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Dio Texas removes the roadblock to marriage equality!

Dio Texas removes the roadblock to marriage equality!

The Rt Revd Andy Doyle

The Revd Canon Susan Russell is reporting on her personal blog, An Inch at a Time, that the Diocese of Texas, led by its bishop, the Rt Revd Andy Doyle, has voted in favor of removing Canon 43 from the diocesan canons. Canon 43 defined marriage as soley being between a man and a woman. The vote to remove Canon 43 was 499 delegates in favor and 144 delegates opposed.

The Revd Russell quotes from Bishop Doyle’s address to the convention;

In his address to the diocese, Bishop Doyle noted that Canon 43 “has not kept anyone dissatisfied with TEC from leaving” and “what it has done is keep talented clergy from other parts of the country from coming to the Diocese of Texas.” He also noted “this is not a vote for marriage or against marriage. This is a vote for mission.”

Deep in the Heart of Texas” marriage equality has taken a giant step forward!

You may read Susan’s original blogpost at An Inch at a Time.
The photo of +Andy is from


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Michael Russell

Marriage was not the principal issue, as Bp. Doyle explained several times. The principal issue was the restrictionsame it imposed on congregations and the Bishop to pick suitable clergy. The Diocese of Texas is hardly a hotbed of progressivism, but it has been a hotbed for mission and church planting. Oddly enough it is one of the few Dioceses growing. It grows not because it is progressive or conservative, but because it has elasticity in trying new forms of ministry to reach populations long tired out by the so called orthodox.
The Bishop has built relationships within the Diocese so that we do not live out the now stale polarities of a Chris Seitz, to live in the dynamic moments of vast changes.

To borrow from the old 599th “new occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient truths uncouth.”

Prof. Christopher Seitz

Lenten Blessings for you and yours in EDOT.

One can ask God to bless TEC richly and leave it fully in his hands.

I trust there is no staleness in that prayer for His will to be done.

Prof. Christopher Seitz

I think TEC knows where it is going and will get there. It will take less than 3 years.

(451 and 1024 would be grandiose analogies!)

Lenten Blessings.

Michael Russell

Well, bless your heart, Prof. Seitz. In 2015 saw the rift of 451 approach some healing, and progress on eliminating the breach caused by the filioque. This week the Pope and Oecumenical Patriarch moved to heal a rift begun in 1054. So there is hope that even some younger old dogs might learn new tricks. This a fine hope to bask in.

William Bockstael

Yeeeeehaaawww !!!!!

Ann Fontaine

There are many bishops who use the “out” GC gave them to continue to forbid marriage equality. I think it is more that the Diocese of Texas has been moving in this way because of the witness of faithful couples.

Prof. Christopher Seitz

Bishop Doyle was always in favor of some kind of accommodation for progressive stances, and was elected on that basis. Nothing new in this vote so far as I can tell. EDOT’s vote tells that tale.

The largest parish in TEC (in Houston) did not push back against ‘the Doyle plan’ and even accommodated it, though it is a conservative parish in large measure. (Previous, highly successful rector, left for the RCC after retirement).

If anything, I am surprised at the substantial number of No votes given the trends in EDOT over the past 20 years.

Prof. Christopher Seitz

Both seem reasonably clear to those who know the Diocese.

John Chilton

Now you’re offering a new theory of why the resolution passed. First you said it was because the canon was redundant given GC2015’s action on marriage equality (it wasn’t – it constrained Doyle and the clergy of EDOT). Now you say it was because the diocese had been ready to change its canon since the time it elected Doyle in 2008. If my math is right that was 8 years ago.

It appears to me that the diocese voted to remove the canon when it was ready. Anything else is spin.

Melissa Holloway

I liked Susan Russell’s dictum to have audacious goals and celebrate incremental victories.

I was also interested in the bishop’s point in his address was that the canon hurt the mission of the diocese because talented clergy seemed to have chosen to go elsewhere.

Prof. Christopher Seitz

Do diocesan canons mean anything anymore anyway? That is, as Bishop he is no longer in a position to have recourse to EDOT canons anyway. So voting them out is chiefly decorative. They harken back to a polity that is now being dismantled.

John Chilton

Logic test: Was the action of the Texas Convention a voluntary act? Or forced upon it from upon high?

When will the Diocese of Dallas drop their canon using your hypothesis that it is merely decorative?

christopher seitz

I thought the point obvious.

The EDOD cannot use their own canons against GC rulings. It is GC which now states what a Diocese can and cannot do.

I assume votes in places like EDOT happen primarily to see who is ‘with it’ re: the progressive agenda. If they had voted to uphold their canon, what difference would it make? All of this will time out in three years and the only reason EDOD might claim they will not allow ss marriage is because GC has given a temporary reprieve to Diocesans who do not wish to allow this.

John Chilton

Once again, an odd statement from you, Prof. Seitz. You are of course familiar with the Bishop of Dallas statement on marriage from November 2015.
The 2015 General Convention Resolution A054 gives the diocesan bishop authority to withhold permission for same-sex blessings and marriages in the diocese, and it also calls on the diocese ‘to make provision’ for access to such rites for those who wish them.

So the policy of the diocese will continue to be that articulated in diocesan Canon 12. Clergy of the diocese may not officiate at any portion of a marriage or blessing of the union of a same-sex couple, whether that marriage or blessing takes place in the diocese or outside of it, nor may any such rite be performed in any church building or other property owned by the diocese. The same restriction holds for clergy holding a license to officiate in the diocese.

Oh. I just learned the Cranmer Institute closed in December. Why was it dismantled?

Cranmer Institute Closes 12.30.15
We at the Cranmer Institute (TCI) want to express our gratitude for the participation, prayers, and financial support you have provided over the past four years.

TCI was designed as a way to introduce distinct programming for a younger generation of clergy and lay leaders in the national Episcopal Church; clergy wanting to work on their preaching skills; Diocese of Dallas clergy and laity interested in continuing education; as well as international conferences for all those concerned with the life of the wider Anglican Communion. We hoped this would augment the work of the Anglican Communion Institute.

We are grateful for the many programs we have been able to see successfully to completion. You will find attached a summary of that work, including the renovations that made our home at Canterbury House, such an exciting ‘Center for Anglican Studies.’

TCI will now close its programming as funded for a three-year term and we will return to the Anglican Communion Institute mission, focused more specifically on the life of the Anglican Communion in the 21st century.

We would like to thank in particular the hard work of our Treasurer Tom Graves, Secretary Frank Fuller, and Vice-President Ephraim Radner. TCI has been what it has been because of their sacrifices and clear thinking, especially in these challenging times in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion.

On a personal note, we mention with affection and gratitude the professional contribution of Ms. Keeley Chorn, our Program Director. TCI’s excellent website and promotional materials owe much to her skills. TCI could not have operated so successfully without her.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Turner, Chairman
Christopher Seitz, President

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