Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't believe everything you read!

Before I left Arizona, I cautioned people to be very careful about what they read or see in the media, which often does not fully understand how the church works, or is spinning events to fit an agenda. A case in point was the action yesterday. As I cautioned after the vote on DO25, this does NOT overturn the earlier BO33 of the 2006 Convention. It is far more subtle than that. What it does do is to reaffirm that the ordination process (including that of bishop) is open to all people. In essence, BO33 remains in effect until the time it is tested by the election of another openly gay or lesbian bishop. It is an importanted and needed step, but it does not "repeal" any earlier legislation. About the only media source that got this correct was the New York Times, and I commend their coverage. Other papers, including the LA Times and even our own supposedly in-house Episcopal Life overstated the case with headlines such as "Church Clears Way for Gay Bishops." I suspect that this incorrect reporting may cause many of the bishops to go slow when it comes to action on the question of same gender blessings. An important resolution on that topic which was passed by the House of Deputies was argued over and then postponed by our House this afternoon. I suspect that it may be replaced with a more pastoral and less legislative response. Maybe something like a gentleman's or gentlewoman's agreement that different bishops make the pastoral response to blessings they feel is necessary without a general policy being made--we will see.


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