Sunday, January 25, 2009

Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Goes For Gay Unions

Resolved, that the Diocese of Virginia recognizes our responsibility to respond to the pastoral needs of our faithful gay and lesbian members in a spirit of love, compassion and respect, and in so doing seek to fulfill our baptismal commitment to respect the dignity of every human being; and, be it furtherResolved, that accordingly the 214th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia affirms the inherent integrity and blessedness of committed Christian relationships between two adult persons, when those relationships are “characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God” (Resolution 2000-D039 of the 73rd General Convention of the Episcopal Church) .

Well that speaks a thousand words. If there is an unofficial Mother Church in American History its is the Anglican/ Episcopal Church. Wrapped up in that of course is the history of Virginia. When Virginia goes well I think it marks a historic moment that is a tad sad.

MCJ has much more at COMPLIANTOUSNESS The comments are interesting including the ones that say that Adult incest could come under this resolution .

I also agree with one commenter that I am very interested in this Baptism Commitments I hear among some Episcopals talking about all over the place that is used to justify a ton of things.

I don't know if the Anglicans have one similar to the Catholics but here is ours we repeat each Easter:

“V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.V.
And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

R. I do.

V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.

V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
R. Amen

The comments also hit on something I have never thought about but is something Catholics have discussed for a long time. That is how important Liturgy is and how Liturgy can be used to introduced new ideas some not very Orthodox. There was controversy when the Prayer book was changed in 1979. In fact some folks became I think old Prayer Book Anglicans here in the United States. I am not familiar enough with the changes but it is being pointed out that there is a lesson here

For example these three caught my eye

Regarding the revisions to the Prayer Book, as a non-Anglican I can’t comment. I would just say that, even back then, there was criticism of the proposed revision to the Prayer Book:
G. K. Chesterton, “The Well and the Shallows”, 1935:
“For the Anglicans cannot do the trick now, any more than anybody else. Modern prayers, and theirs perhaps more than any, seem to be perfectly incapable of avoiding journalese. And the Prayer-Book prose seems to follow them like a derisive echo.
Lambeth or Convocation will publish a prayer saying something like, “Guide us, O Lord, to the solution of our social problems”; and the great organ of old will groan in the background… “All who are desolate and oppressed.” The first Anglicans asked for peace and happiness, truth and justice; but nothing can stop the latest Anglicans, and many others, from the horridhabit of asking for improvement in international relations


My answer to JM’s question: I think the revisionists on the SCLM (Standing Committee on Liturgy & Music) had major mischief in mind with the 1979 revision. The entire focus of worship was changed from being humbly repentant for our sins to an attitude of smugness for being an Episcopalian. The shift to a universalist outlook was very subtle (although I am sure there were those theologically versed people who saw it coming) so that the average pew sitter would not notice.
But after 30 years, look at the damage that has been wrought


JM: I suppose all this unitarian stuff would have been just as possible without the 1979 Prayer Book, but the fact that it is quoted so much suggests that it is at least useful for the apostates. For example when a faithful parishioner raises their hand (as GG did recently with Schori) to say “excuse me but that doesn’t seem right” then someone can always say “remember your baptismal covenant” as if they had signed-away their freedom to have a dissenting opinion.
Fuinseoig: excellent Chesterton quote. It seems to me, based on quotes such as this and similar from CS Lewis, that the Christian thinkers have been hip to the liberal strategies for nigh-on a century now, and have been exposing it in very clear prose. Obviously, as Duane points out, fore-warned was not fore-armed. Which suggests to me that there is devilry afoot

There are other Resolutions that the VA folks did that are of interest.

For instance there is a R-5: Allowing Clergy To Exercise Pastoral Care In Blessing the Unions Of Same-Gender Couples
Combined into R-9sa.
Resolved, that the 214th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia implores the Bishop to allow clergy in this Diocese to exercise pastoral wisdom and care and follow the lead of their consciences in whether or not to officiate at public liturgies blessing the unions of same-gender couples

Now this is strange and it really brings up the issue of Communion and what it means. So in some Churches in the same State or Diocese or City we can have people that have rights to public liturgy and in some cases not.

This is an Anglican Discription of Liturgy

Liturgy literally means, “the work of the people.” Worship in the early church was liturgical-it was not a passive experience but a participatory action and event in which the assembled people of God actively worshipped together. Liturgy requires the active participation of the whole assembly through corporate forms of prayer, song, response, and action. (See the section which explains specific participatory acts in the last section for details.)

From the good ole Catholic Encylopedia

Liturgy (leitourgia) is a Greek composite word meaning originally a public duty, a service to the state undertaken by a citizen. Its elements are leitos (from leos = laos, people) meaning public, and ergo (obsolete in the present stem, used in future erxo, etc.), to do. From this we have leitourgos, "a man who performs a public duty", "a public servant", often used as equivalent to the Roman lictor; then leitourgeo, "to do such a duty", leitourgema, its performance, and leitourgia, the public duty itself. ................

So in Christian use liturgy meant the public official service of the Church, that corresponded to the official service of the Temple in the Old Law.

There appears to be a contradiction here between these concepts and the resolution.


Anonymous said...

Is it any surprise that Truro Church and the Falls Church left the Diocese of Virginia? Is it any surprise that Bishop Peter Lee decided to leave early? Oh, this is disheartening!

Michael-in-Norfolk said...

As a former Roman Catholic who became disgusted with the corruption and moral bankruptcy of the Church leadership - and who is now a happy Lutheran who on occasion attends a local Episcopal Church - I applaud the actions of the Episcopal Church in Virginia.

How wonderful that the Episcopal Church in Virginia is accepting the position of all legitimate medical and mental heralth experts that sexual orientation is not something that one can change and that being "gay" is normal for a percentage of the population.

Sadly, the Roman Catholic Church is maintaining the same flat earth mindset which has put it decades if not centuries behind the curve in terms of accepting scientific knowledge in the past. While Benedict XVI and others like him want to remain frozen at a 13th Century level of knowledge, the world and medicine and science move on. It's no wonder that the Catholic Church is growing mainly in areas of with education levels and ignorance.