From the Victoria B.C. Times Colonist (with the occasional editorial comment by yours truly in bold)
Anglican priest to bless lesbian and gay couples
Louise Dickson and Matthew Gauk, Times Colonist
Saturday, June 30,
Father Antonio Osorio: "I believe blessing these unions is a justice issue ... I
have done it and I intend to keep doing it."
Father Antonio Osorio is inviting lesbian and gay couples to be blessed at St.
Saviour's Anglican Church tomorrow.
"They need to know they are not second-class Christians," said Osorio. "I am going to bless them as a group because they are faithful and beautiful Christians. And if they want to be blessed as individual couples, I will do it too."
The blessing, which will take place at the 10 a.m. mass, is not a marriage ceremony. Osorio will also ask his gay parishioners to bless him. "It will mean in God's eyes they are equal to me," he said.
Father Osorio's got my blessing- even before the Mass begins!
"The Anglican Church, in my opinion, needs to stop playing games," said
Osorio, who attended the national meeting and voted in favour of blessing
"I am very pleased the national church has said blessing same-sex unions is not in conflict with the doctrine of the church," he said. "I believe blessing these unions is a justice issue. Now is the time to start blessing same-sex couples. I have done it and I intend to keep doing it."At Sunday's mass, Osorio wants to send a message that lesbians and gays are part of the Christian family and are welcome at church.
Archdeacon Bruce Bryant-Scott of the Diocese of British Columbia said Osorio is "pushing the envelope" but not crossing any lines. "He knows what the guidelines are. He knows what's acceptable."
As if this paricular envelope didn't need to be pushed, delivered and recycled to uses which aptly reflect our call to be the living embodiment of Christ Jesus in these times?
The church does not want to discriminate against its gay members, said Bryant-Scott. "There may have been occasions when people were refused communion or when baptism was refused to children of same-sex couples -- and that's not on," said the archdeacon.
St. Saviour parishioner Kate McIvor said the blessing won't be "the kind to make
Anglicans' hair fall out." "Same-sex couples will, in fact, be blessing us.
We're not allowed to bless them, but they are allowed to bless us."
Now isn't this some sort of ironic- Christians not allowed to bless each
Osorio believes a strong group within the church wants to keep the discussion
focused on the same-sex debate at the expense of more pressing work that needs
to be done on issues such as the plight of the homeless, HIV/AIDS in Africa, the
environment and the war in Iraq.
"We need to be a voice for the homeless and the children who are dying in Africa," said Osorio.
At the risk of repeating myself- God Bless you Father Osorio and all the folks at St. Savior's Anglican Church this morning!
God's Greatest Blessing to God's Greater Glory