Majority of primates call for temporary Episcopal Church sanctions

Curry says primates’ statement will be painful for many Episcopalians

The primates of the Anglican Communion pray during Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral on Jan. 11, the first day of their five day meeting. Photo: Canterbury Cathedral

The primates of the Anglican Communion pray during Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral on Jan. 11, the first day of their five-day meeting. Photo: Canterbury Cathedral

[Episcopal News Service — Canterbury, England] A majority of Anglican primates Jan. 14 asked that the Episcopal Church, for a period of three years, “no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”

Expressing their unanimous desire to walk together, the primates said that their call comes in response to the decision by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention last July to change canonical language that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman (Resolution A036) and authorize two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples (Resolution A054).

An announcement posted on the Primates 2016 meeting website said that “the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ.”

“This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together,” the announcement, which includes the full text of the primates’ call, said. The announcement also said the agreement “demonstrates the commitment of all the Primates to continue the life of the Communion with neither victor nor vanquished.”

Before the Jan. 14 vote, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry told the primates gathering Jan. 11-15 in Canterbury, England, that the statement calling for the sanctions would be painful for many in the Episcopal Church to receive.

“Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome,” Curry said in remarks he later made available to Episcopal News Service. “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.

“For so many who are committed to following Jesus in the way of love and being a church that lives that love, this decision will bring real pain,” he added. “For fellow disciples of Jesus in our church who are gay or lesbian, this will bring more pain. For many who have felt and been rejected by the church because of who they are, for many who have felt and been rejected by families and communities, our church opening itself in love was a sign of hope. And this will add pain on top of pain.”

Curry told the primates that he was in no sense comparing his own pain to theirs, but “I stand before you as your brother. I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain.

“The pain for many will be real. But God is greater than anything. I love Jesus and I love the church. I am a Christian in the Anglican way. And like you, as we have said in this meeting, I am committed to ‘walking together’ with you as fellow primates in the Anglican family.”

The primates’ statement also asks Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to appoint a task group “to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognizing the extent of our commonality, and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ.”

The announcement about the sanctions said that further comments would be made and questions answered at a 3 p.m. local time news conference Jan. 15.

The first two days of the gathering were given solely to setting the agenda for the week and focusing on whether the primates could reach an agreement on how to move forward despite their differences of opinion concerning theological interpretation and human sexuality issues.

A widely anticipated exodus of some conservative African archbishops has not come to pass and all but one primate remain at the table during the Jan. 11-15 meeting, committed to ongoing dialogue and discerning various options towards reconciliation. Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of the Anglican Church of Uganda quietly left the meeting on Jan. 12. He had said in a statement prior to the gathering that he would leave unless “discipline and godly order” were restored in the Anglican Communion. In a Jan. 13 letter to his church, Ntagali said he left because the Ugandan provincial assembly had resolved not to participate in any official communion meetings until that order was restored.

ENS learned from one archbishop that on Wednesday morning the primates took a vote that would have asked the Episcopal Church to withdraw voluntarily from the Anglican Communion for a period of three years. The vote failed by 15 to 20, although such a withdrawal is not in keeping with the processes of provincial membership as outlined in the constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Communion’s main policy-making body. The ACC is already scheduled to meet April 8-20 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Archbishop Foley Beach, the leader of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), has been gathering with the primates for conversation throughout the week but not participating in any of the votes. Beach was invited by Welby in an effort to avert a boycott from conservative African archbishops such as the one that occurred at the last Primates Meeting in 2011. ACNA is composed largely of former Episcopalians who chose to break away from the Episcopal Church. Some African primates have declared their affiliation to ACNA.

By Wednesday afternoon, the agenda had moved onto other pressing issues affecting the Anglican Communion, such as relief and development work, and its response to war and conflict.

Curry, who was installed as the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop and primate last November, is attending his first gathering of primates.

Following his election in June 2015, Curry said the Anglican Communion is as much about relationships and partnerships as it is about structure and organization. “We’ve got some work to do; we’ve got some Jesus work to do,” he said. “This world is crying out for us and it needs us, and the Anglican Communion is one way that God uses us together to really make this a better world.”

Primates are the senior archbishops and presiding bishops elected or appointed to lead each of the 38 autonomous provinces of the Anglican Communion. They are invited to the Primates Meetings by the Archbishop of Canterbury to consult on theological, social and international issues.

The Anglican Communion Primates Meeting is one of the three instruments of communion, the other two being the Lambeth Conference of bishops and the Anglican Consultative Council, the Communion’s main policy-making body. The Archbishop of Canterbury, as primus inter pares, or “first among equals,” is recognized as the focus of unity for the Anglican Communion.

Each province relates to other provinces within the Anglican Communion by being in full communion with the See of Canterbury. The Archbishop of Canterbury calls the Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates and is president of the ACC.

In some Anglican provinces the primate is called archbishop and/or metropolitan, while in others the term presiding bishop – or as in Scotland, primus – is used.

The Archbishop of Canterbury also invites to the primates meetings the moderators who lead the united ecumenical churches of North India, South India and Pakistan.

In 1978 Archbishop Donald Coggan, the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury, established the Primates Meeting as an opportunity for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation.”

The primates have met in Ely, England, in 1979; Washington, D.C., in 1981; Limuru, Kenya, in 1983; Toronto, Canada, in 1986; Cyprus in 1989; Newcastle, Northern Ireland, in 1991; Cape Town, South Africa, in 1993; Windsor, England, in 1995; Jerusalem in 1997; Oporto, Portugal, in 2000; Kanuga Conference Center, Hendersonville, North Carolina, in 2001; Canterbury, England, in 2002; Gramodo, Brazil, in May 2003; London, England, in October 2003; Newry, Northern Ireland, in February 2005; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in February 2007; Alexandria, Egypt, in February 2009; and Dublin, Ireland, in January 2011.

The provinces and primates of the Anglican Communion are listed here.

Visit the official Primates 2016 website

Follow @Primates2016 on Twitter

— Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.


  1. Donald Lowery says:

    I am reminded of a poem I learned in high school. I can’t remember the author.
    He drew a circle that shut me out,
    A heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
    But Love and I had the wit go win,
    We drew a circle that took him in.

    Michael, our Presiding Bishop is all about love and drawing circles that take people in. I’m with ++Michael on this one. We hurt, we keep on loving.

    • Dana Adams says:
    • Edwin Markham, so Dr Google tells me
      Deeply sad stuff for the Communion…I am 63 and been an Anglican for all but 17 days of my life…and I think really for the whole of it and into the womb…
      How dare these reactionaries tell me who is in and who is out

      Markham also wrote:

      If this is a dream, then perhaps our dreaming
      Can touch life’s height to a finer fire:
      Who knows but the heavens and all their seeming
      Were made by the heart’s desire?
      One thing shines clear in the heart’s sweet reason,
      One lightning over the chasm runs —
      That to turn from love is the world’s one treason
      That darkens all the suns.

