Read it carefully and read it all.
I suppose I’d have to concede that the statement demonstrates “gracious restraint”, more or less. However, as long as they’re parsing the meaning of words, I’d ask for clarification regarding how to distinguish “formal” blessings from “informal” blessings. Does the Church recognize varying levels of “blessing”, or differing efficacies? To what degree can a blessing have any legitimacy if the bishop has withheld (or at least not granted) the authority for it? If it’s unofficial, and (presumably) carries less or no weight, why would anybody bother?
While there is no technical difference, I think there is a perception difference between what is done in a private home and what is done in the Church building. What is done in public is assumed to have the appoval of the authority in the diocese.
I would like to see all blessing of what Holy Scripture refers to as “sin” stopped, but we cannot stop what happens in private. We can, however, stop (or at least impose some discipline on) what happens in public or in public places.
Although I found the bit about “intereting” the “moritorium” as applying only to the official and province wide acceptance of a formal liturgy. I would say that the moritoria applies to all public blessings of same sex unions – in churches or public venues such as hotels, parks, church buildings (such as a parish hall) or rented venues. The problem, from the reasserter side, is not that the liturgy is bad per se, but that what is being blessed is what Holy Scripture (and the Anglican Communion) calls sin.
It is all a matter of semantics.
Here they are telling us the will not “Authorize a rite” of same sex blessing.
What they promised to God and their GS brothers at Lambeth was that they would not authorize “a rite of same sex blessing.”
What is the difference?
Simple- under their definition per this communique- they can [i]perform[/i] all the ssbs they want to, as long as they do not include a formal liturgy in the prayer book.
Under what they have told the GS, they will not perform ssbs.
Its kinda like how Ottawa defines “moratoria”- which is the complete cessation of any “border crossing” or Anglican Church formation, but which allows SSBs as long as they are not written into the prayer book as “discernment.”
Personally, I think we need to discern a number of bishops out of the Anglican Communion.
Sorry, but in both cases, even the ABoC has made it clear that “moratorium” means ceasing the offending activity. The offending activity is the SSBs, whether they are written into the prayer book, or not.
While not having any substantial disagreement with any of the above comments, I think it does little good to try to parse a statement that is designed to protect all of the interest groups that had a place at the table. Ultimately, it will protect those who stay within the spirit of the compromise. It will not protect those who believe that what God has already revealed to His people has been Truth that cannot be set aside.
Sadly, what you have here is what you will have from virtually all of the Western provinces in the Communion – a response that honors the political state of things above all else and offers nothing to the laity about the state of the teaching of the churches, nor any understanding of the historic teaching and wisdom of the Church nor the classical or traditional interpretation of Holy Scripture. In it you find a tacit endorsement of the growing privatization of spirituality and faith that has already been undermining Western Anglicanism for 70 years. Those who like ACI and Communion Partners believe in the Covenant process, beware. You will never have anything more from a Covenant than the lowest common denominator religion that is the de facto consensus of the Communion already. You may well get some kind of disciplinary language on paper, but these two documents make clear that in the current make-up of the provinces of the Anglican Communion, nothing will be enforceable nor particularly persuasive in the direction of obedience to the teaching of Holy Scripture. The tiny, dying provinces of the Communion are committed to their late modern/post-modern progressive version of self-governance and they will be happy, with the help of American money, to continue to maintain a very undemocratic influence far beyond their numbers.
From the Scottish we get what we would expect – a very pragmatic, terse, dry, generally conservative with respect to the existing consensus, and in some ways a stoic response. But consider this document in light of the Scottish Bishops’ statement on the Covenant, and the message is even darker. This document expresses the Scottish cultural flavor of religion that the other one makes so very clear to be one of the principal objects that the province should fight for. They will not submit to the mind of the Communion to be bound by a covenant that leaves them less able to practice their Scottish episcopalianism as they see fit. It is virtually identical to the attitudes expressed by the American, Canadian, and Welsh bishops. They will not have a religion that makes a significant portion of the current membership uncomfortable. Please excuse me for appearing judgmental by saying without qualification that this is not the historic Faith of Christ our God and His Church.
Aye, Scots who will with ECUSA/TEC/GCC/EO-PAC bleed, eh?