Episcopal House of Bishops endorses ‘provisional’ rites for same-sex blessings: Anglican Ink, July 9, 2012 July 10, 2012Posted by geoconger in The Episcopal Church, Anglican Ink, 77th General Convention.
Tags: gay marriage, House of Bishops, resolution A049, same-sex blessings
The House of Bishops has authorized the use and study of provisional rites for the blessing of same-sex unions. By a vote of 111 in favor, 41 no, and 3 abstaining Resolution A049 was passed by the bishops during the afternoon session of the 5th legislative day of the 77th General Convention on 9 July 2012.
The text of the resolution at this stage of the legislative process states the bishops “authorize for provisional use I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing for study and use in congregations and dioceses of The Episcopal Church.”
The language of the original resolution asked the church to “authorize for trial use” the gay-blessing liturgy. However, the committee removed the language designating the liturgy as a trial rite, renaming it a “provisional” rite. One conservative bishop told Anglican Ink that he and other like minded bishops had lobbied the Standing Committee on Liturgy to remove the designation “trial rite” in the committee stage of the proceedings. He said he believed that calling it a “trial rite” would indicate that gay marriage rites would be “inevitable”.
The resolution was further amended by the committee to permit bishops to adapt the materials to suit local needs and introduced a conscience clause to permit clergy to decline to preside at gay blessings.
South Carolina deputy, the Very Rev. David Thurlow told AI the committee had also honored conservative concerns by introducing a conscience clause. The convention honors “the theological diversity of this church in regards to matters of human sexuality, and that no bishop, priest, deacon or lay person should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities, as a result of his or her conscientious objection to or support for the 77th General Convention’s action with regard to the Blessing of Same-Sex Relationships.”
Read it all in Anglican Ink.