Sunday, June 22, 2008

Who Broke the London Gay Wedding Story and Why?

It would seem that someone chose to release the liturgy with the words "With my body, I thee worship". The Episcopal Cafe, a ministry of the Diocese of Washington, claims that they had this up with the liturgy first. The Episcopal Cafe post in "The Lead" with the liturgy is date stamped "Posted by Ann Fontaine on June 14, 2008 11:30 AM". And a subsequent post the same day reads:

The Sunday Mail and the Sunday Telegraph have reports on the news broken earlier today on The Lead of the marriage of two male priests.

The Telegraph story seems to imply that they were waiting for the signal to disclose the information:
An Anglican church has held a homosexual "wedding" for the first time in a move that will deepen the rift between liberals and traditionalists, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

In the comments below the original story in The Lead, Jim Naughton, the founder and editor in chief of Episcopal Café and canon for communications and advancement in the Diocese of Washington, wrote:

I dunno gang, I think this deserves the publicity it got. Rings, trumpets, 300 people, one of London's oldest churches, a priest from Westminster Abbey, and a service that was just a handful of tweaks away from the BCP. Makes for an awfully good story. Not only that, it was clearly intended to look as much like a wedding as possible. (Which is fine by me, but let's admit that it went as far in that direction as it could.) If events such as this one have been happening on a regular basis, we sure haven't heard about them in this sort of detail.

For me the point here has nothing to do with GAFCON and everything to do with the tremendous hypocrisy of the Church of England. (It isn't respect for Peter Akinola that keeps us form doing what we should do on the issue of full inclusion; it's respect for Rowan Williams and the Anglican Communion Office.) The Episcopal Church underwent an international inquiry and an organized attempt to subvert its governing structure because not every bishop would agree to quash blessings that look a lot less like weddings than this one did. Our bishops were involved in word by word wrangling with the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting and the ACC over this issue in New Orleans. Our future participation in the Communion was said to be at stake. And now, lo and behold, priests in the C of E crawl out further on this branch than we ever have and what are the consequences for its hierarchy?

We've been playing Rowan Williams' game since we allowed our newly-elected PB to come into the House of Deputies and argue on behalf of B033. Now we see that even the Church of England isn't playing Rowan Williams' game. We pay the price in conscience for our seat at the Anglican table, whereas the Church of England does not. Who negotiated this deal?

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