At Get Religion, the best religion journalism blog on the Net, two stories on the the latest spasms in the Anglican Communion. First, Broken Communion notes how some Anglican clergy now “refuse to share Holy Communion” with their diocesan bishop. The equivalent in Mormonism, I suppose, would be a Bishop refusing to shake hands with the Stake President. You know, serious disagreement. Second, Everyone Loves Justice notes that the Episcopalians (the American branch of the Anglican Communion) have voted a one-year moratorium on the election of new bishops, the best way they could think of, it seems, to honor the Anglican request to avoid approving any “noncelibate homosexual bishops” until the Anglicans of the world can figure out where they stand on this troubling issue. Why should Mormons care?
First, it’s nice to see other churches struggle over tough issues. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it’s just that from reading most Christian blogs, you would think other Christians don’t have an institutional care in the world. But as shown here, an ugly issue can flare up out of nowhere and threaten an eminent Protestant denomination with imminent schism or implosion. Catholics haven’t had it too good lately either. Maybe the COB isn’t doing such a bad job!
Second, gay issues aren’t going away but will continue to arise in US and European political and ecclesiastical contexts. The Proclamation doesn’t eliminate the problem for the LDS Church, it just limits the ability of future LDS leaders to make reasonable compromises, if the need should ever arise.
Third, note the distribution of frozen bishops in the second article. The five frozen straight bishops are from the South. The two frozen gay bishops are from California. This is interesting because of LDS demographics: there aren’t many LDS in Southern states, but there are hundreds of thousands of Mormons in California. In other words, gays and the Church will clash again in California, possibly sooner rather than later. Prop 22 was not the end of this political issue for Mormons, I’m afraid. Just ask Mitt Romney.