The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops has been meeting behind closed doors for months, working with a committee to craft a "pastoral teaching" on sexuality.
When the fourth draft of the secret document was distributed to the bishops, a copy was leaked to a renewal group, Episcopalians United (EU).
EU leaders, evangelicals, and other conservatives then sounded the alarm that the draft would weaken the denomination's commitment to Scripture and not prohibit homosexual unions and ordinations.
Presiding Bishop Edmund Browning said EU's public release of the draft teaching has been "utterly reprehensible." Central Florida's Bishop John Howe, responding in a letter to Browning, said EU has "let the cat out of the bag; and a sorry cat it is." Howe said the document as it stands is "blatantly unresponsive" to the bishops, and "unacceptably unchristian."
In addition, the recently released fifth draft appears to grant a "local option" to bishops in ordaining homosexuals.
This month the denomination's triennial general convention will gather in Indianapolis to struggle not only over sexuality, but also over the decline in local support for denominational bureaucracy.
Copyright © 1994 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
More from this Issue
Read These Next
- TrendingRussell Moore: I Already Miss Tim Keller’s Wise VoiceThe late pastor theologian gave strong counsel to me and so many others in ministry.
- From the MagazineWhen Politics Saved 25 Million LivesTwenty years ago, Republicans, Democrats, evangelicals, gay activists, and African leaders joined forces to combat AIDS. Will their legacy survive today’s partisanship?
- RelatedUnited Methodists Lose 1,800 Churches in Split Over LGBT StanceThe initial departures, mostly concentrated in the South, represent around 6 percent of the denomination—not as dramatic as the “schism” some feared.
- Editor's PickWorship Music Is Emotionally Manipulative. Do You Trust the Leader Plucking the Strings?The Spirit is at work, but so are the mechanisms around high-production sets.