Did you see this recent Statement ( below Sisk of NYC)? Look at it not only as a capitulation to error and immorality via the adoption of human rights and doctrines of personal self-fulfillment & autonomy, but also in another way, which has all kinds of implications for the Anglican Way.
Bishop Sisk uses the language of "discernment" in what amounts to the application of the Anglican doctrine of reception [adapted/invented in 1988 by the Lambeth Conference for the sole purpose of dealing with wide disagreement over women’s ordination] to homosexual acts.
The "conservative liberals" keep claiming that there is no connection between the ordination of women and the blessing of gay unions/sodomy, even as those pushing gay unions/sodomy increasingly invoke the language and methodology of the innovation of ordaining women. There is likely much trouble ahead on this score & connection! The ordination of women will come back as it were to haunt those who resolutely oppose the blessing of gay unions but favor women as bishops/presbyters.
Bishop Sisk's Statement on the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions
STATEMENT ON THE BLESSING OF SAME-SEX UNIONS
The Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk
Bishop of New York
I first grappled with the question of blessing same-sex unions more than 30 years ago when I came to know a deeply committed lesbian couple in the congregation I then served. I found myself wondering what I would do if they asked me to bless their union. Although they never asked, I concluded that I would be willing to offer such prayers, although I knew such a blessing would lack the assent of the larger church. I came to that decision based upon my observation that this couple’s commitment to each other appeared to me to be integral to their lives as faithful followers of Christ.
If the question had been presented to me in the abstract, I doubt very much that I would have ever reached that conclusion. However, I found myself confronted not by a hypothetical question but by two people, alive in themselves and alive in the faith that so clearly nourished them and strengthened their witness. It was through their fidelity, and the obvious fruitfulness of their lives in Christ, that I was moved to a new place of understanding. I believe that it is through the lived experience of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit animating the lives of committed same-sex couples that the larger Church will eventually come to a new understanding of those relationships. I know that this process of thoughtful pastoral discernment, and the prayerful exploration of different modes of affirmation, is underway in many churches in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and I am sympathetic to it.
However, it takes time for the Church as a whole to reach a common mind about any such new understanding. I do not believe that this process of discernment can or should be determined simply by an up or down vote of a legislative body. Parliamentary and legislative actions rarely resolve such fundamentally pastoral issues; any truly new understanding within the Church needs to grow out of the lived experience of the People of God.
I believe that we are in a transitional moment. We are at a time between times when numbers among us believe that God’s will in this matter clearly favors, even demands, such blessings, while others, perhaps the majority among us, most emphatically do not agree. As a bishop, I bear responsibility to both groups in my diocese, as well as all whose views are less strongly held. I am a pastor to all, and in that work I must be honest and forthcoming about my own views. However, it is not my vocation to substitute my own experience and convictions for those of the larger community of faith, or to deny to them the opportunity to clarify their understanding as they grapple with this question themselves. That opportunity is their right.
I have come to the conclusion that the best way for the Church to reach a common mind, the most promising way forward, is to recognize and accept the fact that we live in a time of deep disagreement. As we disagree, we must work hard to be respectful to opposing views. I am further convinced that we do not serve our Church well by attempting to force a resolution one way or the other. Instead, we must live within the tension of that disagreement, and allow time for the Spirit to work among us. We will best experience that working not in legislative action but in the halting, tentative, and yet ultimately decisive way we have experienced the Spirit working among us through the ages.
(note my booklet/essay THE DOCTRINE OF RECEPTION AND THE CONSECRATION OF WOMEN AS BISHOPS will be available soon from the Latimer House Trust in Great Britain)
The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon.)