      • Can I love those who would ‘exclude’ me?
        Jesus loves me not for what I ‘choose’ to be, but for who I am – all of me – even, I believe to the depths of my very being, the fact that I am a gay man.
        Jesus is my Lover and through him I will find space in our love for everyone.

      • Douglas Hutto says:

        thank you…It seems it stems from Africans primates and their view about marriage and homosexuality…is this your take?

      • Douglas Hutto says:

        I am reposting your poem…thank you..
        Doug Hutto

    • Yes, I remember that poem, and have associated it with words of Abraham Lincoln, regarding making our ‘enemies’ our friends. Love our enemies, as Jesus said, and praying for those who persecute you. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminds us that people thought Jesus was CRAZY when he taught us to love enemies… so we need to be CRAZY CHRISTIANS (I just didn’t think it would be our Anglican brothers who would exclude and persecute. They’ve lived with our decision to allow Bishop Robinson his role for 13 years. .. )

    • The Rev Steve Bennett says:

      The words of this poem are deeply touching in this context. Many of us in the Church of England are devastated at this news. I was brought up as an Anglican in New Zealand and had my faith nurtured within a loving and inclusive church to the point where I felt called by God six years ago to offer myself for ministry here in England. Can I just say to everyone in the Episcopal Church that in our hearts you are very much in the circle with us, despite this news. My prayers are, and always will be, for a totally inclusive Church and you have shown us how to do that – you have shown us how to be Christ in the world. With much love to you all at this time.

  2. Willem H Swanepoel says:

    It would appear that most comments missed the fear and trepidation, needless to say humble love in which this topic is approached by the leadership. Money Is used as a weapon by members. I am searching my heart and asking God’ s guidance. This comment is from someone who experience same sex attraction, but feel that it is not God honoring needless to say same sex Union. When we ” fight” to make the word suite us, alarm bells should already be ringing. When your heart is convicted, the apropriate response is surrender to Christ, not fight those opposing you. Lord God forgive us all and change our hearts. Amen.

  3. Donald Lowery says:

    Edwin Markham wrote the poem.
    Fourth line should read…to win…not go win

  4. I. M. Bennett says:

    Isaiah 5:20-21.
    Give it a ponder.

    • Gregory Orloff says:

      Luke 6:31 — even more worth pondering!

    • Yes, would have been nice if the majority of the Primates had done so. [Both Scripture passages above.]

      Since we’re quoting Scripture here, re lamenting the late, great Anglican Communion, this comes to mind: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!” [Matt 23:37]

      I’m feeling especially close to Jesus tonight.

    • Barbara Rhoads says:

      Those verses were perfect.

  5. Jon Spangler says:

    This is far from the first time in Christian history that a church hierarchy has exiled an Israel group that was following a slightly different or “unauthorized” vision

    • Dan Pressler says:

      it is not ‘slightly’ different to celebrate & endorse what has been condemned, by GOD, as an abomination.

  6. Jimmy Green says:

    Willem H Swanepoel – no self-respecting gay person uses the pathologizing neologism “experience(s) same sex attraction” which was hatched out of the bowels of the ex-gay movement and reduces gay from a rich ontological, comprehensive identity, grounded in said attraction but in now way limited to it, to a negative condition or affliction and resembles the pathological theories that were prevalent prior to development of more evidence and science based theories recently. I’m sorry you have been so damaged from exposure to the right wing religious culture warriors.

  7. Kenneth Scott says:

    We are Christians. We believed that man should lie with woman. Our son had clearly been troubled about something. It took a number of years before he spoke to me, his Mum. He spoke of torment and how that had affected him. It became clear he was telling me he was gay. “I didn’t choose this to happen; no-one would,” he said. He spoke for a while and I listened. He wondered what his Dad would say and I offered to tell him. That night in bed I thought and prayed. I know God loves my son as He loves His Son.I don’t want to lose my son, especially because of my fundamental evangelical views. God’s love and Grace are extended to us all. How sad the treatment of The Episcopal Church and my son. His Dad feels the same way. Barbara and Kenneth Scott.

    • Marla Randolph Stevens says:

      Thank you for letting love be more powerful than dogma in your family. Change happens family by family, church family by church family. It’s organic and it’s inevitable. Our long term job is to support those who have already lost their war but do not yet know it, as they experience the pain and grief that inevitably occurs when one bucks the tide of inevitable, love-fueled change.

    • Good for you for putting God’s love above all things!

    • Douglas Espie says:

      You are very brave for posting this Barbara and Kenneth Scott.
      We all have sinful dispositions…dispositions of pride, hatred, envy and for a small minority, homosexual attraction is the sinful disposition that they struggle with all their lives.

      May you love your son enough to share the truth in love with Him. May he know that God will give him the grace to daily live a holy life everyday…and may he know that there are many same-sex attracted Christians throughout history who can attest to God’s healing of their sexuality and..if not healing…the grace and strength of celibacy.

      Remember the words of our loving Holy Spirit to the Corinthian Church, especially the “and such were some of you” claim. Jesus is enough.

      Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

      And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11

      In love,


  8. Mark Longley says:

    @David Lowery. The wonderful poem is by Edwin Markham, from his collection The Shoes of Happiness, and Other Poems (1913). The title of the poem is “Outwitted.” Thank you for posting it. It is perfect for our situation.

    Withholding money from Africa would simply prove them right: that we want to control them and are willing to inflict pain to get our way. We ought not give in to that temptation, not only because it won’t work but also because it would betray the Gospel every bit as much as what they are doing.

    • We might also consider ways in which these funds could be used to support the LGBT community in those countries that criminalize homosexuality in the name of Christ, instead of cowtowing to ignorance and bigotry. I believe that would be more in keeping with the Good News.

      • Tracy Lawrence says:

        With all due respect, there are children starving and dying from disease in African nations. I think the money would better be spent helping them than supporting an American LGBT agenda because Progressive Liberals in the TEC are so sure that is what they need the most! We need to get our priorities straight and address what is life threatening first. That is even more in keeping with the Good News. I love all of you, but you are in a rut of serious navel gazing here.

  9. William S. Kinsland says:

    If Justin Welby and his followers wish to separate themselves from fellowship with the Episcopal Church, then let them depart in peace…and should they ever decide to renew the bonds of love and friendship we have hitherto enjoyed…they will always be welcomed home. We shall continue to pray for their safety and well-being as always…and pray that Our Lord will enlighten them and help them to heal this schism which they are creating. As for me…I am an Episcopalian…and will continue to pray and worship my Lord as an Episcopalian…and honor our Presiding Bishop Thomas…So be it.

