outside Holy Matrimony.”  Too, “keeping the diocese from” doing something seems to refer to an externally imposed rule rather than the Diocese’s own canon.  Notwithstanding the prohibition (for the time being, one supposes) of blessings for clergy same-sex relationships, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the bishop’s proactive capitulation to the Spirit of the Age contravenes the “received teaching of the Church” expressed in the Diocese’s own canons.

MW (no longer in or connected with the EDOT, but still following things from time to time)

[32] Posted by Mike Watson on 4-26-2012 at 10:43 AM · [top]

Okay, I stand corrected.  Obviously, the Diocese of Texas has nothing better to do with their time than to mess with Stand Firm.  But what I do find interesting is that it took Stand Firm a whole TWO DAYS to report on this after the document was released.  (I bet you wonder how I came up with that.)  Yes, indeed, the document didn’t go public until Tuesday, April 24 and Matt posted on April 25.  Yet the document was released to the clergy, standing committee, and executive board a full 24 hours before its public unveiling on April 24.  Here’s what I find amazing about this: IT APPEARS THAT IT WASN’T LEAKED!  Now, why do I find this amazing?  Because it is indicative of how things have changed over the last few years.  Not too long ago a document like this would have been TOO HOT not to have been leaked out by some disgruntled clergy in the diocese somewhere.  And the fact that Matt didn’t pick up on it until (benefit of the doubt) late on Tuesday is also fascinating to me. That’s not a criticism of Matt or Stand Firm; it’s just a general observation of how things have dramatically shifted in the Anglican world “news-wise.”

[33] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 10:48 AM · [top]

Third Mill Catholic

it’s just a general observation of how things have dramatically shifted in the Anglican world “news-wise.”

Gee, ya think?  The Anglican wars are over in the US.  The conservatives are mostly gone.  The media has moved on to watching the Lutherans and Presbyterians and (now) Methodists impale themselves on homosexual orthodoxy.  There is hardly anyone remaining in TEC or in the media who would care about this report.  Someone would have to care about leaking it before it could be leaked.  TEC just isn’t relevant to the discussion anymore. 

Which is ironic because the financial storm isn’t well over the horizon anymore.  It’s well within view and it’s closing at alarming speed.  What is going to happen to TEC over the next decade or so will be the most instructive part of this whole conflict.  But it will also be largely invisible.  TEC was never of any news relevance other than as a foil to use against conservative religion.  Now that TEC has exhausted its capacity to fulfill that roll, TEC will evaporate into cultural invisibility.

carl

carl

[34] Posted by carl on 4-26-2012 at 11:05 AM · [top]

Okay, so maybe I’m the only one who finds this fascinating.  Sorry for pointing out the obvious.

[35] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 11:23 AM · [top]

Adiaphora?  Therein lies the heart of the “argument.”  But Gagnon drove the nail into the heart of this approach long ago.

http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homosexMarinLoveIsOrientation.pdf

Bill+

[36] Posted by Bill+ on 4-26-2012 at 11:43 AM · [top]

Further on the comments about how news is shifting is the specificity of everybody’s [who’s informed] already recognizing that the Diocese of Texas was down the tubes some years ago, most noticeably when Doyle was elected.

Everybody commented on that at the time, as well as a few of Doyle’s actions, and then moved on.

Were the Diocese of Texas thought of as a diocese led even by simply “moderates” it’d have been real “scoopable” news for that document to be developed—maybe then it could have been leaked.  But as it is, and Texas being recognized as what it is several years ago, the news is something to add into the “further documentation” category.

It’s important to record, take note of and document as one is able and has the time the general long-noted decline of various dioceses.  But once it’s recognized that a diocese is lost, it’s hardly breaking news, and more of “archivable news.”

I’m glad Matt took note of the collapse—and it’s always good to spread news as far and wide as possible in case anyone may have been unaware.

[37] Posted by Sarah on 4-26-2012 at 11:45 AM · [top]

Are you suggesting that Doyle is not “simply” moderate?  Honest question.  Given his voting record on this issue, his announced intentions to vote AGAINST the proposed rite this summer, and his remarks on Tuesday that he is unhappy with the language of the proposed rite because he believes holy matrimony is between “one man and one woman,” I’m not sure what other label applies to him, if not “moderate.”

[38] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 12:16 PM · [top]

I’m personally against distributing chrystal meth to children and will vote against it. But if it becomes legal then I will allow the priests in my charge to distribute chrystal meth to children. Because I’m a moderate.

