AP: Episcopal Delegates to Adopt Resolution|
Episcopal Delegates to Adopt Resolution
Source: Associated Press (Forbes.com)
06.21.2006, 02:07 PM
Episcopal delegates approved a last-ditch attempt by their chief pastor Wednesday to salvage worldwide Anglican unity, voting to adopt a resolution that calls on U.S. church leaders to "exercise restraint" when considering gay candidates for bishop.
The nonbinding measure stops far short of the moratorium on gay bishops that Anglican leaders demanded to calm conservative outrage over the 2003 consecration of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who lives with his longtime male partner.
But it may leave open the chance for discussion between leaders of the Episcopal Church and other members of the Anglican Communion, who are badly at odds over gay clergy. Traditionalists hold that the Bible specifically prohibits gay sex.
The legislation passed in the final hours of an anguished nine-day General Convention. It asks Episcopal leaders to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration" of candidates for bishop "whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church."
The House of Deputies, comprised of more than 800 lay people and clergy, voted for the compromise resolution, one day after killing stronger legislation that would have urged dioceses to refrain from choosing bishops in same-gender relationships.
The vote came after direct pleas from outgoing Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who will become presiding bishop in November, that deputies approve something to signal they understand the anger of Anglican leaders.
"Unless there is a clear perception on the part of our Anglican brothers and sisters that they have been taken seriously in their concerns, it will be impossible to have any genuine conversation," Griswold said Wednesday in a special joint session that he called of both houses.
Still, the resolution is not binding and Bishop John Chane of the Diocese of Washington, D.C., said immediately after it passed that he would not follow it.
"My own understanding of my responsibility as a bishop is to live into the integrity of my office," Chane said in a statement.