    • John Barr says:

      Ah, if only the Episcopal Church was so level-headed and gracious toward those churches and dioceses that wanted to separate from it due to this very issue. Instead, they went after bishops and priests, demanding that they conform to the new theology, sued (and continue to sue) parishes into oblivion and take their property, even when clear majorities (many at or near unanimous) just wanted to “depart in peace”. I will be very interested to see how the Episcopal Church chooses to proceed, now that “the shoe is on the other foot”.

      • The Church will proceed by “respecting the dignity of every human being” and refusing to live in the Dark Ages. We will not engage in crucifying Christ repeatedly through the persecution of our gay brothers and sisters. Ignorance on the matter of human sexuality is no longer an option for a relevant church in the 21st century.

        • Mikki Salerno says:

          I would like someone to point out the scriptures which promote same-sex marriage as acceptable in the eyes of God. Where does Jesus say that this is acceptable? i’s not a matter of hate or bigotry. it’s a matter of morality. Jesus loves the sinner, we are all sinners, but He says to “go and sin no more”. I believe that marriage is a union between a man and woman. I will be happy to reconsider that belief if some one can point out Biblical references that state otherwise.

    • Andrea Reynolds says:

      Mr Kinsland,
      Respectfully sir, it is not the Anglican Community that has chosen to ‘separate themselves’ from the Episcopal Church. Indeed, it is the Episcopal Church that has attempted, by fiat, to force the Anglican community to adopt a new Sacrament that is unbiblical.

      The Episcopal church, as in every other aspect of promoting LGBT lifestyle, has determined that only the feelings, emotions, desires and needs of that community matter. That there is a supremacy of victimhood that confer upon the LGBT community a status as ‘protected sinner’ and that any condemnation of that particular sin is automatically a condemnation of the whole person.
      Nothing could be further fro the truth – it is entirely possible to ‘love the sinner and hate the sin’ – perhaps we could rethink the late 20th Century concept that homosexuality is normal and a healthy expression of sexuality, without resorting to hatred or bigotry, but in a spirit of loving those who are afflicted.
      We should certainly not be promoting a political agenda that is damaging to individuals and dangerous to the very fabric of healthy communities.

  10. Lloyd Spiegel says:

    The Anglican Communion has decided to side with bigotry, harassment, persecution, imprisonment degradation of others based on sex and sexual orientation. It hope we stand our ground, form our own relationships with like minded, loving and open churches and continue to do Gods work.

    I am a Christian, an Episcopalian and proud of my church. The church continues and we continue to do Gods work in our parishes and in our communities. I don’t see the Anglican Communion putting food in our food pantries to help our poor, or fill backpack for poor children in our neighborhoods, or give Christmas gifts to families with nothing to give. I see no money coming from Nigeria, or Uganda, or Kenya or the Church of England to pay for the heat in our parish.

    We can build our own church, do our own outreaches, help those that need help and maintain our pride in being an inclusive church. It is time to leave the Anglican Communion permanently.

  11. I understand what the primates are doing…kind of a slap on the hand for the U.S. Episcopal church,BUT I think you may be born to love the same sex. Why would you punish Gods’ children?
    I was brought up in the Baptist church–VERY judge mental, but trying to follow and teach the Bible by the letter of the law, so to speak, but I joined the Episcopal church because my husband liked the Episcopal church, and I wanted my family to belong to Some church , and go together. I LIKE the nonjudgmental way that the Episcopal church is…worship God in your own way, and let him do the judging. I myself am not wild about same sex marriage, but once again, I try not to judge.

  12. Fr Scott Homer says:

    Nice gloss!

  13. Sean Ekberg says:

    Our desire to remain in communion with others around the world should not be tempered by the amount of money we send/receive. We have communion for a higher purpose; to be the “One holy catholic and apostolic church.” Three years is a drop in the bucket, considering the amount of time the Church has existed. Let this time be a time of discourse not diatribe, reconciliation not anger. We have made our decision, the Primates have made theirs; whether I agree or not, I respect both.

    • Laura Reilly says:

      Thank you, Sean Ekberg, for a voice of calm in the sea of heartbreak.

      • Denise Kendrick McNeel says:

        I was born in England and was baptised in the Church of England on the day this preemie should have been born during WW2. My family has been a part of the Church of England for hundreds of years, I attended Anglican schools and college and have lived in 5 countries, where I attended Anglican/Episcopal churches. In fact, I was hired to teach in an Episcopal boarding school and thus came to the USA, as the deep South struggled with accepting racial equality. I watched the Diocese of West Virginia struggle with homosexuality as an issue that threatened to tear it apart. That time was, indeed, a time of discourse and prayer. I totally support this decision. Three years do, indeed represent, “a drop in the bucket”, and the evolution in attitudes developed ultimately quite fast in the U.S.A. When in England and Canada I shall continue to attend Anglican services; in my heart, we are still in communion. A “timeout” is needed to re-establish calm reflection and pause divisive bitter anger.

  14. Has the orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church chosen to speak with bigotry as well for not condoning same sex marriage? This sacrament is based on Scripture, tradition and reason. Love needs to be extended to all, but sometimes the greatest act of love is not accommodation. Freewill is the essence of being human and choosing Christ over self is the way for true faithfulness.

    • Civil Unions says:

      “Has the orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church chosen to speak with bigotry as well for not condoning same sex marriage? ”

      Yes. Everything else you typed is simply judging others.

      • Andrea Reynolds says:

        Anthony has the right of here, friend,

        Please affirm where ‘scripture, tradition and reason’ support same sex marriage. We are called to love one another, not to accommodate and equalize all actions and behavior.

  15. Selena Smith says:

    I am a Christian and an Episcopalian. At times I am very proud of my church and other times I wish I could be more proud. We have welcomed others who are different from us into communion with us in the name of Christian unity. And we have excluded others who are different from us from communion with us in the name of unity. This is not something recent for our Church – it’s something since our origin. It seems that is what the Primates have done in their sanctions about their relationship with us as representatives of the Communion. They do not like or accept what we have done by the change in the marriage canon, and yet they did not demand that we leave them or change our process for decision making.

    I am thankful for Bishop Curry and look forward to his leadership as a Primate in how we can restore trust and remain in Communion with other Provinces. He has remained at that meeting and talked and listened. The House of Bishops elected him and the House of Deputies confirmed his election. I believe that the Holy Spirit is with him, and I pray for his guidance for us.

