Religion in Society

Episcopal Church Ends Moratorium on Consecrating Gay Bishops

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- In a lopsided vote, deputies to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church have effectively repealed a moratorium on the consecration of further gay bishops.

Following initial votes in the church's House of Deputies on Sunday and House of Bishops on Monday, the House of Deputies gave final passage with 72 percent of the vote to an amended version of resolution D025 on Tuesday afternoon. The resolution affirms "that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church."

The newly-adopted resolution essentially counters another resolution passed three years ago, in which dioceses were urged to "exercise restraint" in the consecration of practicing homosexuals as bishops. The effect of that resolution was to tenuously keep the Episcopal Church connected to the broader Anglican Communion for the intervening three years.

The Anglican Communion is divided over hot button issues like homosexuality and scriptural authority, with U.S. Episcopal church leaders being more theologically and politically liberal than their overseas counterparts. IRD supports a conservative perspective that affirms traditional church teachings.

IRD Director of Anglican Action Jeff Walton commented,

"In passing this resolution, The Episcopal Church has essentially said it wants to remain at the table, but only on its own terms.

"In the Anglican Communion, 22 out of 37 other provinces are already in a state of either impaired or broken communion with the Episcopal Church. This move by the Episcopal Church will further widen their effective separation from the bulk of worldwide Anglicans.

"The Episcopal Church understands that by abandoning scriptural authority it is cutting itself off from the Anglican Communion. As an autonomous church, it has that choice, now it must live with the consequences."