Twelve bishops spoke out Wednesday against the U.S. Episcopal Church's approval of a provisional rite to bless same-sex unions — a resolution that passed with flying colors on Tuesday.
During the House of Bishops' morning session on Wednesday, Rt. Rev. Michael G. Smith, bishop of North Dakota, spoke on behalf of the bishops in a dissenting statement: "We find ourselves between the proverbial 'rock and a hard place.'" According to the church's Episcopal News Service, Smith went on to explain their opposition to authorizing same-sex blessings, citing religious texts.
The following bishops were part of the dissenting statement, but affirmed their loyalty to the church:
- John Bauerschmidt, Diocese of Tennessee
- Gregory Brewer, Diocese of Central Florida
- Dan Herzog, Diocese of Albany (former)
- Russell Jacobus, Diocese of Fond du Lac
- Paul Lambert, Diocese of Dallas Suffragan
- Ed Little, Diocese of Northern Indiana
- Bill Love, Diocese of Albany
- Daniel Martins, Diocese of Springfield
- Ed Salmon, Diocese of South Carolina (former)
- William Skilton, Diocese of Dominican Republic (former)
- Michael G. Smith, Diocese of North Dakota
- James Stanton, Diocese of Dallas
On Tuesday, the Episcopal Church became the largest church in the United States to bless gay unions: 78 percent approved the resolution in the House of Deputies' lay order, while 76 percent approved in the clergy order. This measure, Resolution A049, was initially approved Monday during the church's 77th General Convention in Indianapolis.
The U.S. Episcopal Church has 2 million members. It is an independent church affiliated with the worldwide Anglican Communion.
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