  16. Bill Franklin says:

    I am a realist as well as an Anglican Episcopalian, But I do not get gay marriage. Marriage is a part of the cycle of life that creates new life that can continue that cycle. Gay marriage only satisfies the individual needs of those involved. I know that I am a part of the minority, but as much as I have tried, I do not get gay marriage.

    • Gregory Orloff says:

      If marriage is simply a part of the cycle of life that creates new life, then it stands to reason marriage ought to be forbidden for the infertile and those beyond childbearing age, since they cannot “create new life.” Of course, that would condemn many people, sterile or widowed, to lonely lives devoid of companionship and mutual support. Perhaps there is more to marriage than your reduction of it to reproduction, Mr. Franklin.

    • Virgil Evans says:

      With all respect Bill, you cannot understand Gay marriage because you are not gay. Only Gay people know the desire to marry the person you love that happens to be the same sex because our brains are wired that way.

    • dolly patterson says:

      Bill, I didn’t get LGBT until I worked at Stanford University Medical Center. Homosexuality was just a “given” genetically. There was never a debate about whether homosexuality was anything but a genetic differentiation….even the most conservative Christian doctors knew it was genetics.
      May I suggest you ask your priest if you can be introduced to a celibate gay man and/or lesbian and spend 30 minutes a week in prayer and conversation w that person for 6 months?

      • Andrea Reynolds says:

        I have seen no research that identifies a ‘gay gene’

        Can you provide a source for that please, I’d be interested in reading it.

    • Margaret Sjoholm-Franks says:

      So…according to your principle heterosexual couples with fertility problems, couples over 45, and elderly couples should be banned from getting married since their marriages will not lead to the creation of new life…

      You can’t be serious !

      • David Shepherd says:

        Infertility is defined by the World Health Organisation as: ‘ a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”

        How is that disease of the reproductive system ever applicable to same-sex couples?

        • Dennis Tarkington says:

          Semantics do not support your argument. The “circle of life” analogy is based on a couple’s ability to continue or perpetuate the faith. We all have that ability singularly or as a team regardless of our sexual organs or orientation. But if one wants to reduce that ability to those who can reproduce, then the logical argument can be made that if one doesn’t or cannot do that (regardless of their sexual orientation) they have broken the circle and therefore cannot be included.

        • Margaret Sjoholm-Franks says:

          It is not, evidently, but it is applicable to heterosexual couples who according to Bill Franklin principle should be banned from getting married….you did not understand my point…should I explain it with a drawing ?….never mind

      • Baxter Howell IV says:

        African Christians will be killed if the Church of England accepts gay marriage, the archbishop of Canterbury has suggested. Speaking on an LBC phone in, Justin Welby said he had stood by a mass grave in Nigeria of 330 Christians who had been massacred by neighbours who had justified the atrocity by saying: “If we leave a Christian community here we will all be made to become homosexual and so we will kill all the Christians.”

  17. M. Scott James says:

    Is anyone else concerned about the last clause in this statement: “The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union…”? Are we also being asked to reject divorced people from our church, as well as gays?

    I hope TEC sticks holds steadfast and doesn’t go backwards on either of these issues. I wasn’t born into TEC–I willingly joined because I believed that TEC expressed God’s love the best through its words and actions–may it continue to do so.

  18. Gregory Orloff says:

    Take heart, Episcopalians. Even if others won’t sit and eat with us because they deem us sinners beyond the pale, at least we know Jesus still will. The Bible tells of the fondness he had for dining with prostitutes, tax-collecting turncoats and other “unclean” folk. (Oh, let’s not pretend he only did so after they “repented” or “reformed” — had that been the case, all those Pharisees and Scribes wouldn’t have been so scandalized.) Remember what they said about Jesus: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!” (Luke 15:2)

  19. Jennifer Shaw says:

    My husband and I fondly remember Presiding Bishop Michael Curry from our high school days in the Buffalo area when “Mike Curry” participated in diocesan Episcopal youth activities. He was such a cheerful person, with such a kind heart. As a result, my heart breaks for him that in his first meeting of Primates at Canterbury he was so brutally slapped in the face as the representative of TEC. I do not knew whether, before he left for England, Bishop Curry knew this decision was coming.

    In the United States we’ve recently seen our Supreme Court rule that gay and lesbian people have the right to marry. It’s the law of the land. I am a lawyer first and a member of the worldwide Anglican congregation second. There is no way in the world I could imagine the American branch of that communion, TEC, being cruel and insulting to gas and lesbians. My belief in justice and equality supersedes any interest I have in TEC changing its stated policies to pander to the beliefs of the right wing fringe in the Anglican world. As a result, it is most logical to believe that three years from now neither TEC or the Primates will not change their views.

    That said, I will speak truth to power. Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori drove hundreds if not thousands of Episcopalians into the arms of the Anglican Church of North America, by the outright greed and manipulation she engaged in with respect to ownership of parish churches around the U.S.A. Bishop Jefferts Schori’s greed was not what I would expect from a real Christian. The reality was and is that the vast majority of parish churches land and buildings across the United States were paid for by their members, not by the national church and not by any diocese. It is my firm belief that if Bishop Jefferts Schori had not been so brutal and greedy, in her directions to TEC’s lawyers, and if she had not been so anxious to litigate to the bitter end, there would be an amount of sympathy for TEC today among the Primates in trying to accommodate TEC’s making its church services accommodate the equal rights inherent in American law.

    Our church was formed when a king and his bishops seceded from the Roman Catholic Church because of that church’s dictatorial manner, greed and self aggrandizement. Given that history one would think that Bishop Jefferts Schori would have understood how her greedy manuevers were perceived by the average, conservative Episcopalian. She made it very clear that she did not care what individual Episcopalians through of her.

    It’s probably too late to try to make peace by TEC and its Dioceses giving ownership of the parish churches back to the dispossessed congregations in return for the Primates cutting TEC some slack doctrinally. My best guess is that the Primates will not back down 3 years from now and that TEC will not change its marriage services and LGBT friendly doctrine in that time frame either.

    At the end of the American Revolution our ancestors kissed the Church of England good bye and many of its clergy fled to Canada, Jamaica and England. TEC and its remaining members must resign themselves to going it alone again, just like they did at the end of the war which threw off the bonds of British control.

    • dolly patterson says:

      I totally disagree w you re: PB Jefferts Schori. I met her when she was a seminarian. She is also a Stanford alum (where I worked for many years). She definitely has a pastor’s heart. If she was so wrong about taking action to hold on to church buildings when the congregation had left TEC, why did the courts side w us?

      Have you done a search on how many of those original Episcopal churches/dioceses who left have come back to the USA TEC? There are less than 100,000 Anglicans in the break-off group — a pittance compared to the TEC National Membership.

