ECUSA Head: Ban on Gay 'Marriage' Blessings Unlikely

On Sunday, October 24, 2004, the head of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) said he thought a ban on the blessing of same-sex “marriages” was unlikely, despite the recent release of a church report on homosexuality that called for a complete moratorium on such "blessings".

Frank Griswold, head bishop of the ECUSA said the denomination’s bishops will meet again on January 2005 to discuss the full implications of the Windsor Report on homosexuality and church unity. The Report, which was released on Monday, Oct. 18, chided the US branch of the Anglican Communion for consecrating an openly gay bishop last year. The Windsor Report also asked Anglican Communion members to halt such ordinations as well as the blessings of homosexual unions.

Upon reading the report, Gene Robinson, the homosexual bishop whose ordination stirred the near-schismatic debate within the Anglican Church, said he did not regret his appointment.

"We regret how difficult this made things in many parts of the communion," Robinson said. "Certainly, I do not regret that my becoming a bishop has been a real blessing"

Griswold, who consecrated the gay bishop, said that despite the strife and schism, he would “probably” ordain Robinson again. Griswold added that more than likely, blessings of gay relationships will continue in the church.

"Probably in an appropriate way pastoral care will be extended to gay and lesbian people," said Griswold. "I'm not exactly sure what will happen in terms of some formal moratorium. I rather doubt that will occur."

Griswold added that “the confirmation process [to ordain homosexual bishops] will be guided now by the greater sensitivities that we would all have to how people feel in other parts of the communion."

"I think the overwhelming reality of Anglicanism is what I would call the diverse center, which is rather silent. You only hear from the edges. I think the diverse center which is the overwhelming reality will carry the Church forward though there may be some attrition at either end," Griswold continued.