Tuesday, July 21, 2009

‘I now pronounce you both manwife’


The Weekend Australian and Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald each had an article on the latest outburst of U.S. Anglican madness, viz., what the Herald’s article (from The New York Times) reported in its first paragraph as

a compromise measure [on which the E.C.U.S.A. pseudobishops agreed on Wednesday] that stops short of developing an official rite for same-sex unions, but gives latitude to bishops who wish to go ahead and bless such unions, particularly in states that have legalized such marriages.
but which the Australian’s article (originally from The Times of London) described more evocatively in its first paragraph as

Bishops in the US dealt a death blow to hopes for unity in the worldwide Anglican Church when they approved in principle services for same-sex partnerships. The decision will finally split the Communion between Bible-based conservative evangelicals and liberal modernisers.
What I found particularly intriguing, though, was this tidbit from the Herald’s article:

The measure was written to defer to bishops who oppose adopting a liturgy for same-sex blessings and to those who say their constituents are not ready for such a step. But it opens the door to doing so in the future, saying they will “collect and develop theological and liturgical resources” for same-sex blessings, and report to the next convention three years from now, which could then design an official rite.
[my emphasis]
which corresponds, though with a subtle difference, to this part of the Australian’s article:

The bishops at the Episcopal General Convention voted by 104 to 30 to “collect and develop theological resources and liturgies” for blessing same-sex relationships, to be considered at the next convention in 2012.
[my emphasis]
(The difference might not be all that significant, though the Herald’s version is probably more accurate, since the pseudobishops of E.C.U.S.A. have deferred the composition of actual “liturgies” to a future occasion, so presumably in the meantime they’ll just be ‘collecting and developing’ the requisite "resources". ) Regarding the “liturgical resources”, I suppose that the pseudobishops will be able to draw on the tradition contained in such opera as Rosemary Radford Reuther’s Woman-Church, with its delightful “Coming Out Rite for a Lesbian” (source). The ‘theological resources’, though, might be somewhat more difficult to come by. Certainly I don’t recall coming across any in my copies of Teachings of the Church Fathers or Denzinger. Any suggestions, readers?

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, A.D. 2009

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