Episcopal Church Leader Responds to Anglican Rebuke Over Same-Sex Marriage Stance

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, speaking to reporters at a news conference at the National Press Club
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry speaks to reporters at a news conference at the National Press Club. (Religion News Service photo by Jerome Socolovsky)

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is describing the recent censure of his church over allowing clergy to perform same-sex marriages as a "fair" move by the wider Anglican Communion.

Anglican primates voted last month in Canterbury, England, to remove the Episcopal Church from votes on doctrine and to ban it from representing the communion in ambassadorial relationships for three years.

In an appearance at the National Press Club on Monday (Feb. 8), Curry said the decision was a "very specific, almost surgical approach" that allowed both sides to express their differences and yet find a way to remain together.

"There was clarity on our part, both about who we are as a church and about our love and commitment to the communion and there was clarity on their part that they disagreed with us," he said. "But they didn't vote us off the island."

The presiding bishop said he could understand why the majority of Anglican leaders voted for the censure.

"Because we differ on the core doctrine, it would not be seen as appropriate for us to represent the Anglican Communion in ecumenical, interfaith leadership," he said. "That's fair."

He called the action a voicing of displeasure on the part of many Anglicans but one "that didn't go too far."

Curry was elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in July, at the same meeting in which his church voted to permit clergy to perform same-sex marriages—a move that differs with the majority of Anglican Communion provinces.

The Episcopal Church, with about 1.8 million U.S. members, is one of 38 provinces in the worldwide Anglican Communion, which claims upwards of 85 million members globally.

"We believe in it (same-sex marriage) because the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross really are about embracing and welcoming us all," he said, adding that the Episcopal position would not be reviewed to avoid a renewal of the three-year censure. "We're not changing."

Curry was also asked about St. George's School, an elite Episcopal prep school in Rhode Island that is under investigation for the alleged sexual abuse of dozens of former students.

"It's being adjudicated actually on the local levels following the national canon and with our support," he said.

He said the denomination has worked since the 1990s so that any allegations of sexual abuse are investigated, "not just kind of taken care of and swept under the rug."

© 2016 Religion News Service. All rights reserved.

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective