- Human Sexuality (Section H: 90-104)
- The Scriptures (Section I; 106-120)
- The Anglican Covenant (Section J: 121-130)
- The Windsor Process (Section K: 131-137)
131. The moratoria cover three separate but related issues: Episcopal ordinations of partnered homosexual people, the blessing of same-sex unions; cross-border incursions by bishops. There is widespread support for the moratoria. This could be the “generous act of love” the communion is looking for.
Or, it could be the continued scapegoating of a percentage of the baptized in order to preserve the institutional unity of the Anglican Communion.
The moratoria could be taken as part of a sign of the bishops’ affection, trust and goodwill towards the Archbishop of Canterbury and one another.
How nice for him and for them. How sad for the LGBT "strangers at the gate" who will hear in this edict from Canterbury one more time that there are not enough crumbs of affection, trust or goodwill left for them to gather up from under the table of the bishops who are more interested in preserving their power and their privilege than they are in proclaiming liberation to the captive or freedom to the oppressed.
The moratoria will be difficult to enforce, so there are some fears as to whether it will hold.
It will be impossible to enforce and what it "holds" is the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church hostage to the bigotry, bias and ignorance of those who are willing to perpetuate the evil of sacramental apartheid in the church by excluding a percentage of the baptized from a percentage of the sacraments.
But there is a desire to make it do so.
Of course there is. Just as there is a desire to continue to ignore the 30 year commitment of the "communion-at-large" to listen to the witness of gay and lesbian Christians. There is always a desire by those with power to continue to oppress and marginalize the "other."
There are questions to be explored in relation to how long the moratoria are intended to serve. Perhaps the moratoria could be seen as a “season of gracious restraint.”
The answer to those questions is that the season is over, the offering has been made the church needs to move on. Anyone who believes continued moratoria or sacrifice on the part of the LGBT faithful will preserve the unity of the Communion in the face of the demands of the Gafconistas for a Communion "purified" of all but their fellow sola scriptura travelers is living in Fanstasyland. There is no season long enough and no compromise good enough. It's time to realize that, refuse to be blackmailed into any further actions of bigotry and get on with the mission and ministry of the Gospel.
In relation to moratorium 2 there is a desire to clarify precisely what is proscribed. Most believe it relates to public authorised rites, rather than pastoral support.
And whatever you call it, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck .. it's a duck. This call for moratoria on the church's blessing on the already blessed relationships of gay and lesbian couples continues to perpetuate a separate-but-inherently-unequal treatment of the LGBT baptized and it is time for it to go.
It is critical that all three moratoria are seen as inseparable and must be applied equally.
What is critical is that the bishops of this church step up and start acting like pastors to all their people, not just the straight ones.
What is critical is that the mission and ministry of a people of God called to proclaim Good News to all people quit allowing that Great Commission to be distracted, derailed, dismissed and detoured by those who are determined to use human sexuality as a wedge issue to polarize and divide.
What is critical is that the historic spirit of Anglican comprehensiveness be allowed to escape the stranglehold of homophobic bigotry and lead us to a GENUINE place of mutual generosity that includes all the baptized at the banquet table of the One who loved us enough to become one of us and then called us to walk in love with each other.
Our bishops have one more opportunity to make their voices heard in their Indaba groups tomorrow before this "draft" comes final and I know for a fact certain that many of them have been doing precisely that against extraordinary odds and at significant cost.
Pray for the bishops. Pray for the church. And pray that we refuse to settle for "well, it could have been worse" ... and that we continue to challenge this church and communion of ours to live up to its high calling to BE the Body of Christ in the World.