This article from 2009 at LifeSiteNews came to mind when I was pondering the different conclusions reached by the Episcopal church and the Catholic Church regarding same sex relationships.
"Long Island’s Bishop William Murphy has come out swinging at Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, after the New York politician publicly stated he was a 'practicing Catholic' who now supports same-sex 'marriage,' a position that Murphy said is incompatible with being Catholic."But would be perfectly compatible with a practicing Episcopalian.
"Suozzi, the DeCounty Executive for Nassau County, expressed his support for same-sex “marriage” in a June 13 op-ed for the New York Times. Suozzi described himself as a “practicing Catholic,” who had abandoned his previous support for civil unions, saying now anything less than civil same-sex “marriage” would create “a separate and unequal system."And same sex marriage is somehow equal?
"Bishop Murphy penned a forceful response in that week’s edition of the Long Island Catholic, the newspaper for the Rockville Center diocese, stating he felt compelled to respond publicly to Suozzi, “because [Suozzi] publicly identifies himself as a practicing Catholic.” Murphy stated that Suozzi was “contradicting some basic moral teachings of his own faith” that no Catholics are free to deny.
“The logic of Mr. Suozzi’s argument is difficult to discern,” wrote Murphy. “It seems that he has become convinced that because he has met homosexual persons who have suffered discrimination, they now have a ‘right’ to insist that the state redefine their private sexual relationships and give such the term of marriage.”
Bishop Murphy made clear that Suozzi’s disregard for the Church’s teaching on same-sex “marriage” and “abortion” do not qualify him to be a practicing Catholic, because these teachings are “unambiguous, faithful to the Lord and binding on all Catholics.”
“In saying this, I am not singling out Mr. Suozzi. I am speaking to all Catholics in our diocese and beyond, reminding them that what we bishops teach is not “another opinion” among many that Catholics may choose or not choose.”
“Instead, such truths are ‘non-negotiable,’ binding on all of us who claim to be ‘practicing Catholics,’” reiterated Murphy. “Otherwise we are not faithful to our Lord, to His Church and to the ultimate truths about the human person which alone can bring us freedom, justice, joy and peace.”
I agree that there are ultimate truths about the human person which can bring us freedom, justice, joy, and peace. They can be found in the Bible. As an Episcopalian however, I lack a bishop who can render a statement about human sexuality as anything other than "another opinion." If I have a question, where am I to turn?
Ever since they started printing the Bible for the masses, problems of authoritative interpretation have been multiplying as fast as authors of controversial books. At the present time, some denominations have come to the point where all interpretations are acceptable as long as we can still hug each other during the passing of the peace.
The passing of the peace...requiem aeternam. Yes that is where our freedom can lead us, to the injustice of biblical revisionism, to the misery of the soul made slave to the flesh, to the loss of peace.
Bishop Murphy's solution to issues such as those concerning sexuality is to rely on the teachings of the bishops. The Episcopal protestant way was the way intended in the Articles of Religion,
XX. Of the Authority of the Church.but as evidenced by the actions of recent general conventions and by the actions of the bishops of the church in ordaining whosoever they please and teaching highly individualized new gospels, the Episcopal approach has devolved into a "do as you so desire" non-solution that openly parades its contrariness to God's Word written.
The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation. (1801)
We should learn from the failures of both approaches.
Catholics, follow your bishops, Episcopalians, please open your Bible and turn to...
Romans 1:16-28 (NAB)P.S. Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi lost his re-election bid and conceded defeat on Dec. 1, 2009.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The one who is righteous by faith will live.'
The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.
Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural,
and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper."