Bishop Doubts Blessing Rite

The Rt. Rev. Steven Andrew Miller, Bishop of Milwaukee, wrote on June 7 to members of his diocese regarding blessings for same-sex relationships:

Much as I want in my heart to be in favor of this proposed step, I simply cannot come to a place where I can agree that A049 is a theologically sound development.

Therefore, I am not authorizing the rite from A049 for use in the Diocese of Milwaukee at this time. However, I have arranged with Bishop Jeffrey Lee of the Diocese of Chicago for clergy and couples from congregations within the Diocese of Milwaukee to go to the Diocese of Chicago to celebrate the rite, as long as they obtain Bishop Lee’s consent to such an action to take place within the bounds of that diocese. Doing so will result in no punitive or negative response whatsoever from me.

Read the rest [PDF].

Addressing the same topic in June 2012, before General Convention approved A049, Bishop Miller wrote:

I am wondering if the best way forward would be the proposal and adoption of a substitute to Resolution A049 calling for the amendment of the Book of Common Prayer and the Constitution and Canons to allow for marriage between two persons regardless of sex while at the same time requiring that both parties be baptized, and removing any role of the civil authority. Those who wished to be civilly married could do so if they considered a civil marriage to be most advantageous for them but the Church would have no part of it. This proposal provides the additional advantage that those who could not be civilly married because state law forbids it or because to do so would cause economic hardship could be married in the Church. As I stated earlier in this letter I propose this because “it is my opinion that the blessing rite falls short of our call as Christians.”


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