Statement from the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas

…If marriage has been established by God in creation, as most of the world’s Anglicans believe, then no Church council or civil court can ever redefine marriage. This week’s attempt to do so will cause considerable concern worldwide, acknowledged by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his recent expression of “deep concern” about how the Episcopal Church’s actions will add to the stress and distress throughout the Anglican Communion. Of course, the constitution of the Episcopal Church defines us as “a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, of those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces, and regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.” The Diocese of Dallas desires and intends to live out these words by respecting the Communion’s teaching on marriage and by upholding the Book of Common Prayer and the authority of God’s Word. We are grateful for the General Convention’s appropriate acknowledgement that trial rites will not be used in a diocese without the permission of the Diocesan Bishop.

The Diocese of Dallas has a canon on marriage that reads, in part, that “As used in this Diocese, the terms ”˜Holy Matrimony’ and ”˜Marriage’ shall refer to the exclusive physical and spiritual union of one man and one woman, by mutual consent of the heart, mind and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong.
The blessing of sexual relationships between persons of the same sex is prohibited in churches, missions and congregations of this Diocese; and clergy persons resident or licensed in this Diocese are prohibited from performing such blessings in any venue.”…

Read it all [pdf]


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Polity & Canons

9 comments on “Statement from the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas

  1. CSeitz-ACI says:

    Headline interesting…one wonders when the TEC forces will react to this.

  2. SC blu cat lady says:

    Good question. It reminds me of some of thing that happened here in SC. I do believe some of those events were part of the charges against +Mark Lawrence. When will there be backlash against the standing committee /bishop? Depends on quickly they can get together some laity to submit charges to the DBB…..sadly….

  3. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Dallas is one of those beacons on a hill in a dark land. May God bless, protect and prosper them and their witness.

  4. Marie Blocher says:

    SC blu cat lady,
    Dallas has elected a new Bishop, and is waiting on the necessary consents.
    The most immediate concern is whether the issue will cause those consents to not be forthcoming. You, in SC, know that scenario quite well.

  5. CSeitz-ACI says:

    Episcopal Café shows this issue in a happy light.

  6. Karen B. says:

    I don’t often link Episcopal Cafe, but they have put together a very helpful roundup on the post-General Convention statements by the diocesan bishops who voted NO on resolution A036 changing the marriage canon.

    Not all bishops have yet issued statements, but it’s a good starting point in terms of a compilation.

  7. Karen B. says:

    The comments to that Episcopal Cafe article are quite interesting. There’s one in particular that’s pretty “chilling”

    [i]Those Bishops who find themselves unable to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church as articulated by the General Convention have no option but to resign their orders.[/i]
    – Paul Burrows (who is an Episcopal rector in the Dioc. of California)

    Then right below it is this comment:
    [i]And yet the GC legislation allows them to forbid same gender marriage in their dioceses. Then, at the same time it requires them to make accommodation to same gender couples who request to be married. So we will need to see how they fulfill both their right and their obligation.[/i]

    We really need to keep the bishops who voted No in our prayers that God would guide them in how to respond and remain faithful to Christ and Scripture.

  8. Karen B. says:

    And… continuing to read the comments at Episcopal Cafe, Susan Russell chimes in following one disappointed commenter who basically was saying nothing had really changed if bishops are still allowed to opt out. She writes: (emphasis added)

    [blockquote]As I’ve said in other venues: A054 will be a bridge too far for some and not far enough for others. [b]But what is notable, heartening and historic are these words: “Bishops exercising ecclesiastical authority …. will make provision for all couples asking to be married in this Church to have access to these liturgies.” Not are encouraged, urged or otherwise politely nudged to make provision. The word is “will.”[/b]

    And the work will be making sure that happens.

    Because history tells us that what changes hearts and minds is NOT legislation. Nobody opposed to the ordination of women changed their mind because General Convention adopted legislation in 1976 — they changed their mind because the legislation opened the way for them to experience the ministry of women who had been ordained. And what will change the minds of those opposed to our marriages will not be the letter of the legislation adopted last week in Salt Lake City — it will be the incarnational experience of married couples living happily ever after in our communities and in our pews.

    Yes, it would be wonderful to flip a switch and reverse centuries of homophobia in one fell swoop. What happened in Salt Lake City falls short of that — but it does give us the opportunity to continue to transform this church on the journey to the place where there will truly be NO outcasts.[/blockquote]

  9. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #8, I did not realize anyone believed otherwise.
    Bishops must make provision.
    At issue is how the power exerts itself, in time, as the hard liners are insistent that living next to a pro-LGBT diocese with decent roads is not ‘make provision’. But conservative bishops may hold the view that is sufficient, sad though it is given GC.
    I suppose one way of thinking about this is, which species of progressive will win as they eliminate all resistance in a 3 year window.