    • David H. Brown says:

      Jennifer Shaw, do you really believe that’s why the king “seceded” from the Catholic church for those reasons? Henry the VIII wanted to marry another woman to have an heir other than Mary his daughter. Henry was excommunicated by the Pope. Not only was he trying to sidestep an out and out divorce, he was committing adultery. In 1533, Henry VIII broke with the church and married the now pregnant Anne Boleyn in a secret ceremony.
      As for the Supreme Court’s “ruling”, it is a clear overreaching of it’s powers in that they have effectively legislated from the bench. A power not given it by the Constitution. It may rule against a law, but it cannot enact a law. In effect, they can say this law is wrong, go and get it right. But they cannot say this law is wrong and THIS is how it’s going to be. That is not it’s function as a court.

      • Stuart Ibberson says:

        David: Henry VIII had to get papal dispensation to marry Katherine of Aragon – his brother’s widow. When Katherine was unable to bear a son and heir, Henry applied to the pope for a reversal of said dispensation, thus making the marriage null and void. Katherine opposed this move. However, in the intervening years between the original dispensation and Henry’s request that it be overturned, the King of Spain had invade Rome and the pope was effectively a hostage in his own palace. The King of Spain at the time was Katherine’s nephew and sided with Katherine, effectively telling the pope not to reverse his earlier dispensation. Thus the break with Rome came about.

    • So be it. Living the gospel will at times lead us to lonely and desolate places, but in the end there is life and resurrection. We walk with Christ as TEC. God’s blessing upon our church for putting love above bigotry and persecution!

    • Jennifer, thank you for speaking truth — most especially poignant when it’s clear that you don’t side with those who have left or are leaving TEC.
      Your truth-telling resonates deeply with those on the other side. I have mixed feelings about many of these goings-on, and am still undecided about the scriptural guidance and interpretations of these things.
      But what utterly convinced me to leave TEC was exactly the greed and bullying you described by KJS and others in TEC. Her/their behavior was no less prejudicial and EXclusive than they claimed against the conservatives. Being a militant inclusive-ist is not being “inclusive” at all. Nor is it being “Christian.”
      Whether it heals the Anglican Communion or not, TEC should cancel the lawsuits and make amends with the departing congregations and dioceses that it has legally bullied. That would be the morally right thing to do; and yes, I believe it would be very helpful in demonstrating a true willingness to reconcile.

  20. Virgil Evans says:

    I am so hurt, but so proud of Bishop Curry. My husband and I were married in an Episcopal Church on 12-12-15. The happiest day of my life. After so many pushing so hard for the Episcopal Church to allow us to be married, I’m in shock about this talk of sanctions. I am a Christian and I was born gay. Why is is so hard for people to believe this? No one in their right mind would choose this. It has caused me so much heartache and pain. I was lucky and found a good man and we have been together for 25 years. Please stop stomping on the hearts of Gay Christains. There is enough pressure from society to call it all a fairy tail without the church trying to push us out. No one truly knows why some people are gay. If it is a sin, I am saved by the blood of Christ and I will take it to the cross on judgement day and happily enter the gates of heaven.

    • dolly patterson says:

      Bravo Virgil!

    • Dan Pressler says:

      Paul said – does this [grace] mean that we should go and sin all the more? BY NO MEANS.

      remember to repent means to turn from sin.

      Leviticus says clearly that ‘for a man to lie with a man as with a woman is an abomination’

      The church should welcome sinners, as we are all sinners. However, under no circumstances should it ever, condone, endorse or support sin.

  21. As a Canadian Anglican who lives outside major centers who has been robbed of a bible believing sacramental church to attend, perhaps his Grace should consider the pain the heresy of the last few years has caused the faithful. I only wish the Anglican church in Canada were attached to this sanction as well

    • Cynthia Katsarelis says:

      Would it really be that difficult to adopt a “mind your own business” attitude? Here in TEC, we have conservative parishes as well as liberal and mixed. The real issue here is living with difference. You can live into your orthodoxy without imposing your orthodoxy on us, and we can live in terms of liberation, without imposing it on you. Why couldn’t that work when Jesus commanded us not to judge?

      • Tracy Lawrence says:

        You are exactly right. What the Episcopal Church has done in the last 20 years is not inclusive at all. Inclusivity and tolerance is living with the difference. Not demanding that the interest, rights and views of a particular faction be elevated above all others. That is exclusion. I would also like to say that the right to same sex marriage is the law of the land. The Supreme Court has made it’s ruling. The votes that were taken in Salt Lake last summer were really just kicking the extra point and forcing the LGBT political agenda on all Episcopalians. This goes way beyond asking to be welcome. This is pushing in and taking over. I think some boundaries are in order here as is a recognition that there is a lot more to TEC than the civil rights agenda. Isn’t there?

  22. Mandy crume says:

    i believe marriage is between a man and women. I also believe we should be good people! We all have sins even if we don’t mean to have sins. I tryed very hard to be open minded about same sex marriage that the relationships are no different from my relationship except I prefer the opposite sex. The more I watched people’s lives being destroyed because they did not believe in same sex marriage, I realized that some people that have chose a different life style then mine are not very nice when your opinion is different then theirs. I went to church and tryed to open my arms to all and we all could learn how to live a sin free life. I have learned that you must agree not just love one another or else! It has been almost two years since last communion and I truely believe people are more sinful then ever and the church that has been with my family for generations may not be the church for my children.

    • Margaret Sjoholm-Franks says:

      1. i believe marriage is between a man and women.
      So you support polygamy ?…some Anglican dioceses in Africa would be right for you

      2. I realized that some people that have chose a different life style then mine
      Being vegetarian is a lifestyle, abstaining from drinking sodas or alcohol is a lifestyle, showering only on Saturdays is a lifestyle…since when people decide their sexual orientation ? Can you decide to be heterosexual on weekdays and gay on weekends ?

  23. Robert Hansel says:

    Hypocrisy involves thinking so highly of yourself that you believe you are in a position to judge others. It is a dangerous stand to take, putting yourself in a place reserved for God alone. It is claiming a religious status that ,in it’s mere proclamation condemns the claimant. Imagine all those smugly prepares and primates proclaiming smugly in unison, “How lucky for God that He has a few great people like us!”

    • Otto Pebworth says:

      Could your observation also rightly apply to those on “both sides” of this debate? Unfortunately, many who could perhaps be called “orthodox” have been driven away because of the same attitude from those “across the divide”.

