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Bishop Smith: Not Convinced

The Rt. Rev. Michael G. Smith, Bishop of North Dakota, writes to his diocese about same-sex marriage:

After having read the Scriptures through the lenses of tradition and reason on this matter, and having listened for thirty years to the debates over this issue, I remain unconvinced that God is doing something new by altering the order established in creation. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience authorize the use of these trial liturgies for the Diocese of North Dakota.

… These are confusing times indeed. The “doctrine” of the Episcopal Church is understood to be found in part “in the sacramental rites, the Ordinal and Catechism of the Book of Common Prayer.” The Catechism is clear in its teaching: “Holy Matrimony is Christian Marriage in which the woman and man enter into a life-long union, and make their vows before God and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.” At the same time General Convention has authorized trial liturgies at odds with that teaching. Since those of us who are ordained have publicly vowed in ordination to “solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church,” we now find ourselves in a conundrum where the “doctrine” of our church is in conflict with the “worship” of our church.

The full letter follows, courtesy of Bishop Smith.

Same Sex Marriage Letter July 1015

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