Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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Newsflash: A Bishop Lied

This post is based directly on this from David Fischler.

I wish it was a newsflash when a bishop tells an outrageous lie. But it's not. I've seen it happen right before my eyes.

Well, here is a new one for you. The bishops of the Episcopal Church (my former denomination) are meeting in New Orleans this week. The New York Times interviewed Bishop Jon Bruno, the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles. They asked him about same-sex blessings in the Episcopal Church. Here is a bit of that interview.

Bruno (in response to another question) The fact is that we (the Episcopal Church) have never authorized same sex unions.

New York Times Reporter: it happens on the diocesan level all the time.

Bruno: Not in my diocese. It does not happen with my permission.



Really? Compare this statement to this from the New York Times on Sunday:

Robert Walter Stanley and Robert Karl Marohn celebrated their union yesterday at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Rev. Gabriel Ferrer led the commitment ceremony. The Rev. Maryetta Anschutz, also an Episcopal priest, participated.



I wonder if Bishop Bruno remembers this event:

On May l6, 2004, Bishop Bruno of Los Angeles blessed the union of Malcolm and Mark Thompson in a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral, on the 20th anniversary of their life partnership. Mark, former cultural editor of the Advocate news magazine, is a therapist, photographer, activist, editor of “Long Road to Freedom: the Advocate History of the Gay and Lesbian Movement,” and author of a famed trilogy: “Gay Spirit,” “Gay Soul” and “Gay Body.” (Via StandFirm, MCJ, and T19.)



David Fischer asks if Bishop Bruno gave himself permission to take part in this blessed event. It is certainly possible that, like all the others happening in his diocese, this one was a rogue operation by an out-of-control cleric.

When contacted by The Living Church, a Episcopal news service, the Rev. Susan Russell, associate rector at All Saints’ Church, Pasadena, and president of Integrity, clarified the apparent contradiction.

“Same-sex blessings occur in the Diocese of Los Angeles all the time,” she said listing several parishes including her own at which same-sex blessings had recently been performed. “We don’t ask for permission because Bishop Bruno has told us that he cannot give it until General Convention approves an official liturgy. He has told us that we are free to exercise appropriate pastoral care” for parishioners."



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