Monday, March 5, 2007

ENS | KENTUCKY: Convention hears bishop apologize to gay and lesbian members

By Mary Jane Cherry
Monday, March 05, 2007

Anticipating the baptism by full immersion of 11-year-old Stephen Alexander Clark, Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky Bishop Ted Gulick delivered his annual convention address February 24 during a Service of Holy Baptism, using the baptismal covenant as his rubric for speaking about the life of the Diocese of Kentucky and as a context for apologizing to its gay and lesbian members.

The address came in the middle of the diocese's 179th convention, hosted February 23 and 24 by St. Luke's Church in Anchorage, Kentucky.

Recalling his 2004 convention address in which he apologized to those members of the diocese who were offended by his vote consenting to the election of the bishop of New Hampshire, Gulick spoke directly to the diocese's "devoted" gay and lesbian members. He said he was sorry that his vote during the 75th General Convention to approve Resolution B033 and thus withhold such consents in the future, may have caused them pain and "a sense of alienation from Christ's bond or me."

Gulick, however, also said he was "100 percent committed to reconciliation" and praised the "tireless" service of the diocese's deputies and others at General Convention last summer to preserve unity within the diocese, the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

Briefly referring to the recent session of the Anglican Primates' Meeting, he said the primates "clearly expressed appreciation" for the efforts toward reconciliation made at General Convention, even though the Primates have also asked the bishops to clarify the Episcopal Church's position on the ordination of bishops living in same-gender relationships and the blessings of same-gender unions.

Noting that there are canonical and constitutional issues involved in responding to their request, Gulick said he nonetheless believes the Episcopal Church's bishops, clergy and laity will strive for the "highest level of communion" without further denigrating "our gay brothers and sisters in Christ." He asked the convention attendees, however, to "pray for the bishops as we gather in mid-March. We need your prayers."

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