Episcopal Church Allows Ordination Of Gay Clergy

07.15.09 | FL News Team

The American branch of the Anglican faith has signed off on a resolution to ordain openly gay and lesbian clergy. The Episcopal Church's two main decision-making bodies easily passed the measure Tuesday at the church's General Convention in Anaheim, California. The resolution says of gay and lesbian faithful, quote, "God has called and may call such individuals to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church." It also officially allows baptized membership in the Episcopal Church to, quote, "same-sex couples living in lifelong committed relationships characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God." A spokeswoman for the church says the resolution does not address the issue of same-sex marriage.

 

The Episcopal Church ordained its first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, back in 2003. The decision opened up a deep rift with other members of the worldwide Anglican Communion and led to a large group of conservatives to break away from the Episcopal Church. They cemented the formation of the Anglican Church in North America last month. The rival church already claims to have 100-thousand members. The Episcopal church boasts roughly two-million followers.