[39] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 4-26-2012 at 12:31 PM · [top]

[off-topic comment deleted]

[40] Posted by All-Is-True on 4-26-2012 at 12:35 PM · [top]

[off-topic comment about commenting protocol deleted]

[41] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 12:45 PM · [top]

Point taken, Matt.  So I guess +Mark Lawrence is now the new definition of “moderate.”

[42] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 12:49 PM · [top]

Everything I have read and heard from Bishop Doyle states that the reason for what he is doing is the Windsor Report, Lambeth, the Texas Law regarding marriage, what General Convention has or has not passed, or because the diocese is predominantly conservative. Not because of his beliefs of what is right.

He may have said Holy Matrimony is only between a man and a women, but I’m guessing it was based on what is currently in the Book of Common Prayer.  I have never read or heard anything that suggest the Bishop Doyle believes that homosexuals acts are sinful. 

He is allowing clergy in his diocese to perform same-sex blessings when it is his sworn duty to God to teach what is right.

So either his does not believe that homosexuals acts are a sin, or he believes that homosexual acts are sins and he will not say it and he is allowing his clergy to bless sins.

I don’t know what label you would put on it, but conservative or moderate are not one’s I would use.

[43] Posted by JustOneVoice on 4-26-2012 at 12:51 PM · [top]

JustOneVoice: sounds like a “moderate” position to me.  But then again I have also heard him say, publicly to his clergy, that he believes that holy matrimony is between one man and one woman.  That he might hold out for some kind of legal recognition for same-sex civil unions may indeed be the case.  But a flat-out revisionist position would be for “marriage equality” and a complete disregard for the Windsor Report.  No?

[44] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 12:59 PM · [top]

+Mark Lawrence does not and will not allow such things in his diocese. I would set him firmly in the orthodox camp.

[45] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 4-26-2012 at 12:59 PM · [top]

As I thought you would.  The question is, if Doyle is a revisionist, who are the moderates?

[46] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-26-2012 at 01:00 PM · [top]

I personally do not believe there are moderates when it comes to this question. Either you see homosexual behavior as an offense against God, violation of his word, and destructive to the human body and soul and act accordingly or you see it as falling somewhere between a minor harmless peccadillo and a blessed expression of love, and act accordingly.

[47] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 4-26-2012 at 01:11 PM · [top]

Sarah stated,

It’s important to record, take note of and document as one is able and has the time the general long-noted decline of various dioceses.  But once it’s recognized that a diocese is lost, it’s hardly breaking news, and more of “archivable news.”

++++

I think this is exactly right.  I think there would be alot more grief and wringing of hands about this matter if the trajectory of this diocese since the toxic reign of Claude Payne wasn’t entirely clear and obvious.  But for years now those with their eyes open could easily and frequently see road signs every few miles warning/inviting “Road to Oblivion.”

All was lost when Bp. Payne convinced one the largest dioceses in the country that the key to effective mission was positively jettisoning the law of non-contradiction or negatively not worrying our pretty little ecclesiastical heads about truth claims.  All this about the avoidance of winners and losers is classic Payne-speak.  But there are losers—EVERYBODY.

After Payne’s reign, there just hasn’t been a great deal interest in what goes on in the Diocese of Texas.

I wrote a theological champion just yesterday and asked if he intended to answer Andy Doyle’s silly paper.  Giant, towering theological leader of the Orthodox movement. well known to this blog.  His response to me—“Now who exactly is Andy Doyle?”

Yup.  People move on!

[48] Posted by Bill+ on 4-26-2012 at 01:24 PM · [top]

Who are the moderates?

A while back, the HOB formed yet another theology committee, made up of liberals and conservatives, to write a unified consensus document on the issue. They could not. The document contains two separate reports, with rebuttals.

The chasm between the 2 sides is growing much wider, and much deeper. We are all being forced to choose sides.

There will be no Anglican Settlement here, will there? Unity? I think not. The 2012 General Convention isn’t going to bring the 2 sides together.

I cannot discern what Bp. Doyle’s beliefs or intentions are. I can only pray for him, and hope that he has a competent spiritual director.

We know, by his writings, which side he has chosen. Others will follow this path to that side of the chasm.

I’m reminded of Aaron, who in the absence of Moses made the golden calf. I’m reminded of Caiaphas, who proclaimed, “We have no king but Caesar!”

Bp. Mark has chosen the other side. Others will follow the path leading to that side of the chasm.

There is no longer a middle ground, if there ever was one. The time for dialogue has ended. The listening process has concluded. The term “moderate” has lost its meaning, if it ever had one.

