Saturday 7 February 2009

Moratoria - who agrees with all three?

Changing Attitude is committed to the full inclusion of LGBT people in the Church of England. We oppose the moratoria against the election of bishops in same-gender unions and Rites of Blessing for same-sex unions. In this we disagree with the majority of bishops at the Lambeth Conference and with the call in section 12 of the Primates Meeting Communiqué that further aggravation and acts which cause offence, misunderstanding or hostility cease.

The three moratoria divide the church as does Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10, as do gay bishops, same-sex blessings and cross-border interventions. Different wings of the church support one or two of the moratoria but not all three. Similarly, different wings support particular paragraphs of Lambeth 1.10 but not the resolution in its entirety.

At least the Communiqué recognises the depth of conscientious conviction involved on all sides. But it then asks for gracious restraint on all three fronts to open the way for transforming conversation. Changing Attitude longs for a way forward to be found where mutual trust can be re-established. This cannot be at the cost of LGBT Anglicans. The Communion needs to honour the present reality, not just in North America but in several other provinces, of the presence of partnered bishops, priests and deacons and the blessing of same-sex unions.

General Convention needs to do what is right for TEC and for LGBT Christians
Changing Attitude England fully supports the Revd Susan Russell, President of Integrity USA and Ruth Meyers, co-convener if the Chicago Consultation, in their separate calls for General Convention in Anaheim this summer to achieve full inclusion of all the baptized in The Episcopal Church and to be a voice of witness with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people across the Anglican Communion.

Susan Russell comments: “Scapegoating a percentage of the baptized by excluding them from a percentage of the sacraments of the Body of Christ is participating in the appeasement of bigotry.”

She continued, "Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is absolutely correct in stating that moratoria are a matter for General Convention. Resolutions have already been submitted that would move the Episcopal Church beyond the non-canonical restraints imposed by B033 and forward on marriage equality. Integrity USA believes that General Convention will reaffirm that all the sacraments are open to all the baptized. We will be working with our allies to achieve that gospel agenda item next July."

Ruth Meyers said: We reject the false choice suggested by the Primates communiqué that God asks Episcopalians to deny either faithful mission with the worldwide Anglican Communion or full inclusion of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered sisters and brothers. We look toward General Convention 2009, where we will work with a broad coalition of allies.”I have been present working with the Integrity team at the last two General Conventions, supporting their strategy of working to achieve full inclusion. CA England and Integrity USA share the same goals and will continue working in coalition with the Chicago Consultation, Inclusive Church and other partners to achieve our objectives.

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