I understand that these guidelines include the kind of local pastoral provision that causes concern to the Primates. (See paragraph 21 of their Communiqué.) With all due respect, and, as a matter of conscience, I will not banish prayers for gay and lesbian couples. I will not punish clergy and churches who offer such prayers.Indeed he invites them to do so under the provisions of his guidelines:
I invite the clergy to offer loving, wise and prayerful pastoral care and counseling to gays and lesbians living in life-long, monogamous and faithful partnerships. I encourage clergy and congregations to offer their pastoral support to such couples, which may include prayers of celebration and thanksgiving for the grace and holiness of their unions.Taken as whole, Bishop Counsell's guidelines serve as a model for how The Episcopal Church could respond to the Communique.