The Indianapolis Statement dissenting from the authorization of gay blessings has been delivered to the House of Deputies of the 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis.
Shortly after the start of the final legislative session on 12 July 2012 the Rev. Canon Neal Michell, Deputy from Dallas, rose on a point of personal privilege and read the Indianapolis Statement – the document presented to the House of Bishops on 11 July by Bishop Michael D. Smith of North Dakota, and gave voice to his dismay.
As other deputies stood in silent solidarity, Dr. Michell read portions of the document, stating the sorrow felt by traditionally minded Episcopalians with the actions taken this week.
“The liturgy entitled ‘The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant’ is for all practical purposes same-sex marriage. It includes all of the essential elements found in a marriage rite: vows, an exchange of rings, a pronouncement, and a blessing. We believe that the rite subverts the teaching of the Book of Common Prayer, places The Episcopal Church outside the mainstream of Christian faith and practice, and creates further distance between this Church and the Anglican Communion along with other Christian churches.
“Our dissent from this action of the 77th General Convention is thus rooted in the teachings of our own Church; in the historic biblical and theological witness upon which those teachings rest; and in the wider context of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church and our conviction that no part of the Church is free on its own to alter basic Christian teaching,” the statement said.
After he concluded reading the statement, President Anderson thanked Dr. Michell “for his witness.”
The House then returned to the business of the closing session.