Wednesday, June 03, 2015

A.S. Haley: Making a Mishmash of Marriage .........(Part I)

June 3, 2015

As the date for the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (USA) in Salt Lake City draws near, the deputies are being asked to adopt measures of expediency in order to bail out clergy from the predicament into which previous General Conventions have placed them.

No attention is given to the longer-term picture. There is nothing to see but a short-term “fix” that (a) emasculates the Book of Common Prayer; (b) reverses the normal order for liturgical change; and (c) makes a mishmash of the concept of “marriage” within the Episcopal Church (USA).
Here is the predicament, in a nutshell. For years, the Episcopal Church (USA) has had no lawful means of recognizing—let alone of blessing or solemnizing—same-sex unions between its members. (It still does not, but try telling that to the revisionists at GC 2015.)

Until such unions began to receive civil recognition under various State laws and court decisions (mostly the latter, since majorities for the former were hard to find), ECUSA could do nothing (other than open its clerical orders to such couples, who by the traditional definition of the BCP (p. 422) were still living in sin).

Now it is 2015, and by hook or by crook the majority of States have been brought to recognize same-sex unions, and to call them “marriages.” And by the end of this month, there will in all likelihood be a resounding 5-4 “mandate” from the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court—who must be the most learned of all in such matters—that requires the approval of such “marriages” in all 50 States, via an unpersuasive eisegesis of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Revisionist ECUSA clergy in those States who are in the vanguard pushed General Convention to authorize them to make an appropriate “pastoral response” to same-sex couples within their jurisdiction who avail themselves of the change in the civil law... the rest
Now you should see the dilemma in which the revisionist clergy find themselves. In jumping the gun in 2012 to rush into church-sanctioned same-sex marriages (as a matter of “generous pastoral response” to a tiny minority of parishioners), they did not have the patience first to change either the Canons or the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer. (The latter would have required action by two successive General Conventions, or a minimum of four years.)

As a consequence, every single bishop and every single priest in ECUSA who has presided over the solemnization of a same-sex marriage up to now—whether using a rite “authorized by the diocesan” or not—is liable to discipline under Title IV of the Church Canons. Need I bother declaring the odds of such proceedings ever taking place? No matter—the Canons have still been, and still are, knowingly violated and so, disrespected—by the very persons charged with conforming to them.


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