[49] Posted by Ralph on 4-26-2012 at 01:25 PM · [top]

Here are two questions I have that I don’t believe were addressed by the FAQs.

1. Does a congregation have to accept as transfers, a couple blessed in the same diocese under the jurisdiction of +Doyle?
2. What is a “same gender covenant”?

[50] Posted by Fr. Dale on 4-26-2012 at 01:32 PM · [top]

Other questions not addressed by the FAQs:

1.  If we can revise the faith based on changes in ‘mission context’ or local human/secular law, how then do we know when to stop revising? 
2.  If there are any reliable, unchanging biblical truths, why are those truths reliable and not, for example, Jesus’ teaching about sexual immorality?

IMHO, the answers to those two questions explain why there are no moderates.

[51] Posted by tired on 4-26-2012 at 02:22 PM · [top]

“But then again I have also heard him say, publicly to his clergy, that he believes that holy matrimony is between one man and one woman.”

All that shows is that he is inconsistent and unreliable.

“Point taken, Matt.  So I guess +Mark Lawrence is now the new definition of “moderate.””

Why? And why does it matter - what is so great about being moderate anyway?

[52] Posted by MichaelA on 4-26-2012 at 05:56 PM · [top]

Fr. Dale (#50). 

1. Given that same-sex blessings do not have legal standing in the state of Texas, what’s the difference between transferring a couple that has had a blessing ceremony and one that hasn’t?  Does the blessing ceremony make the couple MORE gay?
2. I don’t know the answer to this second question. I can only tell you what it isn’t: it isn’t holy matrimony (and Bp. Andy has stated this himself).

It’s quite easy for those who have left TEC to view everything in terms of binary opposition, but for those of us who remain the question of “moderation” is still very much alive and relevant. My parish very much wants to be reassured as to the meaning of holy matrimony.  I can tell them, using the BCP as the standard.  Because my bishop is a moderate (who also holds that marriage is between one man and one woman), and because I live in a state that does not recognize gay-marriage, this definition is not going to change anytime soon.  Will it change in the future?  I don’t have a crystal ball.  All I know is that right now I’d rather be in the EDOT than in, say, the Diocese of LA.

[53] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-27-2012 at 11:57 AM · [top]

“My parish very much wants to be reassured as to the meaning of holy matrimony.”

Viewing the theology of Holy Matrimony as being isolated from same sex blessings does not make any sense to me. By creating another relationship the same as Holy Matrimony in every way except that it is between same sex couples,  changes the theology of Holy Matrimony.  What the EDOT of Texas is doing is allowing same sex couples to marry, but calling it something else. 

Are sexual relations acceptable between people who have had their same-sex relationship blessed?  It is my understanding that part of the definition of Holy Matrimony is it was the ONLY relationship where sexual relations are acceptable.  Same sex blessings change this.

Allowing same sex blessings does change the meaning of Holy Matrimony.

[54] Posted by JustOneVoice on 4-27-2012 at 01:21 PM · [top]

Third Mill Catholic,

The meaning of Holy Matrimony doesn’t seem to be the issue here.  What seems to be at issue is the sanctification of same-sex fornication - since marriage is not an option.

This is really an “is you is or is you ain’t” sort of question, and doesn’t change Holy Matrimony one little bit.  It is also a bit disingenuous to approve of blessing ceremonies for laity, but not allow partnered clergy the same benefit.  Perhaps “in for a penny, in for a pound” would work there.

For the record, I wouldn’t be in for either a penny or pound, nor am I in TEC any longer, so perhaps my opinion doesn’t really matter.  Then again, if you didn’t want the opinion of folks from around here, you wouldn’t be here, would you?

[55] Posted by GillianC on 4-27-2012 at 02:11 PM · [top]

Thanks for your thoughtful note, Gillian. Actually, I haven’t visited Stand Firm for nearly four years.  [further off-topic comments deleted—feel free to share your thoughts with others about SF via email; Third Mill issued a final warning]

[56] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-27-2012 at 02:35 PM · [top]

[50]

2. What is a “same gender covenant”?

[53]

2. I don’t know the answer to this second question. I can only tell you what it isn’t: it isn’t holy matrimony (and Bp. Andy has stated this himself).

A same gender covenant is holy matrimony with a different name.

I can only tell you what it isn’t

Can you tell me what is different between a same gender covenant and Holy Matrimony besides the name and one is limited to a man and a woman?  Is calling it something else enough for you?  If you cannot tell what is different how do you know they are not the same thing?

[57] Posted by JustOneVoice on 4-27-2012 at 02:37 PM · [top]

Actually, I haven’t visited Stand Firm for nearly four years.  I was tired of the nastiness and vitriolic tone back then, coming from all sides. 

