There is no way, short of a miraculous and full-scale changing of hearts and minds, for North American denominations to survive the homosexuality crisis. Denominations like the PCUSA, ELCA, RCA, UMC, and Episcopal Church will continue. They won't fold their tents and join the Southern Baptists (though wouldn't that be interesting!). I'm not suggesting most of our old, mainline denominations will disappear. But I do not see how any of these once flourishing denominations will make it through the present crisis intact.
And the sooner denominations admit this sobering reality the better.
Every denomination is different. The percentages on both sides of the issue and the official positions are not identical. But the basic contours of the problem are quite similar. more >>
The Episcopal Church's 77th General Convention concluded Thursday with the adoption of a long list of resolutions, from one that calls on the U.S. Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act to another providing rites for pet funerals.
Episcopal leaders, who met in Indianapolis for over a week, considered dozens of resolutions – the most controversial being the approval of transgender ordination and rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.
In protest, leaders from the Diocese of South Carolina, including its bishop, left the convention early after expressing clearly their belief that the decisions mark a departure from Scripture and Anglican tradition. more >>
Father Bernard Lynch, a homosexual Catholic priest and activist known for defying Vatican teachings, has once again challenged the Roman Catholic Church by revealing that he has been married to a man for the past 14 years. Lynch also blames teachings on celibacy for the child sex abuse cases gripping the Catholic Church.
Roman Catholic doctrine calls on all priests to be celibate, but Lynch, who has served in the ministry for over 40 years and moved to London from New York in the 90s, revealed in his new book, If It Wasn't Love: Sex, Death and God, that he is married and has been helping closeted gay priests in the English capital in his counseling program. He has also been marrying gay and lesbian couples in the church, despite Catholic doctrine prohibiting such a practice.
Explaining why he doesn't support celibacy for all Catholic priests, Lynch shared in an interview for SiriusXM radio that he believes celibacy is a special gift that only a select few receive – and those on whom this 'gift' is forced are in danger of repressing their nature, which leads to the sexual abuse cases the Catholic Church has been been facing in recent times. more >>
Conservative Episcopalians are calling Tuesday night's approval by leaders in The Episcopal Church of a rite for the blessing of same-sex unions "unbiblical."
"This General Convention action is unbiblical, unchristian, unanglican and unseemly," said the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon, canon theologian for the Diocese of South Carolina, in a statement Wednesday. "By making this decision, The Episcopal Church moves further away from Jesus Christ and his teaching."
The General Convention of The Episcopal Church passed, by a large majority, a resolution authorizing for provisional use the rite "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant." Beginning Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent, clergy – with permission from their bishop – will be able to bless same-sex relationships using the liturgy approved Tuesday. more >>
A legislation that opens the door to transgender ordination passed its final hurdle on Monday and was approved by leaders in The Episcopal Church. The measure passed both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.
The Episcopal General Convention voted to amend church laws to state: "No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age."
"This proposed revision is based upon our increased understanding and practice to respect the human dignity of transgender people – transsexuals, and others who differ from majority societal gender norms," an explanation for the legislation states. "Gender identity (one's inner sense of being male or female) and expression (the way in which one manifests that gender identity in the world) should not be bases for exclusion, in and of themselves, from consideration for participation in the ministries of the Church." more >>
The highest legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) rejected on Friday an attempt to reverse its ordination standards to once again ban partnered gay clergy.
The proposed measure would have reinstated a requirement that clergy live "a chaste and disciplined life, whether in holy marriage between a man and a woman or in single life."
It's been one year since the PC(USA) officially lifted the ban on openly gay clergy. Dozens of congregations have left the denomination since then, citing the liberal direction of the church body. more >>