Episcopal Church in the US widens access to trial same-sex marriage rites

Jul 15, 2018 by

from Church Times.

THE Episcopal Church in the United States has moved a step closer to ensuring that all its dioceses offer marriage rites to same-sex and opposite-sex couples, even where the bishop has objected.

At its General Convention, the House of Deputies overwhelmingly backed a redrafted compromise resolution to ensure that everyone can access the two trial marriage rites, which were approved in 2015, in their home churches…

…The redraft of the motion gives rectors or clergy in charge of a congregation the ability to provide access to the trial-use of the marriage rites for same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The original resolution proposed that bishops who objected provided “delegated episcopal pastoral oversight” to these congregations on request.

If the bishop has a theological objection to same-sex marriage, the redrafted resolution says that they must ask another bishop to provide pastoral support to the couple wishing to use the rites, and to the member of the clergy and congregation. This was not the same as delegated pastoral oversight, which was meant for congregations whose relationship with the bishop is broken on all levels, the California deputy Christopher Hayes, who proposed the amendments, said.

The amended resolution was backed with large majorities by both clergy and laity. It will now go to the House of Bishops.

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