  We did notice a big drop in the nastiness and vitriolic tone about four years ago.  This explains a lot.

That hasn’t really happened this time, with the glaring exception of the gentleman who thought calling me names and giving a commentary/critique of my parish’s mission statement was “on-topic.”

  I’m assuming you mean #40 - Please explain where he called you a name?

IT APPEARS THAT IT WASN’T LEAKED

  One should never assume facts not in evidence.

[58] Posted by Jackie on 4-27-2012 at 02:57 PM · [top]

JustOneVoice.  I’m not here to defend same-gender covenants.  I echo many of the same concerns that others have raised in this forum.  However, I’m staying in TEC, which I guess makes me suspect to some of you.  I understand that.  But please don’t ask me to defend ssm or ssu.  I’m not a supporter of those positions.

[59] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-27-2012 at 03:25 PM · [top]

Jackie, please don’t tempt me off-topic.  The offensive post was removed. Thank you, Sarah.

[60] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-27-2012 at 03:30 PM · [top]

TMC - I agree that the personal attacks are beyond not helpful.  The atmosphere of suspicion is somewhat understandable though - many of us are the walking wounded in these battles, and exhibit the symptoms of shell-shock.

I guess my main point is that I’d love to be able to take actions and words at face value, but that has been beaten out of me.  The good Bishop seems to be saying one thing and doing another, and I don’t know whether he is confused himself, or whether he’s trying to confuse others.  I don’t really understand why his defense of marriage as man/woman and his acceptance of a “blessing” for a same-sex relationship track together, or why he would be considered moderate - because of what he is saying or what he’s doing.  His words are moderate, his actions are not.

[61] Posted by GillianC on 4-27-2012 at 03:32 PM · [top]

Yes, Gillian, but this is my sea to navigate. Those who left are navigating other oceans.  I have to know if there’s room enough for me to navigate, and, right now, it’s better to be in the Dio of Texas than almost any other place in TEC.  That’s undeniable, even for those who may say that “moderate” is a meaningless term.

[62] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-27-2012 at 03:43 PM · [top]

RE: “Are you suggesting that Doyle is not “simply” moderate?”

Hi ThirdMill—Doyle was very clear in his written communications prior to election as bishop that he was a “progressive” on the matter of same-gender sexual relationships.  And his vicarship of St. Francis, College Station led that parish to be listed by Integrity-Austin as “gay-affirming/welcoming.” As they put it: “Lesbigays may confidently approach any of the clergy of these parishes for pastoral support of themselves as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered persons.”  The only candidate for bishop who was more revisionist than Doyle was James Stockton.

Doyle *did* assert that he would follow the canons in his actions: “Therefore, I will not ordain non-celibate individuals, whether heterosexual, gay, or lesbian. I will not give permission to celebrate unions in the Diocese of Texas. As Bishop, I will hold true to the canons of the Diocese of Texas.”

But promising to “follow the canons” does not make you a moderate, particularly when you’ve been quite clear where you stand on same-gender sexual relationships.

The fact that the vast majority of bishops are fine with same-gender sexual relationships doesn’t make them moderates either.  In fact, as we’ve all noted over the past 8 years, the “moderates” and the “conservatives” are leaving TEC, leaving us with mostly flaming revisionists of one stripe or another.

It’s a tough place for conservative Episcopalians to be—which would include Jackie, me, and Greg. 

Doyle’s actions were predictable based on his clearly-stated beliefs and his record—and the results of those actions will be predictable as well.

[63] Posted by Sarah on 4-27-2012 at 03:59 PM · [top]

Then if Bp. Doyle’s actions are predictable based on his clearly-stated beliefs and his record then I can trust him when he says that he will vote against the proposed liturgy this summer, that he will not force parishes to embrace this theological novelty, and that he would even go so far as to allow alternate oversight to parishes who felt they needed this due to the actions of GC.  No?  Again, I’m just trying to navigate here, and I like where my boat is now in comparison with where others are floating theirs.

[64] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-27-2012 at 04:13 PM · [top]

RE: “Then if Bp. Doyle’s actions are predictable based on his clearly-stated beliefs and his record then I can trust him when he says that he will vote against the proposed liturgy this summer, that he will not force parishes to embrace this theological novelty, and that he would even go so far as to allow alternate oversight to parishes who felt they needed this due to the actions of GC.”

