Thursday, March 1, 2007

In Newsweekly | Boston's Trinity Church considers Anglican anti-gay demands

"Local Episcopalians who support full equality and social justice for gay people are trying to understand what actually happened last week (Feb. 15 - 19) in Africa, what it means, and how to respond to a directive asking the U.S. church to reject rites or blessings for same-sex unions and stop appointing any more openly gay bishops - all by Sept. 30 or "unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion."


"At the gathering, John Gibson, communications director for Integrity USA, an advocacy organization for gay Episcopalians within the church, said, "It was four days that shook the Anglican world," with primates - national and regional church leaders - "figuring out how to put the Episcopal Church back in the closet."


"At Trinity "every single priest on staff is welcoming" of GLBT people, said Rev. Bill Rich, senior associate rector for adult Christian formation. Yet, "There is a level of concern, genuine wondering what this will mean," he said, adding, "The community is not in a panic and people are not fleeing."

"Current policy at Trinity permits clergy to bless same-sex couples, stopping short of marrying them. "We would want to continue blessing same-sex unions," Rich explained. However, "We are not presently allowing marriage to happen in the church," he said. "That may change, with a new rector who is in a decision making process."


"Meanwhile, Drayton Freeman, network coordinator for Integrity Massachusetts, said he would ask for a meeting with Bishop Shaw, sooner rather than later. One man in the audience urged the organization to ask for a more "specific and compelling statement" from the local bishops, who are generally considered to be GLBT-friendly."

Click here to read the entire article.

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