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Re: Primates Will be Asked to Restore Order in the Anglican Communion

Note:  for Louie Crew's report on the service at Rosemont, PA, see



In a message dated 11/27/00 5:52:47 PM EST, xxxx writes:

<< Only a sophist, IMO, can make the "it's permitted because it's not
 forbidden" argument.  If all this were as simple as your reference to
 III, the GC would have resolved these issues long ago. >>

Your argument would be stronger for me had not conservatives
repeatedly proposed to GC resolutions to restrict ordination to
heterosexuals and resolutions to forbid lesbigay unions: each of those
attempts has failed (e.g., the Frey-->Howe resolution in Phoenix in
1991; the Wantland resolution at Philadelphia in 1994...)

The Righter trial addressed both issues--ordination and blessings:  On
May 15, 1996 ECUSA's highest court for the trial of a bishop found
Bishop Walter Righter innocent of violating the canons in September
1990 when he ordained a gay male in a long-term relationship.  The
court ruled that there was "no clear doctrine involved."  (See

GC in 1997 voted to allow dioceses who want to, to grant  coverage for
partners of priests in same-sex unions.     That same GC also passed a
canon that forbids sexual orientation to be a criterion in determining
a person's access to the ordination process.  By its silence, it
leaves for dioceses to decide whether to allow access to the process
to all lbgts or just those living as celibates.  Why do you consider
lawless all those who don't interpret the canon as you do?

Bishop Howe has been quoted as saying that D039 in Denver was a
compromise that stopped short of authorizing a liturgy but at the same
time signaled that formal proceedings  would not be brought against
those bishops who in conscience allow the blessing of faithful
relationships other than heterosexual marriage.   The first seven
resolves commit the church to support those of us living in such
relationships.   At one point Bishop Howe told a lbg colleague on the
Committee 25 that he could not bless her relationship but he most
certainly could support her in it.

The Prayer Book (p.13) already authorizes that "for other special
occasions for which no service or prayer has been provided in this
Book, the bishop may set forth such forms as are fitting to the
occasion."    Why does a bishop who supports the Koinonia Statement
(http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/koinonia.html) need any more
authorization than this, absent prohibitions -- which have repeatedly
failed to pass at General Convention?

I agree that the eighth resolve of D039 failed.  You insist that
leaves us with the 1979 proscriptions.   I believe instead that it
leaves us with the 1991 acknowledgment of our lack of a concensus and
with the various other "accommodations" of lesbigay Christians, such
as those I have noted above.   Neither 'side' has been able to bind
the other to its undertanding through legislation.  (For a historical
perspective, see my "Changing the Church,"  reprinted at

It seems to me that we have ambiguity all over ECUSA's official
pronouncements about the ordination of lbgts and about ECUSA's
blessing of faithful lbgt unions.  Ambiguity strikes me as a blessing,
and a decidedly Anglican blessing at that.   I have no desire to
require someone to violate her conscientious objection, nor do I want
lesibigay people and our friends to have to pay the price of the
consciences of those who object to our ordinations and/or unions.

I wince when I hear you and others complain that persons even bring up
their sexuality.  I well remember the days when homoexuality was "the
crime not mentionable among Christian gentlemen [sic].  I well
remember the vicious hostility when I first spoke up as a gay person
in ECUSA, in founding Integrity in 1974.  Conservatives did not even
pretend to 'love the sinner' at that time.  Only the Phelps fringes
today speak the rhetoric that was commonplace in our church then.

There may indeed have been no need to queer us, but we who are queer
are not the ones disturbing the peace and good order when we respond
to the abuse.  Nor can we be reduced to our sexual identity as many
sexually obsessed opponents insist on doing.

I long for the day when people no longer remember for sure what my
scarlet 'Q,' even as children speculated that  Hester's 'A' stood for

I believe that we can, indeed must, live respectful of one another
across our differences about these issues.   We will not stand before
God as issues, but as persons.   May God be merciful.


Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., #12D, East Orange, NJ 07018-1225
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew   973-395-1068
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