I’d think that he’d comply with his own statement for at least the next three years.  After all . . . it only took him four years to violate his statement that he would “not give permission to celebrate unions in the Diocese of Texas.”  ; > )

And with this latest announcement he gets what he wants—same-sex unions in the diocese while promising not to beat up on the conservatives.

Seriously—I don’t think Doyle will actively persecute conservative parishes/rectors.  They’ll die out in the Diocese of Texas over time as the clergy flow in and out progresses over time.  And many clergy will be long-gone from Texas by the time the clergy and laity elect the *next* bishop who will be farther along the road than Doyle.

The saddest thing to me is the laity.  Many of them are in the diocese for life and they have to watch it all, year by year, decade by decade and determine where they can worship as Anglicans, as the diocese slowly dissolves its Christian and Anglican identity.  As I’ve stated so many times before, the alternative Anglican entities are not viable or healthy or functional options to many of us [no offense to many Anglican friends of mine who have had to make that choice!], so the choice is 1) stay in TEC or 2) choose a non-Anglican denomination, and go worship there, even while one is an Anglican.

Not very pretty choices.

[65] Posted by Sarah on 4-27-2012 at 04:25 PM · [top]

RE: “Seriously—I don’t think Doyle will actively persecute conservative parishes/rectors.”

Forgot to add this caveat—“as long as those parishes continue to pay up the protection money to the diocese and fund Doyle’s particular gospel that he’s promoting.”

[66] Posted by Sarah on 4-27-2012 at 04:30 PM · [top]

TMC #53,
“Does the blessing ceremony make the couple MORE gay?” No, but it means they are openly gay and living in a “committed” relationship. Wouldn’t that be considered advertising that they are in a sinful relationship? Must an orthodox TEC Parish accept them as transfers?

By the way, I believe a “same gender covenant” is a purposely undefined term to be used as a “placeholder” until it is morphed into the word marriage. The intent all along is to obfuscate reality by making terms mean whatever the agendist wants them to mean. This is kind of like the phrase, “generous pastoral response”.

[67] Posted by Fr. Dale on 4-27-2012 at 05:43 PM · [top]

I encourage all who live in and around the Geographical locale of the DoT to join me in a several year now discipline of praying every time I pass a congregation connected to the diocese. Praying for God’s word to preached and the Gospel and transforming love of our Lord Jesus to change every life, marriage and family within that parish.

[68] Posted by CWPL+ on 4-27-2012 at 06:06 PM · [top]

Well, Dale, you could be right about the definition of same-gender covenant.  I’m sure there are those who see it that way and are biding their time for full “equality.”  It is interesting that most Christian churches worldwide that have embraced such blessings have stopped short of calling them marriages, and even many countries and states stop short.  That could of course change over time, one way or the other.  I believe the true “moderates” (and there are some out there) are also biding their time so as to do the necessary theological work to distinguish holy matrimony from, shall we say, “adelphopoiesis” (whatever that comes to mean).  This all may be a moderate pipe dream of course.  (No, I’m not going to defend the virtues of the “moderate” position, so don’t ask). 

As to the first question about transfers, it is my understanding that the rites will only be allowed in parishes where same-sex couples already exist, so the implicit “advertisement” is already out there.  Moreover, the bishop all but encouraged traditional parishes to change their by-laws to state clearly what their own understanding of holy matrimony is.  I would find it hard to believe that such couples would wish to transfer to such parishes, but even if they did, the parish does not have to recognize the blessing or endorse the lifestyle.  Mixed message?  No more mixed than what was perceived as the mixed message of the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical controversies of the 19th century (the controversy that caused the REC to breakaway)...or the slavery issue for that matter that divided our church north and south.

[69] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-27-2012 at 07:34 PM · [top]

Thanks, Sarah, for your thoughtful and constructive response.  Much to think about.  I do like it better here when the conversations are respectful in tone, and I do apologize for my part and/or involvement in any such rancor, past or present.

[70] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-27-2012 at 07:39 PM · [top]

This is a ponderous effort to attempt to justify a position that is untenable.  His many pages of blather about the duties and responsibilities of a bishop neglect to mention that he is also to be the chief shepherd of the diocese.  That means he is responsible for correct teaching and modeling the Christian life.  By adopting the mug-wump position of trying to be all things to all people, he has failed in his responsibilities of upholding the faith.  He has given unity primacy over Holy Scripture.  I am not proud to be one of his flock and pray that this epistle will have the result of providing a viable opportunity for others like me to worship in a more acceptable spiritual environment.

[71] Posted by Woodie on 4-27-2012 at 09:37 PM · [top]

“He has given unity primacy over Holy Scripture.”

