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ECUSA: Griswold Affirms Homosexuality As He Faces Personal Golgotha


By David W. Virtue

SARASOTA, FL (10/10/2004)--On the brink of facing his own Golgotha, Frank Griswold, the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop told a town meeting here, in answer to a question how he could condone the ordination of a gay bishop, that the biblical writers did not know what we know about homosexuality: they thought it was a behavior of heterosexuals acting reprehensibly.

He then said he personally knew a couple of mature men who have been living together for many years, and he could not look into their eyes and say that they are deviant or abnormal.

(President Bush also famously gazed into the eyes of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and declared him a good man.)

The Presiding Bishop scored heavily with his audience when he seemed to convince or confirm that homosexuality is a hard-wired condition that cannot be reversed.

The Presiding Bishop did not reveal any concern Sunday when he preached and celebrated at the Sunday service at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Gulf Breeze Fl. in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast about the upcoming release of the Eames Commission Report on demands that he and other PECUSA bishops be disciplined for their participation in the approval and ordination of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

According to an observer the presiding bishop said he came to express his pastoral concern to victims of Florida's hurricanes. He noted he had previously visited other Florida parishes, and mentioned Punta Gorda and Sarasota. Gulf Breeze is located in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast and is connected to Pensacola by a three mile bridge across Pensacola Bay.

A number of St. Francis parishioners had previously informed Central Gulf Coast Bishop Philip Duncan and Rector Al Pruitt that they did not want to hear anything in defense of Griswold's role in the elevation of sodomite Bishop Gene Robinson to the episcopacy, said the observer to Virtuosity.

"We've praying for you and looking at you," the presiding bishop said. He went on to note that the word "endure" appeared in the day's Bible readings, and told the congregation they had been called to endure the devastation and aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.

Although things were moving on "externally" there was a greater need for progress of healing "internally", he said. He then turned from any direct reference to the scripture read at the service to his own experience with 9-11 and his visit to Ground Zero on the 14th. At a visit to the historic church only a block away (Trinity Wall Street) he said he was struck by a brass crucifix, and he concluded that there was room "in those tiny hands" of the Lord to hold and uplift all of us with all of our sorrows.

"As followers of Jesus we are called to seize and make the mission of bringing internal healing our own", he said.

Following General Convention 2000 the parish of St. Francis lost its rector and 50% of its members to the AMiA. At the time there was, within the parish more sorrow than bitterness over the split, said a parishioner to Virtuosity.

"Members of both congregations continued to participate in the Tuesday bible class, including the mother-in-law of the departed rector. However she withdrew from the Tuesday group after the 2003 convention and the Robinson ordination," she said.


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