A PASTORAL MESSAGE TO THE DIOCESE OF DALLAS

The 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, from July 4-12 in Indianapolis, has now concluded. I cannot report on the full range of actions taken by this Convention. Here, I will devote my comments primarily to one such action.

By now, you will know from widespread press reports that the General Convention has authorized rites for the blessing of committed same-sex relationships. For many Episcopalians, this action will come as no surprise. Some within our Diocese will celebrate this action. Some will be angry or disappointed. Some will simply walk away from our churches. This division seems to be the outcome of every General Convention in recent years.

For the record, you should know that your Bishops voted no on the relevant resolution, as did your entire Deputation.

The Convention authorized the new rite for “provisional use.” Exactly what a “provisional use” rite is is unclear: there is no provision if you will for such an authorization in either the Constitution or Canons of this Church. Manifestly, it is a temporary rite, and the resolution anticipates “further development,” study and comment on it.