I would argue that he has not.  Rather, he has chosen where the divisions will happen.  By doing what he is doing, he commits all orthodox Anglicans in his diocese to either openly oppose him, or leave.  Likewise, those who think he is not going far enough fast enough will likely leave.  So he loses those committed to orthodoxy, and those most committed to secularization and revision.  He will keep those who accept his nuances, those who are confused, those who have that desired (by the bishop) attitude that he is the bishop, after all, and therefore must know what he is doing, and he will keep those who just don’t care at all, but like the organ music.

[72] Posted by tjmcmahon on 4-27-2012 at 11:01 PM · [top]

What I keep wondering every time I think of SSB’s is why two people of the same sex are so special to the church that they can have their living in sin relationship blessed by the church. I mean why is the church not offering the same for heterosexual couples living together????  Really when will co-rehabilitating heterosexuals people stand up and demand the same courtesy .  Oh, wait is one a sin and the other is not! 

There many more opportunities for church planting in metro areas, but what about those souls in all the small towns throughout the Dio. of Texas?

[73] Posted by bob+ on 4-27-2012 at 11:41 PM · [top]

Can anyone provide a list of viable Anglican parishes within the geographical are of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas?  If none are viable, how do we go about starting one?

[74] Posted by Woodie on 4-28-2012 at 08:26 AM · [top]

Woodie whats your definition of viable and where in the DOT are you located?

[75] Posted by bob+ on 4-28-2012 at 10:50 AM · [top]

Viable?  Alive and not still using the 1928 PB.  Austin area.

[76] Posted by Woodie on 4-28-2012 at 03:18 PM · [top]

Third Mill Catholic wrote:

“I believe the true “moderates” (and there are some out there) are also biding their time so as to do the necessary theological work to distinguish holy matrimony from, shall we say, “adelphopoiesis” (whatever that comes to mean).”

(a) On what grounds do you believe that? 

(b) Why would that make them a moderate, rather than an active supporter of the liberal agenda?

“As to the first question about transfers, it is my understanding that the rites will only be allowed in parishes where same-sex couples already exist, so the implicit “advertisement” is already out there.”

This is a statement of the blindingly obvious, so I question the point of telling us.  Of course there will be no pressure to celebrate SSBs at a parish while there are no same-sex couples there.  Once such a couple starts to attend, then the pressure will start.  This is trite.

“Moreover, the bishop all but encouraged traditional parishes to change their by-laws to state clearly what their own understanding of holy matrimony is.”

Third Mill, I appreciate that liberals like yourself and Bishop Doyle have difficulty understanding these things, but please try to understand: From our perspective there is absolutely no justification for requiring traditional parishes to change anything.  The definition of marriage comes to us from the scriptures, and has been the same for thousands of years: marriage is a life-long public commitment between a man and a woman.  No-one needs to change by-laws in order to reflect existing truth.

“Mixed message?  No more mixed than what was perceived as the mixed message of the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical controversies of the 19th century (the controversy that caused the REC to breakaway)...or the slavery issue for that matter that divided our church north and south.”

I am sorry, but is this supposed to be an argument?  Effectively you are saying: “Because some Christians in the past supported slavery, it is okay for me to support same-sex blessings”.  No, it isn’t.  You can find all sorts of wrong things done by the Church in the past, and not one of them justifies you, or +Doyle or anyone else doing the wrong thing now.

[77] Posted by MichaelA on 4-28-2012 at 11:50 PM · [top]

...please try to understand: From our perspective there is absolutely no justification for requiring traditional parishes to change anything.  The definition of marriage comes to us from the scriptures, and has been the same for thousands of years: marriage is a life-long public commitment between a man and a woman.  No-one needs to change by-laws in order to reflect existing truth.


Hi, MichaelA, you raise an interesting question to me. Given that the Episcopal Church is shaped by Scripture, tradition, reason, and (the added) experience instead of solely by Scripture (or even Scripture and tradition); and given, too, that many believe that the Episcopal Church will give its permission for clergy to bless same-sex unions; the “existing truth” has changed for this denomination. It therefore makes sense to me that those traditional believing congregations who choose to remain in the Episcopal Church should state their what their stance is on marriage and from whence comes their understanding. I look upon it as a parish differentiating itself from what will be the denomination’s official position.

[78] Posted by Pressing On on 4-29-2012 at 04:42 PM · [top]

MichaelA, two quick notes.

1) Third Mill doesn’t support same sex blessings, I don’t believe [though I’m unfamiliar with all of his theology].

