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The Faustian Bargain of the Communion Partner Episcopal Bishops

The Faustian Bargain of the Communion Partner Episcopal Bishops


By David W. Virtue, DD
July 4, 2018

To head off the real and distinct probability that the next Episcopal General Convention will pass a resolution mandating rites for same sex marriage in every diocese, seven relatively orthodox bishops have cut a deal with the devil to head that possibility off at the pass.

They have agreed to a resolution put forward by three liberal bishops to mandate Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) in those dioceses where the bishops, but not necessarily all the priests, forbid sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman, and therefore will not allow same sex marriage.

I say relatively because these same bishops have openly homosexual priests or, at a minimum have pro LGBT affirming parishes in their dioceses, and nod, nod, wink, wink at their presence. Apparently, they have a don't ask, don't tell policy.

Here is a list of the 29 LGBT-friendly Episcopal churches in the seven "conservative" Communion Partner dioceses with only Springfield, under Bishop Daniel Martins, able to keep an LGBT group from latching on to his diocese, thus turning it into gay-friendly. All the other Communion Partner bishops have dioceses with gay friendly congregations identified on this website: https://www.gaychurch.org/find_a_church/list-churches-by-state/

Diocese of Albany: 3
At. Andrew - Albany
Christ Church - Hudson
St. Stephen's - Schenectady

Diocese of North Dakota: 4
St. John - Dickinson
St. Stephen - Fargo
St. Paul - Grand Forks
All Saints - Minot

Diocese of Central Florida: 4
St. Richard's - Winter Park
Advent - Dunnellon
St. David's - Lakeland
Resurrection - Longwood

Diocese of Dallas: 5
All Saints - Atlanta
Transfiguration - Dallas
St. Michael & All Angels - Dallas
St. Thomas the Apostle - Dallas

Diocese of Florida: 6
Redeemer - Jacksonville
St. George - Jacksonville
St. John Cathedral - Jacksonville
Advent - Tallahassee
St. Cyprian - Saint Augustine

Diocese of Tennessee: 7
St. Mark - Antioch
Epiphany - Lebanon
St. James the Less - Madison
Holy Cross - Murfreesboro
St. Ann - Nashville
St. Augustine - Nashville
St. David - Nashville

The only solid holdout against the resolution put forward by the three liberal bishops is the bishop of Albany, the Very Honorable and Rt. Rev. William Love, who, when asked if would accept DEPO, told VOL in one word, No.

Two other bishops have also not signed on the dotted line to go along with this and they are the Bishop of Florida, Samuel Johnson Howard and Francisco Gomez Bishop of Columbia.

It is deeply ironic that Howard should make a stand on this issue now. In 2008, he fired 22 priests, the largest single group of priests to be deposed in the history of the Episcopal Church at one time, over pansexuality and the consecration of Gene Robinson to the episcopacy. They were fired for allegedly abandoning the communion of the church, which, of course, they had not done. So off with their ecclesiastical heads.

Historically, the CP bishops usually produce a minority report whenever the majority of TEC bishops dive in off the deep end and crush their theological skulls at the bottom of the theological pool over sexuality. Scripture be damned; it's the culture, stupid. But not this time.

VOL has been told that if the Communion Partner bishops try to issue a minority report following the passage of rites for same sex marriage, it will not be recognized and therefore not entered into the official proceedings of General Convention.

It is probably why these three liberal bishops, knowing this, are trying to do a 'Hail Mary' before convention begins. Will it work? Time will tell.

After all, one must always be prepared to give an account of the hopelessness that lies within one for fear of offending the prevailing zeitgeist.


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