Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NY's Bishop Decries Anti-Gay Violence, Will Participate in Pride

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Bishop Dietsche at the 2012 Pride March
The Right Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche, the Bishop of New York, issued a powerful pastoral letter May 31st decrying the recent spate of anti-gay violence in the city, culminating in the brutal murder of Mark Carson on May 18th.

“Every word and action, every sentiment, that seeks to divide people from people or puts one people above another feeds a climate in which such violence can be seen by some as acceptable or excusable or even as the fault of the victim his- or herself,” the Bishop stated. “We grieve for the dehumanizing consequence of such violence that touches every one of us, and we grieve for the Body of Christ, into which the forces of violence and hatred continue to drive nails.”

Bishop Dietsche described efforts to eliminate prejudice from diocesan policy and culture, and reflected on progress made to remove barriers from full participation in the sacraments by LGBT people.

“There are many voices in our culture which insist that homosexuality is incompatible with the Christian life. We emphatically do not believe that.”
“There are many voices in our culture which insist that homosexuality is incompatible with the Christian life. We emphatically do not believe that,” Bishop Dietsche wrote.  He went on to urge all Episcopalians to “find a way in these coming weeks to grieve the fallen, to make your witness to the love of Jesus, to engage our godly call to justice, and to let the world see and know that there are countless faithful Episcopalians in the LGBT community, and that they are loved, embraced and respected by the larger body of the Church of which they are and have always been a part.”

Bishop Dietsche also announced that he will once again ride the Episcopal float in the city’s Pride March on June 30th.  This will mark the first time the diocesan bishop of New York has participated in the event. The Right Rev Cathy S. Roskam, retired Suffragan Bishop of New York joined in numerous times and led a street Eucharist for the marchers.  In 2008, the Most Rev. Carlos Touché-Porter, Presiding Bishop of La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, and the Right Rev. Mark Beckwith, Bishop of Newark, joined the march.  In 2009, the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the Right Rev. Gene Robinson, then-Bishop of New Hampshire passed out water to the marchers along Fifth Avenue, an event captured in the documentary Love Free or Die.

Integrity will have a presence at Pride events across the country. We encourage all Episcopalians to take part in this visible witness to the wider culture.

Mark Carson memorial
Memorial offerings left at the site of the murder of Mark Carson. Photo Credit: Kate Tomlinson.
Used by Creative Commons License. Click Photo for enlargement and details.

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