Live blog: Bishops debate C056 on same-sex unions--then postpone

The House of Bishops is now debating C056. Here is the resolution:

Resolved, that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops Theology Committee, collect and develop theological resources and liturgies of blessing for same-gender holy unions, to be presented to the 77th General Convention for formal consideration; and be it further

Resolved, that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops Theology Committee, devise an open process for the conduct of its work in this matter, inviting participation from dioceses, congregations, and individuals who are or have already engaged in the study or design of such rites throughout the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, that all bishops, noting 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; and be it further

Resolved, that honoring the theological diversity of this Church, no bishop or other member of the clergy shall be compelled to authorize or officiate at such liturgies; and be it further

Resolved, that the Anglican Consultative Council be invited to conversation regarding this resolution and the work that proceeds from it, together with other churches in the Anglican Communion engaged in similar processes.

An amendment by Bishop Raab of Maryland, which was suggested by the minority report on this issue by Bishop Henry Parsley of Alabama, which would have weakened the resolution was defeated. (It would have altered this resolve: "that all bishops, noting 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;" by pretty much restricting the rite to "provide generous pastoral response: to bishops in dioceses in jurisdictions in which same-sex marriage is authorized.)

Bishop Whalen is offering an amendment that would remove the word "formally" from the first resolve, thus insuring that the Church would NOT formally consider resolutions for same-sex blessings in 2012.

Bishop Jelinek opposes. This is a theological discussion about whether liturgists and rites-writers should proceed before more analytical theologians have weighed in on the issue.

Bishop Alexander opposes the amendment. We develop the rites and the theological explanations "in consultation with each other."

Bishop Chane of Washington: We have delayed formal discussions in the past It is now the right time.

Here it is, D039 from GC 2000.

Bishop Frye, retired of Colorado and Rio Grande asks if we aren't just trying to end run the prayer book.

Then a concern about voting on the amendment until they have D039 in their hands.

Daniel of East Carolina implores bishops who disagree with this resolution to participate in the debate. He feels that he needs to hear from them.

Peter Beckwith of Springfield, a conservative thanks Daniel. Says he was keeping silent "almost as a pearls and swine thing" (not going to win him many friends.) He opposes letting the Church be shaped by the secular culture in this matter. Also opposes moving further away from the Windsor Report.

Stacy Sauls of Lexington: mentions divorce. says changing our teaching on that more than 30 years ago was a much bigger deal. it was against scripture, against the teaching of Jesus. Says we did so as a matter of mercy. Members of this house have experienced that mercy. Why do we not extend it to GLBT Christians? The average Anglican has no opinion on this matter. "The scribes and the Pharisees tie up heavy burdens hard to bear and lay them on the shoulders of others. But they themselves will move not a finger to lift them."

Edward Konieczny of Oklahoma moves a postponement of the entire motion until they have the text of the amendment.

It passes.

The PB thinks this pushes the matter back until this afternoon.

Comments (1)

Jim,
I marvel at your facility in live-blogging while simultaneously searching, copying, and posting a link to the resolution the HOB floor lacks. Bravo!!

(Jim's note: The credit goes to Lauren Stanley of Center Aisle, who was sittng behind me.)

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