PHILADELPHIA: Bishop Bennison Lays Down Law to Clergy on Performing Same-Sex Marriages

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
February  2012

The disgraced, revisionist Bishop of Pennsylvania Charles E. Bennison has written to his diocesan priests saying that he anticipates General Convention will approve same sex blessings at its upcoming General Convention in Indianapolis this summer, and any priest in his diocese who fails to perform them on demand could face disciplinary proceedings.

“At least he is consistent in his pansexual gnosticism and his bullying manner until he gets his way,” said one of perhaps 15 remaining orthodox priests in the diocese who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. “Charles is throwing yet another temper tantrum as he makes statements contrary to the canons of the Church let alone Scripture and tradition. He cannot make same sex blessings mandatory for his clergy. He possesses neither the authority nor the power. The lamentable captain of the Titanic stood in higher regard with his passengers and crew than Bennison is with God, the wider Church and the clergy of the Diocese.”

It is a clear warning that Bennison, who was on the verge of being tossed out of the diocese for conduct unbecoming a bishop but slipped through the cracks because of the Statute of Limitations, is now firmly back in control with his trademark signature bullying and coercing the few faithful priests into strict conformity with his revisionist views.

In a note to the clergy on The Commemoration of Absalom Jones, Bennison wrote to “clergy colleagues” saying, “I am very concerned that to date only 43 of us have registered for the Conference on Rites for Blessing Same – Gender Relationships on February 21- a week from tomorrow. This means that a large number of us may not be adequately prepared to respond pastorally, either to people’s reactions to this summer’s General Convention vote on rites proposed by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in response to Resolution C-056 at the 2009 General Convention, or to same gender couples who may ask us to use the rites for the blessing of their relationships if, as seems likely, Convention adopts them.

“Unless the implementing resolution states otherwise, none of us, should we be asked to bless the relationship of a same-gender couple, may refuse to do so on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

This is a clear warning that clergy who disobey what GC2012 will predictably pass could face disciplinary proceedings if they are asked to perform a same-sex blessing and refuse to do so.

The performance of these acts clearly violates Scripture, tradition and history.

Bennison has assembled a group of liberal heavy hitters to promote his case to the diocese. They include The Rev. Dr. Patrick Malloy, Associate Dean and Professor of Liturgics, The General Theological Seminary, and Chair of the SCLM Task Force that has gathered the materials for the proposed rites. He will be the keynote speaker. Other speakers include the Rev. Dr. Storm Swain, the Rev. Dr. Adam Kradel, the Rt. Rev. Rodney Michel, Dr. Nora Johnson, Robert Mikrut and Kenneth Garner.

FOR THE RECORD: Patrick Malloy is a homosexual and canonically resident in the Diocese of Bethlehem. Bishop Robert Duncan (Pittsburgh) declined to ordain him due to his inability to subscribe to the biblical definition of marriage and sexualit

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