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Proceed, toward Discussion

The Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell, Bishop of Pittsburgh, writes to his diocese about General Convention’s approval of new rites for LGBT marriage:

If the rector or priest-in-charge is willing to use them, no consultation with me is necessary. Should any rector or priest-in-charge be unwilling, for any reason, to use these rites, he or she will contact the rector or priest-in-charge of another parish who would be willing to do so and, together with the couple, work out a way forward that protects the consciences of all concerned and does not impose an undue burden on any.

… These rites will provide all couples clear security in the eyes of the law, and equal dignity in the eyes of their church. However, to my mind, their supporting materials do not make a coherent or compelling theological case for same-sex marriage, nor do the rites themselves adequately explain what they are doing and why. Especially in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision, their approval was seen by the overwhelming majority of those present at Convention as a matter of “marriage equality,” of simple justice, making irrelevant any serious discussion of sacramental theology. Nonetheless, this is a conversation that very much needs to happen, on the ground, in the pastoral context of people’s lives and hopes; perhaps as our pastors and people consider the use of these rites, we can find ways to have such a discussion together.

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