July 2011

By David W Virtue, VOL

The Anglo-Catholic priest of St. Mark Episcopal Church in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has resigned from from his church because his bishop, Lawrence Provenzano endorsed New York’s passage of the Marriage Equality legislation enacted this week.

The Rev. Peter W.D. Bramble, 66, told VOL that he informed Bishop Provenzano and his vestry that he will retire from the ministry at the end of the month. Bramble has been rector of the parish for 14 years. St. Mark is the largest black Episcopal Church in the U.S. with 3,600 members and a budget of more than $1.6 million. More than 2,200 attend three weekly services.

In a phone call to VOL, the Anglo-Catholic priest said that he had lived with the doctrine of casuistry since 2003 (Gene Robinson’s election), but now plausible deniability has been taken away from him and he can no longer protect his people from the inroads of [theological] revisionism into the diocese and his church.

“Last night I went up on the diocesan website to look for something and saw that the bishop had responded to the legislation being passed authorizing those priests who wanted to, to perform same sex marriages within 30 days. I could no longer live with my conscience and stay in the Episcopal Church. It is a cesspool. I am not comfortable here anymore. I don’t even know what the priests I sit next to in the diocese believe anymore.

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