Monday, July 20, 2009

Still Troubled

The thing that has troubled me most as I have reflected on the Episcopal Church's General Convention is the number of bishops who voted against D025 (electing gay bishops), but who were deluded enough to vote for C056 (same-sex blessings).

Consider the two operative clauses that these bishops would have had to overlook or misconstrue to vote for C056:
Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consulation with the House of Bishops, collect and develop theological, and liturgical resources and design liturgies and report to the 77th General Convention; for further action…
Bishops should not have been fooled by the fact that the words “ and design liturgies” were struck from the final form of this resolution.

Even if only the word “collect” had been used, it would have been sufficient to allow for the development of liturgies for same sex unions, because you can’t collect something that does not exist. But as it is, it says “collect and develop theological and liturgical resources”. How much of their own money would these gullible bishops be willing to bet that these “liturgical resources” won’t actually include some rites that can be (or have been!!!) used to bless same sex unions?

The other problematic clause is:
Resolved, That bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church…
Note the resolution does not say only those in civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage is legal, but particularly those in such jurisdictions “may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church”.

Again, how much of their own money would these gullible bishops be willing to bet that other bishops will not interpret these words as support for allowing the blessing of same sex unions in their dioceses, given that such "generous pastoral responses" have already occurred even without such a resolution. The GLBT organization, Integrity, and some of the more realistic bishops have already said that this is exactly how they interpret C056.

That indaba stuff the bishops indulged in before this vote is apparently a powerful hallucinogen.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The thing that troubles me most aobut C056 is the cynical, calculated double-speak in the debate. As reported in The Lead:

Mark Hollingsworth of Ohio: strike the words "and design liturgies" and just use the phrase "liturgical resources." He says taking out the phrase "design liturgies" gives greater comfort to his conservative table mates.

Bud Cedarholm of Massachusetts opposes. As long as you say "design" you aren't saying pass and put into practice and that should be enough.

Gene Robinson: if the last 24 hours are what Indaba at Lambeth was like than he is even sorrier not to have been included. he says the word "design" was chosen instead of "develop" because the latter makes it look like more of a done deal.

All of this seems to do little more than add a fudge frosting to the enormous flipoff of the rest of the AC while maintaining ostensible (but flimsy and duplicitous) deniability. Ugh.