      Just my $0.02

    • David H. Brown says:

      As a body of governance that must weigh accepted doctrine i.e. canons of this group, a party to that group, subject to its governance must face the scrutiny of that body. If TEC as it is being called here, is departing from what has been accepted by the body as a whole it is subject to sanction. Clearly, the bishop of TEC understands this. You would do well not to judge those who have been called to lead and by the tenets laid down have been forced to make the decision to sanction TEC. By doing so, you put yourself in the same position as those, by whose decision, you criticize. That is hypocrisy of the worst kind, judging those you feel have judged.

  24. Chris Ledyard says:

    This is a sad occurrence in the Anglican Communion, as diversity seems to be shut out. This is a punishment which could have been reconciled so many other different ways. Perhaps this should have been addressed in our General Convention so a holy and righteous response from TEC could be given. I’m not sure about the money thing. We could always put in an account which could be provided at the end of the sanctions against us. Presiding Bishop Curry did have a great response to this. Hopefully the other churches will see how great Freedom is when you can love someone and the spiritual community that you belong to can celebrate with you! TEC is an attractive church, and ahead of the times, thank God!

  25. Russell Brohl II says:

    while its unfortunate that the episcopal church may be exiled out of the Anglican communion on a temporary basis this really will not effect the day to day mechanical running of the episcopal church. In an ideal world Id like to maintain conversation with Africa and the southern cone but if it means subordinating sexual and gender minorities to keep the larger family together I am not sure that’s appropriate. On top of the fact its Africa who is refusing to talk to us not the Usa refusing to talk to Africa. So is being in the Anglican communion a matter of being spoken to or a matter of speaking to others. The Anglican communion is a much more ephemeral institution than what we are making it to be.

  26. Lynnly Busler Marcotte says:

    As a ‘cradle’ Episcopalian, I have two thoughts:

    1. How much is the fine that we should probably pay over three years?

    2. What would Jesus say???

  27. It breaks my heart to be treated so shamefully in the Anglican Communion. As much as I value being connected to the larger body of Anglicanism, I’d rather leave than be diminished by the small hearts and minds of those who have proposed that TEC should be sanctioned. Worrying about this situation takes away our focus on our priorities of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. So we should ignore the sanctions and ignore their gatherings and ignore their ranting and just go about our business.

  28. Michele K. Waite says:

    I am so saddened to read of this news. I am saddened that we continue to place ‘labels’ on another human being. I am saddened that MY church, the church I so love, the people I so love, are seemingly regressing and forgetting the message of Christ. Love one another! Simply put. LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU! Just DO IT! DO IT without judgment. Please! We can be a WONDERFUL example to this WORLD! Please listen. Please!

  29. Christi Hll says:

    I am proud to be an Episcopalian and will be part of this church to the end of my days. We follow the teachings of Christ to love(in agape*) one another, to support each other without regard for our differences. We work very hard to include rather than exclude. Our convention delegates that voted to allow same sex marriage had three years in which to poll their diocesan people ,ponder the significance of supporting all those who want to publicly confirm their love for each othe.r
    * I refer you ‘The Four Loves’ by C.S. Lewis

  30. Tig Soliac says:

    I am glad to see that a governing body can stand up for principles of moral, eternal truth. I am afraid that many Protestant churches have come to believe the truth is something they can vote on… Who are these people that say that we should vote certain commandments of the Lord in or out with the times?…These are perilous times indeed.

  31. David Veal says:

    Is this the way a true Apostolic Council operates? Did the Apostles at the Jerusalem Council decide to throttle and exclude those who continued to practice circumcision? Or was it the other way around… Did those who continued to practice circumcision abandon the fellowship of those who did not? Real catholic authority adjusts to meet changing understandings and an ever changing environment with new patterns of discipline… “New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth”… as those Americans said who found slavery repugnant to their consciences, but found that Holy Scripture, read in a mindless, nonspiritual way, did not adequately address it. Let the men who wear the hoods at Canterbury rage on… many of them are people we dearly love and they ARE ALL TRYING TO FUNCTION RIGHTLY AS OUR FATHERS IN GOD. Things turn ugly when they try to exercise imperium, but force is not of God. In time, the victor in this struggle will be the consensus fidelum…the mind of Christ still dwells in his Church and the Holy Spirit will still guide us, even through the times of most difficult change.
    Let us fear not. No council can squelch the Spirit or extinguish the truth, and on the other hand, no prophet who does not speak the will of the Eternal One in love will ultimately endure. Perhaps we should all recall the advice of Gamliei, Acts 5:38-39.

  32. Tracy Lawrence says:

    The Episcopal church has gone off the deep end raising LGBT issues and issues of the secular Progressive left to the very top of its agenda. There is diversity among members and part of that is political diversity. I don’t see any respect or desire to include those who have more traditional Christian values and beliefs, which is probably why so many people have left. That is not inclusive. I understand that it’s important for Gays to feel welcome; but what about all those Episcopalians who continue to believe that the sacrament of marriage was intended for a man and a woman. Are they allowed to feel welcome too? The Anglican Communion has rightly recognized that the best place for the LGBT crusade is in the political arena and not in the front pew of the local Episcopal Church. Speaking as someone who is tolerant, or was tolerant, I am just plain tired of hearing about it at this point.

    • Well spoken Tracy.

    • Mandy crume says:

      Ok you say it sooooo much better then I did! Thats what I was trying to say but I tryed to hard not to step on too many toes but did anyway Sorry!
      Well said thank you!

  33. Mary K. Fields says:

    These will be the longest three years and a very painful period. I am sure that you consider what you have done to be the best thing for your church but it no longer is mine. You have set a great divide that will split us more and more. It is no longer MY church and that makes me sad. Whether or not I ever consider myself to be a part of you again remains to be seen.


  34. Vicki Gray says:

    How incredibly sad the decision today of the Anglican primates choosing “discipline and godly order” over love and compassion. In this moment, I treasure the loving, compassionate response of our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and pledge him my solidarity in the Jesus work we have before us.

    And, about the money that sticks in the craw of so many, keep it flowing – not for the palaces, Lambeth included, not for the empty cathedrals, not for the travel expenses of the high and mighty, but for the least among us who have a just claim on our abundance.

  35. Lenny Sparks says:

    “Curry told the primates that he was in no sense comparing his own pain to theirs” and then he dropped the race card, as a gesture of pious suffering. Class act, Curry.

  36. Mark Orman says:

    The poem about the circle is wonderful! So glad you helped me discover it.

