NEW YORK (AP) An Episcopal Church report says the denomination should not try to set a policy on ceremonies to bless homosexual couples because we are nowhere near consensus.''
Many have expected authorization of such blessings to be the hottest issue at the church's convention this summer in Minneapolis.
At the 2000 church convention, clergy and lay delegates narrowly defeated approval of same-sex blessings. The bishops did not address the issue, referring it to a committee of bishops and theologians.
The ideologically diverse committee's new report summarizes the two sides of the intense disagreement.'' It pleads for unity and continuing reflection.
It is imperative that the Episcopal Church refrain from any attempt to 'settle' the matter legislatively. For a season at least we must acknowledge and live with the great pain and discomfort of our disagreements,'' the report concludes.
The report does not oppose ordinations of actively homosexual priests, but asks local bishops to be respectful'' of the ways their actions affect others. Some liberal bishops have approved gay ordinations and same-sex union ceremonies.
The Episcopal Church is part of the international Anglican Communion, whose bishops overwhelmingly opposed homosexual activity in 1998.
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