The March Goes On


Archbishop Rowan Williams & Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts courtesy ELO/Matthew DaviesThe Bishops of the Episcopal Church concluded its talks yesterday in New Orleans where they met to discuss their position on homosexuality in light of pressures placed upon them by the greater Anglican Communion. In order to provide a brief background, members of the Anglican Communion, lead by the African Church, have been threatening a schism with the Episcopal Church if it did not address their demands regarding the practice of consecrating openly gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions. To complicate matters, a few individual dioceses of the Episcopal Church have begun the process of schism with the Episcopal Church over the same issue.

At the end of the talks, the response of the Episcopal Church was to preserve the unity of the Anglican Communion and cave on its open and affirming practice of consecration of openly gay bishops and blessing of same-sex unions. There were a few other clauses in their statement, including a demand for the immediate cessation of interference in local diocese by African Bishops and a strongly worded statement outlining the church’s stance on homosexual rights.

“…we also be clear and outspoken in our shared commitment to establish and protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian persons, and to name and oppose at every turn any action or policy that does violence to them, encourages violence toward them, or violates their dignity as children of God.”

As a person of faith and more specifically, as a person aspiring to ordination in the Episcopal Church, I am greatly saddened by our Bishops’ decision. While I understand the importance of unity in the Anglican tradition, I have to ask at times like this, “at what cost?” In the words of Isaiah, “A highway shall be there, and it will be called the Holy Way.” We were on the path of the Holy, but we have left it in order to appease the greater church. While some may point with hope to the statement of dedication to the rights of homosexuals, the hypocrisy that we would claim to uphold their dignity as children of God and deny their ability to be consecrated as Bishops or have their union blessed is almost to great to bear.

So what now? We cannot lose hope–the path of righteousness is long and demanding. We must strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees, because the march must go on. When we choose to be in communion with Christ, then we must always stand by the oppressed and the suffering.

Cross Posted from Hellish Truth


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