Skip to main content

Many of us who have worked hard on bringing marriage equality back to Maine are still celebrating the victory we achieved on November 6th. Unlike the 2009 defeat, the anti-equality folks spent far less time and money fighting justice with injustice partly because they spent all that money three years ago.

One of the major players in the anti-equality effort has been the former Bishop and current Apostolic Administrator of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and current Bishop of Buffalo, The Most Rev. Richard J. Malone.

Bishop Malone has some very clear thoughts on marriage equality: you can't vote for it and be a good Catholic. Here's a taste of Bishop Malone's reasoning:

“A Catholic whose conscience has been properly formed by scripture and church teaching cannot justify a vote for a candidate or referendum question that opposes the teachings of the church,” Malone said in the statement.
Now, Bishop Malone and I share something in common: we've both been educated--in part--by the Jesuits. The Jesuits I studied with don't like to start with simply quoting the Catechism in forming an argument. The Jesuits I know have a little more savvy. But I digress.

This is what Bishop Malone is saying right before the election as, essentially, the erstwhile Ordinary of a Diocese which bankrupted itself fighting marriage equality.

And then, there's the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, (Episcopal) Bishop of Maine. His Grace has a lot of grace, and as a supporter of social justice and civil rights and the civil rights of LGBT persons in particular, he also understands that honest, thinking and caring Christians might actually disagree on marriage equality but is not afraid to remind Maine's Episcopalians that marriage equality IS in line with the teaching of the Episcopal Church and that we have a moral obligation to adopt the rites for the blessings of same sex marriages which the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the USA adopted earlier this year given that Maine now has marriage equality.

Here's some of what Bishop Lane had to say in a recent Pastoral Letter:

To the Clergy and People of the Diocese of Maine

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus,

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, citizens of the State of Maine took the momentous step of voting to include same sex couples among those who may apply for civil marriage licenses. For many this decision was the achievement of long delayed justice for an oppressed minority and an appropriate extension of the rights and responsibilities of marriage to all citizens. For others the vote represented a fundamental change in long held beliefs brought about by the profound cultural shifts taking place in our country. As your Bishop, I rejoice in the greater inclusion of all our members in the full life of our communities. I also recognize and grieve the deep pain which significant change can cause. To each one of you, I offer my continuing affection and support.

Whenever an event produces strong feelings in us, it may be difficult to remember that that same event produces very different feelings in others. I ask those who rejoice in last Tuesday's decision to be gracious towards those who mourn. I ask those who mourn to refrain from bitterness and recrimination. Each of us is a child of God seeking to do what is right and a sinner for whom Christ died; and we are all brothers and sisters of one another.

Classy. But, it gets better. Bishop Lane continues to remind Maine Episcopalians that he must work within the guidelines set forth by the national Church in Convention, and adds:
I believe the pastoral generosity extended by the 2012 General Convention of The Episcopal Church to dioceses in states where same sex marriage is legal applies to the Diocese of Maine, and I will consider changes to our guidelines in that light.

(italics mine.)

His Grace concludes by saying that
I imagine that every generation believes it is living in a time of profound change. Whether or not history ultimately concurs with this assessment, I know the change of our time feels profound to us. The good news is that such change is among the means by which God works his purposes out. I firmly believe that God will use what we offer for good and that as we struggle to do what is right the Spirit of God is in our midst.
I am a partisan in this fight. I am gay, I am engaged to be married, I am Anglican, and Bishop Lane is my Bishop and I am employed by a parish in his Diocese.

I am also a former Roman Catholic. And I have never looked back. GreenMountainBoy02 and I had the opportunity to thank Bishop Lane last week in person for his truly sensitive Pastoral Letter. Now I'm thanking him in public.

Originally posted to Anglican Kossacks on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:31 PM PST.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community and Street Prophets .

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site