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Bishop flouts church doctrine

Dan Bates | Sunday, November 23, 2003

In some respects, I agree with N. Eugene Walls’ Nov. 20 criticism of Joe Licandro’s argument, in which Licandro stated his reasons for disagreeing with the consecration of Gene Robinson. Licandro’s argument was indeed damaged by his subtle prejudice. However, there is another argument against Robinson’s consecration that has been very much ignored not only by the media, but also by conservative groups such as the American Anglican Council that frequently issue arguments against his consecration.In the consecration ceremony, The Book of Common Prayer requires the following pledge, spoken and written, from the individual being consecrated bishop: “I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.” Since Robinson was consecrated, he must have made this statement.Robinson is a man who has admitted publicly that he is having a sexual relationship outside of marriage. He does not see this as sin, but such a relationship is unquestionably contrary to Episcopal doctrine. What are unwed people supposed to conclude from this? The church has decided to elect an individual as bishop who has sex outside of marriage, and bishops promise to uphold the teachings of the church. Thus, by plain reasoning, one may conclude that sex outside of marriage is accepted by the Episcopal Church.It is true that Robinson has not had the opportunity to marry his partner, as they are homosexual. Should homosexuals be allowed to marry? That is quite another issue and is not the point here.Bishops agree to conform to the doctrine of the church, and Gene Robinson did not when he was consecrated and does not now. He knowingly made a promise that he knew he could never keep.Therefore, he should not have been consecrated, and he should not presently be recognized as a bishop. Should sex outside of marriage one day be accepted by the Episcopal church as moral or should gay marriages one day be blessed by the Episcopal church, then having a homosexual bishop would be perfectly reasonable. But not now.

Dan Batesgraduate studentoff-campusNov. 20