2) I can definitely support a parish changing bylaws in that diocese, however, in order to make crystal clear that new rectors can’t bounce in and suddenly begin doing same sex blessings.

It’s important—when a parish is in a diocese led by a revisionist bishop—for that parish to make it as difficult as possible for new rectors or new vestries to enact revisionist practices.  A bylaw change over here would indeed make things much more difficult as it would require a public act of a vestry [and sometimes bylaw changes have certain higher-majority requirements too].

[79] Posted by Sarah on 4-29-2012 at 04:57 PM · [top]

Sarah,

Many thanks for the clarification, and thank you Third Mill for making the point.

[80] Posted by MichaelA on 4-29-2012 at 09:33 PM · [top]

Pressing On, thanks, you may be right.

[81] Posted by MichaelA on 4-29-2012 at 09:34 PM · [top]

Based on the experiences in other diocese, I think a bylaw change is likely to be little more than a speed bump.  If the parish has no clout, it can be reduced to mission status, and then the vestry and bylaws are no longer relevant.  If the parish has some clout, the bishop can wait out until there is a need to call new clergy, and the bishop then has sufficient canonical authority to control the result.  (If a standoff occurs, then it is mission status again.)  But what has more frequently happened is that the orthodox parish loses laity as it comes more and more under attack, and eventually a new ACNA-affiliated paris is started, or it just fritters away.  In fact, I think a primary reason for the Virginia departures was that growth was being impeded by TEC, and it was becoming increasingly evident to the laity that, since they would have to leave sooner or later as the orthodox clergy were no longer being allowed in the diocese, they might as well leave now.

[82] Posted by pendennis88 on 4-30-2012 at 07:50 AM · [top]

@Michael A.  Please correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe the canons currently leave the decision to solemnize holy matrimony to the discretion of the priest/rector.  I light of that I can’t imagine a time when any clergy will be forced to do same-sex covenants.  If I can refuse a heterosexual couple and/or refer them to someone else to do their marriage ceremony, I can’t see why that wouldn’t apply to same-sex covenants as well.

And, no, I don’t approve of same-sex marriage/unions.  Sarah is correct.

[83] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-30-2012 at 03:54 PM · [top]

Yes, by-laws can be changed and changed back and then changed again.  The only benefit I see in Bp. Andy’s suggestion that parishes may wish to change their by-laws to reflect their understanding of marriage is simply in the statement that it makes at that point in time with that particular ministry.  Otherwise, why bother.

[84] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-30-2012 at 03:58 PM · [top]

Third Mill- Canons are temporary impediments that remain in force until the next diocesan convention, when they can be changed.  Or may be changed for you by GC. Certainly, in several dioceses in these parts (upper Midwest), to this day, the canons do not force any priest to conduct an SSB- in fact may not recognize the SSBs that have been ongoing with the bishop’s permission for the last 10 years.  On the other hand, the bishops have veto over new rectors and other incoming clergy, and have used that power, along with their power over licensing of clergy canonically resident elsewhere, to bring about a condition where there are very, very few priests who are not on the revisionist bandwagon.  You can get yourself in trouble for saying something like “Jesus is THE Way to the Father,” much less actually opposing the bishop’s agenda.  A few orthodox clergy are kept around in some nearby dioceses to minister to larger parishes that still have some clout (none in the local TEC diocese, but this diocese doesn’t add up to what a healthy parish was in my youth).  When I first moved here 5 years ago, the self described “most conservative priest in the diocese” said to me “I will not perform a gay marriage unless the diocese tells me to.”  To the best of my knowledge, they have never told him to.  But they have 3 other priests in the parish (with a total ASA of 35- in mutual ministry as practiced here, they will ordain pretty much anyone who holds up their hand to volunteer).

[85] Posted by tjmcmahon on 4-30-2012 at 04:34 PM · [top]

I have never been compelled or required to perform any marriage in my entire career. I have always had the right to refuse.  Are you suggesting the day will come when not only that will change, but that I will also be forced to perform same-sex union ceremonies?  I really think we should resist the temptation to reify the worst case scenarios that we can imagine.

[86] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-30-2012 at 04:58 PM · [top]

Third Mill Catholic

Are you suggesting the day will come when not only that will change, but that I will also be forced to perform same-sex union ceremonies?

The day is coming when you won’t be able to refuse to perform a SSM simply because the couple involved is homosexual.  You will be required to justify your decision according to some actual defect in the relationship (where homosexuality is by definition not considered a defect), or you will be charged with discrimination.

carl

[87] Posted by carl on 4-30-2012 at 05:09 PM · [top]

Third Mill Catholic

You may never be forced to perform a same-sex union ceremony, but you will not be the last priest for your congregation.  I would bet your replacement, when the time comes, will be more than happy to perform a same-sex union ceremony.

