Rationale for this post as below.
Apparently the College of Bishops in the diocese is trying to circumvent a vote on same-sex blessings that would likely to lead to our becoming the seventh synod to approve them. The pastoral plan is as follows:
* "Episcopal permission be given to a limited number of parishes, based on Episcopal discernment, to offer prayers and blessing (but not the nuptial blessing) to same-sex couples in stable, long-term, committed relationships, as an extension of the current pastoral norms.
* Episcopal guidelines on the nature of the prayers/blessing will be established. A particular rite will not be authorized.
* Episcopal permission for blessings will be required.
* Evaluation of this pastoral response will be undertaken after one year.
* No parish or clergy will be required to participate.
* A Bishop’s Commission will be formed to create the guidelines, monitor activity and review. "
A couple of points:
"Bishop Johnson said the bishops believe the issue of same-sex blessings requires a pastoral response rather than a legislative decision such as a vote at synod."
I'll bet they do.
"He said that 'We are committed to remaining in alignment with the decisions and recommendations of General Synod and Lambeth,' and that 'At the same time, we are trying to act in accordance with the House of Bishops’ statement to develop the most generous pastoral response to our local situation. Given that, we think that a pastoral response and not a legislative one is the correct way to move forward.'"
So the introduction of SSBs by episcopal fiat complies with the "moratorium" but synodical legislation of them wouldn't? Sounds a bit like Tract 90 reasoning to me. Why not just call the fairly feeble moratorium for what it is?