"These bishops stand within the mainstream of the thriving global Anglican Communion, rather than the loud voices of rapidly drifting Episcopal Church officials." -- Jeff Walton, Director of IRD's Anglican Action Program
Contact: Bart Gingerich, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, July 11, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Twelve traditionalist Episcopal Church bishops have released a statement today dissenting from the actions of the 1.9 million-member U.S.-based church after officials at the governing General Convention certified a "provisional" rite for the blessing of same-sex unions.
"We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that God's vision for sexual intimacy is that it be exercised only within the context of marriage between a man and a woman," the statement reads in part. The minority report states that the bishops took an oath at ordination declaring scripture "to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation."
The dissenting bishops name the new liturgy as "for all practical purposes same-sex marriage."
"We believe that the rite subverts the teaching of the Book of Common Prayer, places The Episcopal Church outside the mainstream of Christian faith and practice, and creates further distance between this Church and the Anglican Communion along with other Christian churches," the twelve bishops write. The worldwide Anglican Communion has repeatedly asked the Episcopal Church not to proceed with same-sex blessing rites.
Jeff Walton, Director of IRD's Anglican Action program, commented:
"Jesus Christ calls his followers to be salt and light amidst a culture of chaos. These twelve bishops have stood fast for the truth of the scriptures, even as they are maligned as perpetuators of injustice.
"Rather than conform to prevailing societal trends and label it 'prophetic', these bishops have chosen to stand up for the revealed word of God and consistent teaching for 2,000 years that marriage points beyond itself to the 'mystery of the union of Christ and his Church.'
"These bishops stand within the mainstream of the thriving global Anglican Communion, rather than the loud voices of rapidly drifting Episcopal Church officials."