The big news from Anaheim so far is the passage by the Episcopal House of Deputies (clergy and laity) last night of resolution D025, entitled “Commitment and Witness to Anglican Communion,” which, as its title implies, is mostly about ordaining gay bishops and repudiating a pledge made at the 2006 General Convention not to do so. There seems to be some question among commentators about whether this is in fact what the resolution does, but I think this makes it clear:
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention recognize that gay and lesbian persons who are part of such relationships have responded to God’s call and have exercised various ministries in and on behalf of God’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and are currently doing so in our midst; and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church, which call is tested through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church;
I don’t know what the italics are about (maybe those words were added in committee; I’ve taken out what was stricken through, again apparently in committee, since there were no changes on the floor of the House of Deputies), but the key is in the phrase, “may call such individuals to any ordained ministry.” If we can assume that this is not an example of catch phrase-generation run amok, we can also assume that the writers knew that the word “any” means every, which is to say that all forms and offices of ordained ministry, whether as deacon, priest, or bishop, are open to persons irrespective of their involvement in a homosexual relationship. If that doesn’t constitute a repudiation of the pledge previously made to the Anglican Communion not to ordain sexually active gays to the episcopacy, I’m not sure what would.
One caveat: this still has to be considered by the House of Bishops, and there are no guarantees that they will go along with it. Nevertheless, even if the latter balks, it says a lot about where the denomination as a whole is on the issue.
UPDATE: With a slight amendment, this resolution passed the House of Bishops this evening by more than 2 to 1.