Tuesday, January 04, 2011

All Over?

Word has come that the bishop of Massachusetts celebrated the Feast of the Holy Name by marrying two of his female clergy. It's hard to imagine a much more definitive statement that any moratorium on same-sex unions is over.

Update: Peter Ould has a discussion of the changes made in the 1979 liturgy in order to accommodate this rite. Besides the, um, curious second reading (well, at least it wasn't from the Koran, but then, I suppose it wouldn't be) I note a comment made by one Michael Harnois: "Here in the Diocese of Massachusetts I haven't heard about anyone who plans on rewriting the BCP marriage rite for straight couples, although I could have missed something, I suppose." Well, consider the Office of Women's Ministry rewriting Rite II in the interest, of course, of avoiding what male-favoring language there is in the 1979 language. I noted at the time that many of the changes could not be explained on the basis of their program, and that therefore there had to be larger theological pressures in play. I have to expect that the pressure on the marriage rite will be to make one unified form regardless of the sex of the participants, opening up the current rite to other modifications. And those modifications, I would expect, will go beyond neutering the references to brides and grooms. I expect the SCLM to promulgate some liberal (that is, unorthodox) theory of marriage, because historically they have preferred questionable rites. And it will be difficult to suppress whatever heresies they set forth because Justice will preempt the application of any kind of theological standard.

It is easier for moderates to tolerate same sex rites when they are merely an aberration which they can ignore because it happens in another parish, or at least at services which they do not attend. Changing the marriage rite as a whole is a far more significant issue, but I think it is a very safe bet that changes are in the works. The biggest threat that social liberals pose to the church is their poor record in keeping the Unitarians and other heretics out of power. The danger is very real, in this case, that they will allow the emasculation of the marital rite because they need the heretics to maintain the political weight keep the conservative troglodytes at bay.


The young fogey said...

Sure, it's obvious: they don't enforce their rules on their books about marriage and they'll probably change the rules, voting in gay marriage, at their next convention. I defend all faiths' right to govern themselves so the Episcopalians can knock themselves out as long as they leave Catholics alone.

Carson Clark said...

I am an evangelical Anglican, hard-lining moderate, and aspiring pastor/priest. As such, I must say that I don't much care for your quotations around the word moderate as though it wasn't a real position.

Here's my recent post detailing a moderate position on homosexuality in regards to society and the church: http://bit.ly/i5Ve1h. I'd gotten angry feedback from both conservatives and liberals. I take that to mean it truly is a moderate perspective.

C. Wingate said...

I probably meant something else by the quotes but I see your point and have removed them.

I saw your statement but have not had a change to digest it fully.