The decision is not yet final (it must still go before the House of Deputies), but it’s another sign of major change in Christian churches, in the understanding of marriage: no longer necessarily between ” a man and a woman”, but sometimes just between two people.
The Episcopal Church bishops vote to change marriage canon
The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church has passed this resolution. The House of Deputies (clergy and laity) has yet to vote on the matter, and must concur before the changes can take effect. They have also been debating the authorisation of various liturgies to be used in connection with this change. We will report on those separately.
The situation is explained in this ENS report: Marriage-equality resolutions advance to House of Deputies:
…The bishops next debated and ultimately approved an amended Resolution A036 that revises Canon I.18 titled “Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony” (page 58 of The Episcopal Church’s canons here).
Among many edits, the resolution removes references to marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The persecution of gay men and lesbians in much of Africa is a tragic hangover of the colonial period. It is not homosexuality that was introduced by the colonists and missionaries, but homophobia. Historians and social anthropologists have amassed extensive empirical evidence that a wide range of same – sex relationship patterns and gender variant behaviours were common-place in many traditional societies in all regions of the continent. An ILGA guide to LGBT rights worldwide has noted that only eight countries worldwide have never made homosexual activity illegal: ALL are in Africa.
So it is, that when Mozambique undertook a comprehensive review of its statute book to remove all outdated colonial laws, one of those discarded was a colonial law that allowed “security measures” to be taken against those engaging in so-called “social perversion” .
Lifesite News once again has become hysterical that LGBT Catholics from the Jesuit parish at Farm Street joined the Gay Pride parade on Saturday, complaining that in doing so they would
march alongside homosexual and transsexual rights activists, “gay marriage” supporters, drag queens, and a host of semi-nude dancers and sadomasochistic displays, amongst others.
This is ignorant scaremongering drivel. Of course their were rights activists present – that’s what Pride is all about – and what the Catholic social Gospel proclaims, that we should be constantly on the side of justice for marginalised and oppressed peoples. But the “semi-nude dancers and sadomasochistic displays” were not nearly as prominent on the streets, as in Lifesite’s fevered imagination – and definitely not alongside us, or anywhere near.
In fact, the people we were marching “alongside” were more Christian and other faith – based groups. There was a large contingent from “Christians Together at Pride”, Unitarians, Quakers, Muslims and Jews. In addition to the group from Farm Street, were three other Catholic groups – the LGBT Catholic Young Adults Group, Quest, and Positive Catholics. This was simple evangelising, as called for by Pope Francis in “Evangelii Gaudium”, a call taken up by the English bishops with the “Proclaim 15” initiative – spreading the word to the LGBT community that they too, are loved by God
From “Eye of the Tiber”, which says it is “breaking” Catholic News – so you don’t have to:
Diocese Of Gaylord, Michigan To Change Its Name To Peoplewhostrugglewithsamesexattractionlord, Michigan
Peoplewhostrugglewithsamesexattractionlord, MI—Parishioners in the Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan are being asked by their new Bishop, Steven Raica, to begin referring to themselves as Peoplewhostrugglewithsamesexattractionlordians.
The news came just days after Raica was installed Bishop of the flamboyant Roman Diocese. Raica told parishioners during his first homily as Bishop that, basing his decision on Sacred Scripture, that all Catholics residing in Gaylord, should not act upon their citizenship and to henceforth avoid the term Gaylord.
“I don’t care whether you believe that you were born in Gaylord, or whether you simply woke up one day to find yourself living here. We are more than mere citizens of this city…we are children of God, who calls us to fulfill His will and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties we may encounter from being from this region of the country.”
Raica went on to say that, although acting upon their citizenship by means of voting or running for office in the city is contrary to natural law and therefore cannot be approved, he assured Catholics living in the diocese that they can still serve a purpose.
In the end, Raica said that being from Gaylord ultimately does not satisfy the desires of the heart. “I’ve heard from many family member of those living here, asking if I could help their loved ones move back home. But this is not a simple fix. As the saying goes, ‘you can take the man out of Gaylord, but you can’t take the Gaylord out of the man.”
At press time, former Major League Baseball player Thosewithhomosexualtendencies Perry has come out in favor of the proposed name change.
A feature of this year’s parade, was that it was led by flag bearers, one from each of over 200 countries, to remind us that the struggle for LGBT rights is a global one. As one country after another approves same – sex marriage (Ireland, USA), there remain other countries that lag far behind, and even in the most progressive countries, there remain battles still to be won. (Protection from prejudice and discrimination, full inclusion in church).
The parade was led by a contingent of flag bearers, one from each of over 200 countries around the world. Pride of place alongside the British Union flag, were those of the USA, in recognition of the landmark court ruling on gay marriage – and Mozambique – where the decriminalization of homosexuality takes effect this month (on June 29th)
Evangelicals are starting to change their minds about gay marriage. In recent months, three large evangelical churches – EastLakeCommunity Church in Seattle, Washington, GracePointe Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and City Church in San Francisco, California – have announced that they no longer believe all same-sex relationships are sinful. Leading evangelical ethicist David Gushee changed his position on the issue in a landmark speech last fall, and celebrated pastor Campolo did the same in a statement on his website earlier this month.
This new pro-gay movement among evangelicals is still a minority, and staunch conservatives have been pushing back. But bit by bit, the number of American evangelicals who support marriage equality continues to rise.
A new poll released by evangelical research firm LifeWay Research in April demonstrated this shift. True, it showed that 66 percent of American evangelicals, fundamentalists and born-again believers say that same-sex relationships go against God’s will. While that is a super- majority, it is a substantial decline from just three years ago, when the same poll found that 82 percent held this view.
In part, that shift can be explained by the same forces that have changed much of the rest of American society. More evangelicals have openly gay friends and loved ones and, according to LifeWay, those who do are nearly twice as likely to support marriage equality as those who don’t.
But relationships alone are rarely sufficient to change conservative Christians’ minds on issues that are both political and theological. After all, evangelicals have based their opposition to gay rights on the Bible since the LGBT movement began. For years, even many sympathetic Christians have felt unable to embrace the LGBT community because of Scripture.
But while the Bible doesn’t change, interpretations of it can.