    While I am very much a believer that we in the ECUSA have done the right thing in including all people in the authorization of the right to marry ( even though my own bishop forbids it to us here), I do understand the feelings of the primates who are standing against us. Perhaps it is the fact that I was brought up in a very conservative, fundamentalist church. The Primates are just as convinced as we are . To them, it is wrong, it is forbidden, it is contrary to the will of God. We can not change their minds or their hearts by being less than contrite about the fact that we have offended their REAL beliefs. you all know that love for Christ and for others will overcome in the end:

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

  37. David H. Brown says:

    We are called to love one another. Those in sin as well as those who are faithful. Where we are to love is not a call to accept the sin, but to accept the sinner. Especially, not to facilitate it. By God’s own Word we are told that homosexuality is a sin. Does that mean we should turn them away from our churches? Absolutely not. However, that does not mean marriage of two people of the same sex should be done as part of accepting someone gay into the church. I would ask you, if those born with sickness or disease are afflicted, are not also those who say they are born, or “hardwired” gay, not also afflicted and need Christ to remove that affliction just as Jesus removed so many others? So very often we just want to be comfortable in a “church of good feelings”, that doesn’t ask the hard questions or tell the hard truth. These churches do a disservice to the body of Christ, by being the very stumbling blocks Jesus warned us against being.

  38. David Shepherd says:

    From a single post, Jimmy Green (presumably exercising some sort of the charism of discernment of spirits) wrote of Wlliem H Swanepoel:
    ‘no self-respecting gay person uses the pathologizing neologism “experience(s) same sex attraction” which was hatched out of the bowels of the ex-gay movement and reduces gay from a rich ontological, comprehensive identity, grounded in said attraction’

    How wonderfully inclusive! (Sarcasm off)

    So, on the basis of a single comment, a gay man who exercise celibacy is diagnosed as lacking in self-respect for not considering LGBT identity to be rich and comprehensive (although exhibiting fluidity according to the APA and Lisa Diamond) and a hostage to right-wing religious culture warriors!

    De Torquemada would have been proud of such a summary conviction without trial for ‘heresy’!

  39. Sam Meyer says:

    Distressing news. The Church should keep talking, keep convening, keep celebrating with the Anglican Communion, and should continue to send its unrestricted $1.2M block grant to the Anglican Communion Office this triennium as budgeted & planned. (Though, I can see why some might want to decline to give to an organization which has acted to punish a church that inclusively offers sacraments to all. Especially when that organization ignores that the push for sanctions was led by bishops who support the criminalization of sexual orientation.) I remain glad and proud that I am Episcopalian, that the Episcopal Church Welcomes You, and I continue to give thanks for Presiding Bishop Curry’s ministry and example. In our baptismal covenants, we’re charged to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.” As Jonathan Martin put it recently, “The emphasis is not on sharing dogma so much as it is sharing the cup.” We don’t own the table; rather, it’s our gift to share.

  40. Margery Harper says:

    I am not gay, but a Christian who is aware of my origins I have not committed any crime, but I feel we need to remind ourselves that we all come from a sinful nature and no amount of pomp and bluffing changes that. I don’t really know any gay people, but my opinion is that they can’t be any worse than the rest of us. Praise the Lord who gives us eternal life through faith.

  41. I don’t know why anyone is surprised, sad, confused, hurting over this. Don’t you know your own history? Is this any different? Is this a change from our history, which we glorify?

    Is this any different from the way the Episcopal Church in the United States acted over the ordination of women? When the movement became strong enough and a small handful of American Bishops decided to go against the Episcopal Church and ordain women was the reaction of the Episcopal Church any different? Wasn’t there a trial over this? And pushing out of clergy and bishops over this? How does that differ from what we did in the Episcopal Church to God’s people?

    When those called “Black” or “African Americans” were excluded from attending the Episcopal Church because of the color of their skin and/or their African ancestors was that any different? The liberal Churches amongst us allowed those “Blacks” who insisted on being Episcopalian to either attend Episcopal Churches which were all “Black” or to sit in the balcony of those liberal Churches which would allow such – was that any different? The plantation moved into the Episcopal Churches in the United States.

    Is it any surprise that the person who walked out of this “meeting” was African? Or that the Bishops who are available to preside over the Churches in America leaving the Episcopal Church because of the issues of the ordination of women and the inclusion of gays as full members with the right to marry the person of their choice – that they are African?

    Some of those who were discriminated against cannot overcome the self-hatred left by the separatist policies under which they lived for generations. Even when released – sort of – from those policies they cannot get the sin of separation out of their souls.

    Before countering the Anglican Communion’s action the American Episcopal Church needs to rid itself of the sin of the Jim Crowism in which it currently exists. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank that is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3)

    After the decision of the Episcopal Church sanctioning gay marriage it was clear this action by the Anglican Communion would follow. Sin piled upon sin piled upon sin. And God cried and wondered what good did it do to send God’s Son – what did we do with the gift? Used the fact that God sent’ his’ son to justify our sexism – which we lost no time in institutionalizing with the words of the hymns, the services, the everything that used language in the Church to raise up one sex and diminish another?We lost no time in portraying Jesus as very fair of skin with softly curled blonde/brown hair even though “he” came from an area of the world where ‘he’ was probably dark of skin with very kinky hair.

    And then we took the need of the State, to protect the property and inheritance rights of the 1% into the Church as the sacrament of marriage and have held it as totally inviolable between a man and a woman and are now using that to divide us and keep our identities, one over the other, as better than – God forgive us!

    • Tracy Lawrence says:

      So, if an Anglican doesn’t support same sex marriage and they happen to be black it is because they are “self-hating”over the Church’s past racist sins? This seems like a real stretch to me and insulting to Black Africans. Folks in the TEC who are strongly in support of same sex marriage need to accept that there are many Christians who are not, and that being loving in the way that Christ taught us, does not necessarily include gays and lesbians being married in the TEC. Jesus didn’t actually weigh in on the issue at all. Progressive Liberals in the TEC are asserting that to be loving and to live the way Christ taught us, we must embrace your political agenda and rewrite the Sacrament of Marriage. Not necessarily so. All of that is based on opinion and political activism; not scripture. I don’t know who polled whom during years leading up to the votes that took place at the recent Convention. But, I will say that most of the folks at my Church in MA are not wrapped up in TEC politics and have no idea what goes on or why.

  42. Robert Johnson says:

    A question from an outsider who loves the Episcopal Church because my Boy Scout Troop growing up was sponsored by an Episcopal Church that was at the end of the Street I grew up on. Loved it. Anyway, my question; is the what is called “The Episcopal Church” (TEC) in the US the same as I knew as the Protestant Episcopal Church? Also, I remember growing up several Episcopal Churches in my hometown being ‘different from one another. St Pauls,s was Prayer Book of…., where St Francis was more “modern” and Christ’s Church was “almost Catholic”(I’m guessing Anglican Communion”. I only mean this question sincerely and with the greatest respect. Thank you.

