Thinking Anglicans

Tennessee diocese implements same-sex marriage procedures

We reported earlier on the situation in the Diocese of Albany in Upstate New York. Another of the previously dissenting bishops in the Diocese of Tennessee (which covers the Middle portion of that state) has taken a rather different course of action:

Episcopal News Service Tennessee bishop recruits neighboring colleague to implement same-sex marriage rites

Bishop John Bauerschmidt announced Jan. 18 that neighboring Bishop Brian Cole of East Tennessee will “provide pastoral support” to Tennessee couples, clergy and congregations who want to solemnize same-sex marriages.

To begin that process, Bauerschmidt wrote in a two-page description of his policy, all canonically resident clergy in the diocese must notify him and assure him that the cleric’s congregation agrees to their use.

Bauerschmidt, who opposes same-sex marriage, said that “where there is disagreement in teaching about the sacramental rite of marriage between bishop and clergy there can be no effective oversight of marriage by the diocesan bishop.” Thus, another bishop must be available to “provide whatever episcopal support is needed for couples and clergy preparing for marriage.”

Bauerschmidt said his policy applies whether the trial-use rites or any other marriage rite is used…

The Living Church Same-sex Marriage In the Diocese of Tennessee

Tennessean Tennessee bishop issues same-sex wedding guidelines for Episcopal clergy, couples

Here are links to the original documents:

Readers may find interesting the materials linked in footnote 1 to the latter. These were published in 2011.

[1] The Anglican Theological Review, Vol.93.1, “Same-Sex Relationships and the Nature of Marriage: A Theological Colloquy” contains both “traditional” and “liberal” accounts of marriage. This work was commissioned by the Episcopal House of Bishops’ Theology Committee. http://www.anglicantheologicalreview.org/read/issue/48/

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crsAndrew GodsallKurt HillTobias Stanislas HallerSimon Sarmiento Recent comment authors
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Tobias Stanislas Haller
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This appears to me to be a correct, consistent, and careful application of the requirements of B012, given his position on the underlying issue. I would not expect anything else from Bishop Bauerschmidt. I worked closely with him in the Special Legislative Committee addressing the marriage resolutions in 2015, and though we disagreed on many important issues, he was always willing to engage in cordial and substantive work.

crs
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crs

I agree.

I wonder what you think about this odd B012 arrangement and how long it will exist as is? Will GC 2021 permit it further scope? Why? That is, for what “correct, consistent, and careful” reasoning long term?

I cannot see consents being given to the replacements of the B012 Bishops when they retire. Do you disagree and on what grounds if so?

Thank you.

Andrew Godsall
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Andrew Godsall

A rather more pertinent question would be: why can’t Bishop Love act in a similar manner?

crs
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crs

No, the pertinent question is the one I posed. Why would you agree to an arrangement that times out, or that will lead to your replacement not receiving consents. Are these arrangements stable and baked in, or like B012 itself, confected and built for temporary ground gains? BO12 does not look to me like a stable or even logical resolution, and resolutions are themselves but mind-of-the-house kinds of things.

Why would one not clarify this situation and instead change the subject (“hey, +Love, get in line”). Is there something awkward about addressing the question and the reality it presupposes?

Andrew Godsall
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Andrew Godsall

“BO12 does not look to me like a stable or even logical resolution, and resolutions are themselves but mind-of-the-house kinds of things.”

You mean rather like Lambeth 1.10? That’s the root cause of all this trouble.

crs
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crs

No, not at all. B012 will change. Lambeth 1.10 has remained the same.

You’ll need a different one-liner!

Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

Well said, Andrew!

Tobias Stanislas Haller
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I’m not quite sure what you mean by “odd” and “further scope,” if you would care to elaborate. As Bishop Bauerschmidt notes in his Implementation document (cited above) B012 is framed as the Constitution and Canons specify, and it covers the entire Episcopal Church, including those parts of it not part of the U.S. It is to his Implementation Document I apply “correct, consistent, and careful.” One could add, “compliant.” However, to address your question, I expect B012 to remain in place until there is consensus for revision of the BCP; as ¶3 of B012 itself states. Resolution A068 established… Read more »

crs
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crs

Thanks for the effort you make to explain the future as you see it, and for trying to respond sincerely.

My own take is that Dioceses and Bishops in TEC “folded into” developments you signal are forthcoming (“any such plan”) will perforce become “compliant” or will face your what you write: “I seriously doubt they would be confirmed.”

Your conclusion as written speaks both to the outome you pronounce and also the terrain you inhabit to speak so finally. This is useful as a public word on where TEC is.

Grace and peace.