Thursday, July 16, 2009

Terry Mattingly--Religion: A history of Episcopal battles

The resolution from the 1979 Episcopal General Convention in Denver inspired a small wave of headlines, even though it simply restated centuries of doctrine about marriage.

"We reaffirm the traditional teaching of the church on marriage, marital fidelity and sexual chastity as the standard of Christian sexual morality," it said. "Candidates for ordination are expected to conform to this standard."

However, 21 bishops disagreed, publicly stating that gay sexual relationships were "no less a sign to the world of God's love" than traditional marriage. These bishops -- including the Rt. Rev. Edmund Browning, who was chosen as America's presiding bishop six years later -- warned that since "we are answerable before almighty God ... we cannot accept these recommendations or implement them in our dioceses."

It was the start of an ecclesiastical war that has dominated the 70-million-member Anglican Communion for decades.

Read it all.


Blogger cmsigler said...

I'm sure some will take issue with this, but there are at least three public milestones that are not mentioned in this timeline. They are:

1973 -- The Episcopal Church in General Convention "remove[s] the canonical prohibition against the remarriage of members of the Church whose former spouse was still living, and whose prior marriage was valid from its inception."[1]

1976 -- In General Convention, the Episcopal Church votes to amend Canon Law to permit the admission of women to Holy Orders.

1979 -- Final approval is given in General Convention to the new liturgies proposed and tried, creating the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Some commentators state that the rites of the 1979 BCP "de-emphasized the notion of personal sin and reflected the theological and worship changes of the ecumenical reforms of the 1960s and 1970s."[2]

These are also watershed moments along the path The Episcopal Church has walked. We ought not blot them out of the book we keep of history.



[2] #Book_of_Common_Prayer

9:37 AM  

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