Episcopal Priests Mostly Supportive of Same-Gender Marriage Liturgy

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(Host) Vermont Episcopal Bishop Thomas Ely says the response to the diocese decision to create a liturgy to bless same-gender unions has been generally favorable. Two weeks ago the Vermont church established a formal ceremony for same sex couples.

Speaking Thursday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Ely said not all of the priests in the diocese have embraced blessing same sex unions.

(Ely) “A handful have said they would have some difficulty. Some have said that they want to do more work in their local congregation before they would do so. For the most part, most of the clergy in the diocese are open to it. Those who are not, some have even indicated to me that if a lesbian or gay couple came to them, and they didn’t feel that they could perform that liturgy in their local church they would get another priest who would.”

(Host) Ely says the Episcopal Church in the United States is still struggling with the effects of last year’s decisions by church leaders to allow the blessing of same sex unions and the election of a gay bishop in New Hampshire.

The decisions have caused some to leave the church. Last week a small congregation in Rochester, New Hampshire voted to split from the diocese. Ely says the church in Vermont has both lost and gained members in the wake of last year’s decisions.

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