Va. Bishops Demur on Canon

From the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Bishop of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan of Virginia, and the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Assistant Bishop of Virginia:

At this point, without our knowing the specific form the resolution will finally take, we anticipate that we will vote “no” for the nuanced reasons that we outline below.

1. The three of us cannot vote based solely on our personal consciences in these matters. Because we took unique vows to “guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church” (BCP p. 518), we must strive to weigh the needs of those who faithfully seek marriage equality with the convictions of those who cannot support such a measure. In addition, we must balance these considerations with the very real concerns of our brothers and sisters across the entire Anglican Communion, being well aware of the social and cultural ramifications of our work across many lands.

2. We believe that this report ignores significant elements of the mandate given to the task force. Specifically, we are concerned about the failure to consult with Anglican provinces beyond our own — provinces that will certainly be affected by our decisions. Furthermore, the task force appears simply to have reviewed materials from our ecumenical partners without personally consulting with them.

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