In an unsigned post at the Anglican Communion Institute blog, the authors conclude an infant of two dads cannot be baptized until The Episcopal Church changes its teaching on marriage equality — or the dads renounce their marriage.
Under the Anglican concept of “lex orandi, lex credendi” (the rule of prayer is the rule of faith) the public worship of the church is the teaching of the church. When a same sex couple (or an unmarried couple) present their child for baptism they are required to answer publicly the following question:
“Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?
I renounce them.”
This question and answer, as well as others in the baptismal covenant, unavoidably present the question of what the church’s teaching on sex outside traditional marriage really is. If the same sex or unmarried couple answers this question affirmatively, they and the officiant are publicly proclaiming that the teaching of the church does not consider their relationship sinful. Under the lex orandi standard, that is the teaching of the church.
What is the teaching of The Episcopal Church on this issue? If it is the same as that of the church throughout the centuries and of the overwhelming majority of Christians today, these parents in irregular relationships cannot give the appropriate assurance and the infant should not be baptized; or the promises on behalf of the child must be made solely by the godparents who do accept the teaching and the responsibilities associated with it; or finally, the rite must be changed to delete any reference to church teaching.
Contributors to the ACI are listed here, and include the retired bishop of Central Florida.
Budget numbers from the Diocese of Central Florida indicate substantial contributions to ACI. In 2015 the Diocesan Tithe to National & World Mission includes $17,625 for the Anglican Communion Institute. In 2013 the diocese gave the Anglican Communion Institute $23,292 and DFMS (“815”) $57,572.
Added at 1:15PM Eastern Time, 5/8/2015:
July 7, 2012
Many Episcopal leaders are questioning the timing and substance of charges against seven bishops, including the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe [Bishop of Central Florida, retired], that they engaged in misconduct for having endorsed a friend of the court brief prepared by the Anglican Communion Institute in a Texas Supreme Court case between The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Fort Worth over legal authority and ownership of church property in that diocese, according to a news article on anglicanink.com by the Rev. George Conger.
“It is both disheartening and baffling that a few days before the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Clayton Matthews acting in his capacity as Intake Officer, informed seven bishops of the Episcopal Church that a complaint has been filed against them regarding their endorsing a friend of the court brief in litigation involving The Texas Supreme Court, The Episcopal Church, and the Episcopal Diocese of Texas,” the Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer, Bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida, said in a prepared statement July 2. “At issue is not a matter of doctrine but a disputed matter of law on which people in the Episcopal Church clearly disagree. Why does signing such a brief warrant a complaint that Bishop Matthews takes seriously enough to send such a letter? Is this an attack against free speech? Are we not free to state our opinions in a court of law without retaliation by our church? Is this an intentional act of intimidation? Or given how close this is to General Convention, is this a diversionary tactic to throw the spotlight away from weightier matters facing our Convention? Until the content of the complaint comes to light we do not know. However, I want to assure these bishops of my prayers; and I join with the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Central Florida in offering our support, prayers and friendship.”
In an amicus brief filed on 23 April 2012 the seven bishops and three scholars from the ACI – the Rev. Christopher R. Seitz, the Very Rev. Philip W. Turner, and the Very Rev. Ephraim Radner — argued a Tarrant County, Texas trial court misconstrued the church’s constitutions and canons by holding that the Episcopal Church was a hierarchical body with ultimate power vested in the General Convention.
Posted by John B. Chilton