Wednesday, May 26, 2004

From Virtuosity
All culture arises out of religion. When religious faith decays, culture must decline, though often seeming to flourish for a space after the religion which has nourished it has sunk into disbelief.... no cultured person should remain indifferent to erosion of apprehension of the transcendent.

- Russell Kirk, Eliot and His Age (Eliot was an Anglo-Catholic)

From Virtuosity via The Washington Times
Conservative Episcopalians protest ‘wedding’
What's wrong with this picture?

A conservative Episcopal group will protest a same-sex "wedding" taking place today on church property in the rural community of Leonardtown in St. Mary's County, Maryland.

The ceremony involving two lesbians is so controversial among the members of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church that it was moved out of the sanctuary and into the parish hall. The church's pastor, the Rev. Paula Halliday, decided to not participate.

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington is supplying a cleric to conduct the same-sex ceremony, which is drawing an estimated 160 guests.

But this same diocese that is having this pretend wedding at the same time has cheesed off Mrs Halliday, not because it's being done at her church:

Mrs. Halliday wrote the congregation, which draws between 100 and 110 people on Sundays, in a March letter that she was planning to conduct the ceremony, Mr. Naughton said.

"She got 53 responses," he added, "saying it was a great idea and [they were] supporting it."

But rather:

Mr. Naughton added that Mrs. Halliday will not attend the ceremony because of stress from the recent suspension of her husband, the Rev. Christopher Halliday, from ministry at St. George's Episcopal Church in nearby Valley Lee, Md. The diocese has forbidden Mr. Halliday from performing any priestly duties for the next three years "after he admitted to conducting an adulterous relationship with a woman outside the country," according to the diocese.

If they could change scripture and bend the church - try to bend reality - to accommodate the two ladies at St Andrew's, why stop there and not do the same for Mr Halliday in good Protestant fashion? No wonder the missus is put out. Sauce for the gander and all that.

"As clergy, we are given a sacred trust," Bishop Chane said in a statement. "When we cross that line, it's a very serious business. It does great damage to those of us in [the priesthood] and to the congregations."

I'd bet you one of those pretty gold-coloured dollar coins (the States' try at copying the UK's pound coin and the Canadian loonie but it didn't take) that if it were Mrs Halliday who was amorous with another woman, the PC folks in Washington wouldn't have reacted this way.

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