Episcopalians react to Anglican sanction over same-sex marriage

Published: Jan. 15, 2016 at 5:55 PM EST
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The Episcopal Church is being punished by the international Anglican Communion over its acceptance of same-sex marriage.

The action comes after the Episcopal Church voted to change their law to recognize same-sex unions last June, around the same time the United States Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all states.

In response, the Anglican Communion has sanctioned the Episcopalians from attending any international meetings, for three years.

On Friday, The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop Michael Bruce Curry released a video message responding to the decision. In it, he talks about his disappointment, but also how this can help create a movement toward growth for Christians.

"The truth is it may be part of our vocation to help the communion and to help many others to grow in a direction where we can realize and live the love that God has for all of us," said Bishop Curry.

This decision has been felt all the way down to the local level, as Father Danial Robayo, Rector for Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Harrisonburg, also expressed disappointment, but not discouragement.

"Praying side by side, and working for the betterment of our world together is far more important than having the same doctrinal understanding or belief about conduct in everything," said Fr. Robayo.

He went on to say that he is sad that Anglicans around the world will continue to be subject to persecution for their sexual orientation.

"To be an Episcopalian, to be an Anglican, you don't have to have conformity of thought, uniformity of belief about everything," said Robayo. "What you must have is a commitment to prayer and service together."

Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Harrisonburg has been giving same-sex blessings for nearly three years with little negative reaction --part of the reason Fr. Robayo was surprised by Friday's decision. Despite that, he does not believe that this sanction from the Anglican Communion will change anything here.