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Episcopal Leaders condemn Vatican stand on homosexual marriage

By David W. Virtue, DD
March 19, 2021

A number of Episcopal bishops have weighed in on the Vatican's announcement that it would not bless homosexual unions because they view them as sinful.

They think the Pope and the Roman Catholic is wrong, and they are fierce in their condemnation of that Church's position and their continued support of the pansexual agenda and homosexual persons in the Episcopal Church.

"These words injure LGBTQ+ people and all who advocate for justice and equity for all children," Los Angeles Bishop John Harvey Taylor said March 17 in an email message to his Episcopal diocese in Southern California. The Vatican's statement, he said, "risks putting a stumbling block between Jesus Christ and all who are spiritually hungry and who need and deserve the hope of resurrection."

Newark Bishop Carlye Hughes called the news "a heartbreaker" in a video message to her northern New Jersey diocese. "I can't speak for any other denomination. I can speak for mine. I want you to know that in this church ... we recognize your goodness and we are delighted that we are all part of the same denomination, looking for God, celebrating God, sharing God's love."

Olympia Bishop Greg Rickel countered the Vatican's statement by saying his Seattle, Washington-based diocese doesn't see sin in LGBTQ couples' relationships.

"We see you and experience you as true blessings, reflections of our living God," Rickel said on Facebook. "Thank you for the inspiration and the many ways you show us how to love. Thank you for the gifts you bring to our collective body of Christ. Thank you for how you have blessed me and you bless this church."

In the Diocese of New Jersey, Bishop Chip Stokes issued a statement of "sorrow and concern" and called the Vatican's conclusion discriminatory and hurtful. Stokes also compared it to a recent anti-gay statement by the Anglican archbishop of Nigeria that labeled homosexuality a "deadly virus."

"Both the recent Vatican statement and the statement of the Archbishop of Nigeria are unacceptable and dehumanizing of the people to whom they refer," Stokes said.

"The witness, experience, faithfulness, and love of countless LGBTQ persons, many in exemplary, faithful partnered or married relationships, continues to evidence and reflect the divine love of God in Christ. This has been a great gift to us as church; one that we would urge other parts of the wider church to recognize, embrace and bless."

The Episcopal Church's General Convention first approved liturgies for blessing same-sex unions in 2012. After the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, that year's General Convention approved trial-use marriage rites for use by all couples. A follow-up measure in 2018 sought to ensure same-sex couples had access to those rites in all of the church's domestic dioceses. As a result, the Bishop of Albany William Love resigned from the diocese and Episcopal Church. Bishop Dan Herzog, formerly of the diocese also announced his resignation.

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has no plans to issue a statement, a spokesman for the PB told VOL.

David Paulsen a reporter for Episcopal News Service contributed to this story.


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