    • Neil Paynter says:

      Robert, your question strikes me to be very on topic. The Episcopal Church and Protestant Episcopal Church are one in the same. The Church holds that religious practices should be correct, but that doesn’t mean they need to be the exactly same. Unity is not uniformity. Thus we have plain churches and ornate churches; some with quiet services, and some with smells and bells; texts used in worship vary, but the essential content remains. Likewise, beyond accepting the theology of the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds, lay Episcopalians are free to interpret Christianity as they see fit. Sometimes this creates conflict, as interpretations do change over time, and for different people at different rates. We aim to resolve conflict deliberately and collaboratively. This takes time. One of the things that marks us as Episcopalians, is that we pray together even when we don’t agree.

    • Bruce Michaud+ says:

      PECUSA was dropped because “Protestant’ seemed a misnomer for a church so “Catholic” in its worship and order. As for your hometown Episcopal churches, it seems they were “high”, “broad”, and “low”. These adjectives are most commonly used in the States with respect to the manner in which worship is conducted – e.g., high churches would employ sanctus bells and incense, whereas low churches would not.

  43. shake off the dust from your feet my friends

  44. Tracy Lawrence says:

    You are exactly right. What the Episcopal Church has done in the last 20 years is not inclusive at all. Inclusivity and tolerance is living with the difference. Not demanding that the interest, rights and views of a particular faction be elevated above all others. That is exclusion. I would also like to say that the right to same sex marriage is the law of the land. The Supreme Court has made it’s ruling. The votes that were taken in Salt Lake last summer were really just kicking the extra point and forcing the LGBT political agenda on all Episcopalians. This goes way beyond asking to be welcome. This is pushing in and taking over. I think some boundaries are in order here as is a recognition that there is a lot more to TEC than the civil rights agenda. Isn’t there?

    • Jay Mullinix says:


      I have to agree with you. I fear that in many places (certainly not all, praise God) the Episcopal Church has become a sort of chaplaincy for a specific set: educated upper-middle class (usually) whites looking to continue their euphoric 1960s rebellion against a perceived establishment (usually identified as politically and theologically conservative and traditionalist) As an Episcopalian I am genuinely saddened by this turn of events, but at the same time the responsibility for it lies squarely and firmly on our own shoulders. We are not being bullied or persecuted. Far from it. We are the ones who have acted contrary to the spirit of true Communion and mutual relationship and tried to force the rest of the entire Anglican Communion to accommodate us. To be in relationship and communion implies accountability to the other. To be Catholic (and we do still claim to believe in and practice catholicity) means you give up the right to innovate, no matter how good of an idea you may think the innovation is; that you acknowledge that we can discuss anything but that the church makes its decisions together. Over and over and over again the other provinces (and not just the Africans. They are certainly the most spoken of and singled out by those pushing the progressive agenda but they are far from alone) have pleaded with us not to continue the path we are pursuing, telling us this is not the mind of the wider Communion and asking us to consider the effect of our actions on more than just ourselves. We have decided we can do what we want, act in counter-distinction to the wider Communion (to say nothing of the overwhelming majority of the rest of worldwide Christianity and, more, the whole 2000 year history of the church) and that we should not be accountable to those we are in relationship with for this, that they should just accept it. We have acted individually and self-autonomously. This is certainly very American, but it is in no way Catholic.

  45. Scripture being understood by the tradition of the Church is the very reason why the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church does not embrace the homosexual lifestyle as God’s desire for his people. Language of “my Church” and likening this meeting to an Apostolic Council I think gets at the real issue, which is HUBRIS. If the Episcopal Church can do whatever it wants without the consent of Rome or the Orthodox, then it has become sectarian and no better than the worst kind of fundamentalism. I believe that the Episcopal Church should leave the Anglican Communion and become its own entity. The TEC obviously knows more than their brothers and sisters in Rome, the Orthodox Church, and those primitive Anglicans in places like Africa. American Exceptionalism now has a theological home in the TEC and your religion can function unfettered in the good ole U.S.A. The new motto: “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You to a Brave New World.” Good luck with that!

  46. I recently joined the Episcopal Church after being a United Methodist for many, many years. I have come to love TEC, its mission and ministry, its people, its values.
    While I am religious, I am also pragmatic. I have heard some theories that the vote of the majority of primates to sanction TEC is not religious at all but a power grab. It may well be. I also hope the members of the Anglican Communion that voted for these sanction expect the money to keep flowing. While some have argued passionately that cutting the money off would be un-Christian, I feel anyone who makes a decision should be willing to accept the consequences. Also, wouldn’t any money from TEC be “tainted” because of our supposed sins? Just askin’.
    In the four Gospels, Jesus mentioned homosexuality exactly zero times. He did mention divorce. The only mention of homosexuality in the New Testament is by Paul, and he thought at least under some circumstances men and women shouldn’t get married. The condemnation of homosexuality is in the Hebrew Scriptures. Along with the condemnation of homosexuality are rules against planting different crops together, working on the Sabbath, rules for selling your daughter into slavery, etc. You get the idea.

  47. Evelyn Piety says:

    I woke up this morning knowing that the first thing I needed to do was to re-read the remarkable and, in my opinion awesome, document “To Set Our Hope on Christ.” Although written about 10 years ago, it is still relevant and I think those on all sides of the current discussion would benefit from reading it. A copy may be found here:
    Grace and peace to all!

  48. Don McCleary says:

    The reality is that many informed Episcopalians have already left the Anglican Communion as the Primates of the Global South and ACNA do not speak for the TEC or for that matter the Church of Canada. TEC can now use the money it sends to Canterbury and to the other provinces of the Anglican Communion to those churches that welcome TEC’s financial assistance and are open to our church’s inclusiveness. I thank the Bishops of TEC for standing together on the issues that have led to this sad turn of events. We can use the funds we would otherwise send to other provinces to support missions and programs here and in places that are open to our vision.

  49. Grace Dalton says:

    The tragedy is that all this discussion about sexuality is detracting from the spread of the Gospel. Satan is using the Western world’s obsession with sex get in the way of many people ever considering Christianity. Human relationships in this life time, though important, are nothing compared to the eternal and immeasurable relationship that we have with can have with God – and yet so, so many people don’t even give Him a second thought because they hate Christianity on account of the sexuality issue. It shouldn’t matter – not when eternal life hangs in the balance.

  50. E.A. Garrett says:

    What are the angry Primates going to do when the Anglican Church of Canada, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Australia, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Church in Wales and even the Church of England join us in recognizing same sex marriages as is the civil law in the majority of those places.

    Quite frankly for me I’m more concerned about being in communion with the above provinces than with those of the angry voices.

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