This will happen because, of many factors, here are some:

1) There will be fewer priest that have a problem doing a same-sex union ceremony.
2) The diocese will only approve Priest that are willing to do a same-sex union ceremony.
3) Many in the congregation that disapprove of same-sex union ceremonies will leave, move or die.
4) New people coming into the Episcopal Church will approve blessing same-sex unions.  If you did not, why would you join? 

Meanwhile, what will the youth in your congregation be learning at diocese events, in the news, and from other adults in the congregation?  Will they be learning to believe Scripture, or follow culture?

[88] Posted by JustOneVoice on 4-30-2012 at 05:10 PM · [top]

It’s times like this that I wish I had access to the crystal ball that ya’ll seem to have access to.  I’m kidding of course.  Thanks for the interaction. You have all given me much to think about, and I truly appreicate it.

[89] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-30-2012 at 05:36 PM · [top]

Third Mill, JustOneVoice’s last question does not require a crystal ball to answer.  It is directed at what sort of witness you are giving your young people right now.

[90] Posted by MichaelA on 4-30-2012 at 05:40 PM · [top]

“And, no, I don’t approve of same-sex marriage/unions.  Sarah is correct.”

Why does that matter?

[91] Posted by MichaelA on 4-30-2012 at 05:41 PM · [top]

Third Mill,

All we are trying to do is open your eyes to a reality that has played out in diocese after diocese. 
I am not using a crystal ball, merely relating what has been going on for the last decade in parishes and dioceses I have been part of.  If you were to approach the bishop of any of the dioceses of Michigan and say that you would never perform an SSB or gay marriage, you would have a VERY hard time getting the bishop to support your entry into seminary, or if you had already done that, getting ordained, or licensed if you came from another diocese.  I am not saying there are no orthodox clergy in Michigan.  I know better.  I am saying that bishops actively discourage anyone who is orthodox from becoming a priest, and do what they can to promote their own agendas, and have little patience with priests who do not.
And your bishop has made his agenda VERY clear.

[92] Posted by tjmcmahon on 4-30-2012 at 06:00 PM · [top]

It was a reference to Sarah’s post [79], where she said that she didn’t think I supported same-sex blessings.  She is correct.  (I think that’s what you were asking, right?)

[93] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-30-2012 at 06:00 PM · [top]

tjmacmahon. I was just trying to bring a little levity to the conversation.  Please don’t read into the crystal ball comment more than that.  I meant what I said about giving me much to think about.  Thanks.

[94] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-30-2012 at 06:03 PM · [top]

Oops. I misread your question, MichaelA.  Never mind.  Look folks, this thread has run its course, I think.  Not to say that the subject matter has!  But I’m going to refrain from responding to this particular thread from here on out.  Again, thanks.  Blessings to all.

[95] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 4-30-2012 at 06:05 PM · [top]

You will be required to justify your decision according to some actual defect in the relationship (where homosexuality is by definition not considered a defect), or you will be charged with discrimination.

I seriously doubt that, carl. As the canons state (albeit currently), a minister does not have to give a reason or “justify” to anyone why they will not solemnize a marriage; so why would they be required to justify a decision to refuse to do so in a same-sex blessing scenario? Unless, of course, bishops aren’t really interested in treating canons regarding marriage equally. (Snicker.) Seriously, though, I don’t agree with the assumption that one will be asked to justify.

[96] Posted by Pressing On on 4-30-2012 at 06:23 PM · [top]

Okay, I understand that JustOneVoice is not going to get an answer to the question in his/her last paragraph at #88 (and reiterated by me at #90).  Too bad.

[97] Posted by MichaelA on 4-30-2012 at 06:41 PM · [top]

Registered members are welcome to leave comments. Log in here, or register here.

Comment Policy: We pride ourselves on having some of the most open, honest debate anywhere. However, we do have a few rules that we enforce strictly. They are: No over-the-top profanity, no racial or ethnic slurs, and no threats real or implied of physical violence. Please see this post for more explanation, and the posts here, here, and here for advice on becoming a valued commenter as opposed to an ex-commenter. Although we rarely do so, we reserve the right to remove or edit comments, as well as suspend users' accounts, solely at the discretion of site administrators. Since we try to err on the side of open debate, you may sometimes see comments which you believe strain the boundaries of our rules. Comments are the opinions of visitors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Stand Firm site administrators or Gri5th Media, LLC.