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Episcopal leaders OK resolution

Sunday, November 03, 2002

By Ann Rodgers-Melnick, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Clergy and laity of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted overwhelmingly to reject the blessing of same-sex unions, gender-neutral liturgical language for the Trinity and any efforts by the national church to force bishops and priests to violate traditional Christian beliefs.

 
 
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The resolution was adopted yesterday during the annual diocesan convention in Washington County at the Holiday Inn, Meadowlands.

The 93 priests and deacons at the convention favored it 72-14, with six abstentions. The 174 lay deputies adopted it 119-49, with six abstentions, according to Ronda Carman, a spokeswoman for the diocese.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh is known as a center of theological conservatism in a denomination that is much more liberal nationally.

The resolution:

dot.gif Affirms the biblical names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the Trinity and says substitutes such as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer should not be used in liturgies. The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer uses the traditional language, but some priests experiment with other terms.

dot.gif Says that sexual intimacy can only be blessed in a marriage between a man and a woman. Although the Episcopal Church has not approved the blessing of same-sex relationships, some bishops have approved such ceremonies by their priests.

dot.gif Affirms the "right of conscience" for Episcopalians who cannot accept new church practices that contradict the historic faith and the beliefs of the 70 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion.

Although the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh ordains female priests, many of its leaders, including some ordained women, objected when the national church ruled that bishops could no longer refuse to ordain women.


Ann Rodgers-Melnick can be reached at arodgersmelnick@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1416.

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