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DSO’s Commitment to Same-Sex “Blessings” Piled higher, Deeper

10 April 2010

[H/T:  Anonymous]

Bp. Breidenthal has announced on the DSO website that he has buttressed his committment to taking the name of the Lord in vain by encouraging “clergy” to “invoke” a “blessing” on what God calls sin.  Oh, and there’s a lot of important people on the panel of experts, too;  so don’t worry your pretty little heads about it, because they’re important and there are more of them than there are of you. 

From the DSO website, where there is more: 

At our convention in November 2009, I announced my intention to permit the blessing of same-gender unions in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, beginning in Easter of 2010. At that time, I named a task force of clergy and laity whom I asked to assist me in working out the procedures and requirements related to this policy. Here, once again, are the members of the task force: The Rev, Douglas Argue, The Rev. Trevor Babb, The Rev. William Carroll, Joe Dehner, Esq., The Rev. Pam Elwell, The Rev. George Hill, Nanci Koepke, The Rev. Eileen O’Reilly, Dr. Gail Payne, Dr. Don Reed, Dr. Marti Rideout, A. J Stack, and Lisa Wharton, Esq.

As I said at the time, this was not a collection of people who were necessarily eager to see Southern Ohio move in the direction of same-gender unions. Some were; some weren’t. Once gathered, however, they dug into the hard questions with great courage and mutual respect.

This group has gone far beyond my initial request in stating the theological convictions that underlie the policy, in developing a rite of blessing for trial use, and in providing web and print resources for congregational and individual study. I am extremely grateful for their work – not only for its outcome, which will contribute significantly to the Episcopal Church’s reflection on same-gender unions, but also for the charity, honesty and devotion to the Gospel that was so beautifully modeled in their conversations with one another.

Got that?  If we’re nice to one another, that models the gospel.  Here’s how one of those conversations might proceed, between a conservative who is nice and a “progressive” who is nice:

C:  “Oh dear.  I love all of my brothers and sisters on this committee, but I have to say (and I apologize for sounding too harsh), but I am deeply concerned that we are failing in our callings as clergy to keep the souls in our charge from entering into an eternity of torment.” 

P:  “Tsk, tsk.  That’s the classical view of Hell.  It’s not very chic to think that way anymore.  I think everything will be okay.  After all, we’re following the spirit.” 

C:  “Oh, alright.  I still disagree, but won’t say anything more because I have a barbeque to attend in two hours.  Would anyone care for more tea?”  

P:  “How kind of you.  I’ll have some tea and one of those delightful crumpets (though I really shouldn’t indulge – I have to watch my weight now these days).”

C:  “Delightful!” 

See that?  It’s possible for conservatives to model the gospel by being nice, even when they believe (rightly) that what is happening around them does not conform to the Gospel, and keeps the nominal Christian apart from God for eternity. 

At least, that’s what our “shepherds” (sic) would like us to believe. 

– Elder

PS – A document detailing this policy may be found here.  It probably deserves a fisk, but that’ll have to wait.

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  1. Theoden
    11 April 2010 at 4:28 AM

    Hmm, not a pretty picture, that.
    This latest TEC Revisionist/Individualist Theologizing puts one in mind of Otto von Bismark’s immortal take on sausage: best not to see it in the making.

  2. Pearls Before Swine
    12 April 2010 at 4:29 PM

    I couldn’t force myself to read through the DSO document, but someone else pointed out this sentence: “This is not to denigrate the relationships of those couples, same-gender and opposite-gender, who may decline for various reasons to enter into publicly accountable unions.”

    So, why bother with the blessings at all?

    Why would I (or anyone else) want anyone involved with writing or approving that phrase anywhere near my children?

    I guess that at least answers my question from awhile back on if priests in active same-sex relationships would be required to have their relationship blessed. The answer is NO.

  3. Elder Oyster
    12 April 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Hi PBS,

    RE: “The answer is NO.”

    Actually, your question hasn’t been answered, and by the looks of things, will not be.

    You see my friend, about the time you asked that question, I was informed anonymously that the bishop reads this blog. He probably read your question.

    For now, you’re just going to have to accept the interim “response” (sic):

    “Their experience and presence among us does raise important and complex issues for Christian ethics and pastoral care, to which the Church must also respond, but since they are not seeking the Church’s blessing, these issues do not concern us here. “

    By the way – As you know, Bp. Breidenthal taught ethics at Princeton before he came to this diocese; So, he knows good and well that these issues have direct bearing on rites for SSB’s.

    And to think – he was elected because of his Ivy-League cred.

    Pathetic.

  4. Pearls Before Swine
    13 April 2010 at 12:58 PM

    I still say that with these guidelines, no mention of requirements for priests who are living together to get the relationship “blessed,” and the quote about about not denigrating any couple who are shacked-up all comprise a big, fat NO to my question.

    I’m still amazed that they included not denigrating opposite-gender couples who are living together. I suppose at least they realize when they say it’s OK for gays to live together outside of marriage, what would “logically” follow is that it’s OK for heterosexuals too.

    Just please keep these people and their carnal “logic” away from my children!!! No, sorry, that is selfish of me – Heavenly Father, please protect my and everyone else’s children from the influence of these people.

    Do you think TB has read all the letters from the GS Primates that have come out the last few days? Although I doubt that he would care, or they would make any difference.

  5. Elder Oyster
    13 April 2010 at 11:35 PM

    RE: “I still say that with these guidelines, no mention of requirements for priests who are living together to get the relationship “blessed,” and the quote about about not denigrating any couple who are shacked-up all comprise a big, fat NO to my question.”

    Fair enough. And I still say that this is answering in the bishop’s stead, which effectively takes this man who had once taught ethics to Princeton students, off of the hook. At the end of the day, he’ll cluck his tongue at you, and still not answer your question. Because – it’s been answered by you already.

    It’s .. what he wants you to do. But, as long as you’re okay doing what he wants you to do, that’s cool I suppose. 😉

    Me? I’ll keep ‘m up there on the hot seat. He won’t answer me either, but at least he and I know where he sits.

  6. Quasimodo
    14 April 2010 at 2:09 AM

    Looking at the list of participants, I think this is a case of the emperor surrounding himself with “yes” people.

    While the theology is terribly weak, and wrong, what was to be expected with handpicked folk?

    After all, he wrote the book and do you really think any of these would argue with the professor?

    My question is would we allow polyamorous priests to write, and defend, their own theology of marriage and blessings of the same?

  7. Elder Oyster
    14 April 2010 at 3:30 AM

    RE: “My question is would we allow polyamorous priests to write, and defend, their own theology of marriage and blessings of the same?”

    Now you’re just being silly. That would be like putting members of TEC on the Joint Standing Committee, so they could sanction their own discipline.

    oh.. waitaminute..

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