Catholic World News

Episcopal Church approves transgender ordinations, blessing of same-sex relationships

July 10, 2012

By a 111-41 vote, the bishops of the Episcopal Church USA have voted to approve a rite for the blessing of homosexual relationships.

Some Episcopal Church leaders spoke out against the measure.

“It is reasonable to believe that vowed fidelity that is exclusive and lifelong to one other person is predicated on sexual difference,” said Bishop John Bauerschmidt of Tennessee. “This liturgy that is proposed does not have the basis in Scripture, tradition or reason for us to authorize its use.”

“The Christian world will look at that liturgy … and see vows, and exchange of rings, a pronouncement and a blessing and they will understand that to mean the Episcopal Church has endorsed same-sex marriage and changed a basic Christian doctrine,” added Bishop Edward Little of Northern Indiana. “I do not believe that we are free to do that.”

With 189 out of 221 delegates approving, the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies also voted to make clear that transgendered individuals are candidates for ordination.

“The trans community has stood and fought for the rest of the LGBTQ community time and time again, and I would not be living out my baptismal covenant if I did not do the same for them now,” said Natalie Vanatta of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.

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  • Posted by: demark8616 - Jul. 25, 2012 5:08 PM ET USA

    Doesn't look like any of them are 'living out their Baptismal covenant' in this very sad example of sympathy gone wrong. I'm sure the founders of this august assembly must be looking on in horror!

  • Posted by: meor2day8658 - Jul. 10, 2012 8:58 PM ET USA

    I am reading Fr. Thomas Dubay's excellent book "Authenticity". When he speaks of the Holy Spirit he says the sure true sign the Holy Spirit is present and working in a community is unity. God is not the author of confusion. 26,000 supposed churches in the world all claiming to be the true followers of Jesus Christ is preposterous.Jesus did not say to Peter, "Upon this rock I will build my churches." He used the singular, "church."

  • Posted by: rpp - Jul. 10, 2012 8:34 PM ET USA

    Thus begins the final generation of Episcopalians and the Episcopal "assembly" (they are not a church as TheJournalist correctly points out).

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 10, 2012 5:46 PM ET USA

    Part of our "going along to get along" problem is identifying as "churches" groups that do not have valid orders. No valid orders means they are not a church, like the RC or the various Eastern orthodox. We need to start saying "Episcopal assembly" or something like that. Oh, and the Episcopalians continue their long slide toward obscurity.