St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Akron, Ohio, which has removed the “Episcopal Church” from their signs, is heading the AAC chapter in the Diocese of Ohio. This webpage shows which Anglican provinces have declared either “broken” or “impaired” communion the US Church.
Frankly, there are far fewer than I had anticipated. The AAC and all the dissenting people make it seem as if ALL the Anglican Communion, except maybe Canada and Southern Africa, has repudiated the U.S. Church. From these statistics, it just is not so!
Here is the statement from the House of Bishops concerning “alternative Episcopal Oversight” I am sure many of the conservatives are not happy. Time will tell whether the AAC and member parishes/clergy will simply leave at this time.
[ENS] In response to the different points of view that exist in the dioceses and congregations of the Episcopal Church concerning issues of human sexuality, the House of Bishops, meeting March 19-25 in Camp Allen, Texas, have issued a document entitled “Caring for all the Churches.” The full text follows:
Caring For All The Churches
A Response of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church
to an expressed need of the Church
The church is the Body of Christ. Our life in this Body is a continuing action of God’s grace among us, by whose power alone we are “joined together” in Christ and grow “into a holy temple in the Lord.” (Eph. 2:21). Through the church’s common life in Christ, God intends to signify to the world the beginning of a new and reconciled creation.
We know the unity with God that Christ has won for humanity, he won through the victory of his passion. We are mindful of the suffering of Jesus who, on the Cross and through his resurrection, reaches into every corner of alienated human life, reconciling and restoring to the household of God all who come to him in faith. By GodÃƒÂ‚Ã¢Â€Â™s grace the church is continually called, in repentance and hope, to be a trustworthy sign to the world of this costly reconciling power of God. We understand that, in obedience to Christ and putting our whole trust in him, we may share in his unity with the Father through the Holy Spirit. Communion in the Trinity is the salvation of the world. The church, thus, exists for the sake of the world. Therefore, for the sake of the world, we have been called “to serve before God day and night in the ministry of reconciliation, (BCP, p.521) which is to be carried out “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:2-3)
I was talking to Father Cullen, the Rector of my field-placement parish. We were talking about the conservatives and liberals, etc. He noticed that the perspective of some liberals is to write stacks of pages of exegesis in an attempt to find whatever looping can be found to justify doing this or that thing, or not doing something. This may be the case for some, even many, but all I can say for myself is that I desire to know the truth, not to justify a behavior.
Sometimes I wonder whether all these attempts to justify homosexual behavior, at least according to the rational of some, is simply an attempt to find a loophole to justify the behavior of some rather than to see the greater good in God’s way. Or, as Augustine might say in Free Choice and the Will: we must order our lives according to how things are. We cannot demand that the world change to meet our own desires. If we try, then we are worshiping the creature rather than the creator, which cannot bring peace and happiness because we are acting against how things really are. (Of course, the same charge can be levied against the prohibitionists as they try to persuade people that God is in the business of healing homosexuals and changing them into what God originally intended – heterosexuals.) Augustine also stresses that morality isn’t a code of conduct, but the method/process we go through internally as we make decisions, which speaks against much of the Legalistic Righteousness that is passing for Evangelical/Fundamentalist ideas of morality.
Are we practicing Natural Law, according to Aquinas? Are we striving to conform ourselves to and participate with God in Eternal Law? Are we attempting to implement Natural Law into Human Law as we order our society? Hum…..
comments? e-mail me
This is probably quite naive of me, but I honestly believe there should be a return to the word “homophile” to describe those who have an affectual or sexual desire for the same-sex.
This issue needs to be recast away from “sex” and to what we are truly discussing – the natural and God given desire and need to love and be loved, to know and be known. It is too easy for the anti-homosexual people to continue to cast the debate around sexual behavior only. As in heterosexual couples, sex will be an aspect, but not the end-all of their relationship.
I agree that many gay people are obsessed with sex and preoccupied with things pertaining to sex, but again I do not believe those people represent a majority. It just hasn’t born out in my experience. The issues are the same despite what orientation exists within anyone.
comments? e-mail me