Wednesday, December 31, 2003

For Many Parishioners, Gay Bishops and Gay "Marriage" Were the Last Straws

The New York Times reported this week that once again the membership of the Episcopal Church USA is undergoing migrations in and out the church's doors, this time in response to the ECUSA's ordination of an openly active gay bishop and it's increasingly liberal stance on gay "marriage" or "unions":

...Some lifelong Episcopalians have left their churches, saying the vote to affirm a gay bishop was the last straw in what they saw as the church's long slide away from orthodoxy. Many of these people have started attending Roman Catholic churches.

"It breaks my heart," said Shari de Silva, a neurologist in Fort Wayne, Ind., who converted from Episcopalian to Catholic this year. "I think the Episcopal Church is headed down the path to secular humanism."

Some Episcopal parishes, meanwhile, are welcoming clusters of new members, many from Roman Catholic churches, who say they want to belong to a church that regards inclusivity as a Christian virtue. The newcomers include singles and families, gay people and straight people...

The main church of choice amongst Exiting Episcopalians seems to be the one across the Tiber River in Rome, primarily because...

"...[t]he Catholic Church has reiterated its position on homosexuality, one that is a stark contrast to the Episcopal Church's. In July, the Vatican denounced homosexual acts as 'deviant behavior' and said the church could not condone gay marriage or adoptions by gay couples. In September, the American Catholic bishops said they would support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage."

It seems that in its new gay bishop, the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the clueless upper echelon of the ECUSA has found its very own Howard Dean: Robinson is likely to doom the ECUSA to irrelevance, if not extinction, the same way Dr. Dean will ensure the Democratic Party's slow demise, especially after the Presidential election next Fall.

In related news: Today's Washington Times reports that in Canada the liberal Anglican bishop of Vancouver, B.C. has shut down Holy Cross parish for protesting his policy of blessing same-sex "unions." However, the parish's conservative rector, Rev. James Wagner, continues to hold services at his home.

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