Friday, April 15, 2005

Episcopal leaders withdraw from Anglican conference over gay row - Advocate

the Episcopal Church will provide the June meeting with a formal theological explanation of its pro-gay policies. Also, U.S. representatives will be present--but only to observe discussions and "be available for conversation and consultation," the statement said. The Anglican Church of Canada, which has also allowed same-sex blessings, was similarly asked to withdraw its delegates. The Canadians' national council will decide what to do in May. (AP)

That's not much time to come up with a theological explanation. If by theological you mean the kind of reasoning that goes into a change in canon law. Recall that of the bishops who voted against Robinson, many explained their vote as a vote not against the man but in favor of the principle that if we are to allow gays we first need to go through the canon law process. (Others were convinced both that canon law did not need to be changed and that it should always be respected.)

Bishops who voted for Robinson argued that there is a higher law than canon law. And that usually canon law is consistent with that higher law, but in the particulars of this case canon law was not. They were led to vote as they did based upon their experence getting to know Robinson and his diocese -- that is the people who are the diocese. And they were led to vote as they by their personal theology which includes the universal admonition to love.

I happen to be torn between these two positions, and to know bishops of both kinds and to admire them. And the reality is that most bishops were torn between these two positions, but when the time to vote came up they had to choose which mantle to take up.

The results of that vote so roiled the church that it appears to me that it simply cannot give "a formal theological explanation of its pro-gay policies" at this time. Certainly not by June.

Individuals may know their own mind, but the church does not know its mind. Yet.

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