Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By David W. Virtue

1/3/2011 (4 years ago)

Virtue on Line (www.virtueonline.org)

Massachusetts Episcopal Bishop Tom Shaw officiates at first lesbian marriage

The lesbian service "united" Episcopal Divinity School dean and president, the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale and Mally Lloyd, Canon to the Ordinary. It was the first lesbian marriage solemnized by Thomas Shaw SSJE, Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

Episcopal Divinity School dean and president, the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale

Episcopal Divinity School dean and president, the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale

Highlights

By David W. Virtue

Virtue on Line (www.virtueonline.org)

1/3/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: lesbians, episcopal church, gay, homosexual agenda, episcopal leaders


CAMBRIDGE, MA (Virtue On Line) - In an act that will further alienate The Episcopal Church from the Global South and raise tensions for the Archbishop of Canterbury at the upcoming Primates meeting in Dublin, two top Episcopal leaders were married at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston on Saturday.

The lesbian service "united" Episcopal Divinity School dean and president, the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale and Mally Lloyd, Canon to the Ordinary. It was the first lesbian marriage solemnized by Thomas Shaw SSJE, Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

"God always rejoices when two people who love each other make a life-long commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other. It's a profound pleasure for me to celebrate with God and my friends, the marriage of Katherine and Mally," said Shaw. Some 400 guests attended the marriage.

Though the Episcopal Church's canons and formularies still state that marriage is between a man and a woman, the church at its General Convention in July of 2009 decided to allow "bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church."

In November 2009, Shaw announced his decision to allow clergy in the Diocese of Massachusetts to solemnize all marriages--a long wait for many given that same-gender marriage was legalized in Massachusetts more than five years earlier.

Ragsdale, 52, became dean of the historic Episcopal Divinity School in October 2009. She is the first woman to hold that position.

Same-sex marriage in the state of Massachusetts was permitted on May 17, 2004, as a result of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts constitution to allow only heterosexual couples to marry.

At that time, Massachusetts became the sixth jurisdiction in the world (after the Netherlands, Belgium, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec) to legalize same-sex marriage. It was the first U.S. state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Although the U.S. District Court in Boston ruled in two related cases on July 8, 2010, that the provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act barring federal recognition of legally married same-sex couples are unconstitutional, the final judgment is stayed pending the federal government's appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. An appeal was filed on October 12, 2010, by the U.S. Justice Department. Consequently, same-sex couples in Massachusetts are not eligible to receive federal recognition of their marriages, pending the outcome of the appeals process.

The dean is also known for her radical view on abortion. In April 2009, the then new Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, gave a sermon describing abortions as a "blessing" for the women who undergo them. She also said that people who run abortion clinics are "heroes" and even "saints".

Speaking in Birmingham, Alabama, she said that "when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion - there is not a tragedy in sight - only blessing."

According to a diocesan press release, this is a second marriage for Canon Lloyd. It is the first for Dean Ragsdale, 52. "It's astonishing how the world is changing," Dean Ragsdale said, "when I grew up, I never believed I would be able to have someone special in my life and now to have almost 400 people show up to support us at our marriage ceremony is wonderful."

Canon Lloyd commented: "We have a lot in common, we each have a spiritual life that the other understands and respects and we also understand the amount of travelling and often late hours that our work requires. Somehow too when you are in your fifties, certain things just aren't as big a problem as they seemed in your twenties."

Perhaps. However this action will only confirm in the minds of orthodox Anglicans around the world that the Episcopal Church has walked apart, snubbing its nose at Lambeth resolution 1:10, the Windsor Report and a Covenant designed to hold the Anglican Communion together.

It will also mean the Archbishop of Canterbury will not be permitted to yawn if and when the issue is raised at the Primates' meeting. It also further confirms why some eleven orthodox primates will not be attending the Dublin meeting called by Dr. Williams.

---

Virtue Online, edited by David W. Virtue, is the Voice for global orthodox Anglicanism.



Comments


More U.S.

ATHEISTS LOSE: A big win for religion as Big Mountain Jesus remains Watch

Image of Big Mountain Jesus statue looks upon the earth.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Atheist activists lost a years-long battle this week over the "Big Mountain Jesus statue," which has been standing for over 60 years on public land near the Big Mountain ski resort in Montana. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The statue was made to ... continue reading


Excitement builds with massive mural of Pope Francis before his midtown Manhattan visit Watch

Image of Commissioned by DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, the mural is drawing positive attention to the pending papal visit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Excitement is building in New York City with the visit of Pope Francis this September 24. A massive, hand-painted mural, 225-feet tall has been placed in midtown Manhattan at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 34th Street, close to Madison Square Garden, where the ... continue reading


Five Chinese warships sail near Alaskan coast during Obama's visit Watch

Image of The nation of China has increased defense spending to modernize its forces. China is set to hold a massive military parade this week featuring some 12,000 troops this week, marking the 70 years since World War II ended in Asia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unnamed defense officials have identified a Chinese amphibious ship, a replenishment vessel and three surface combatant ships - altogether five Chinese warships in the Bering Sea off Alaska. The ships were sighted during U.S. President Barack Obama's three-day ... continue reading


Immigrants on welfare: Relevant factors often ignored Watch

Image of Workers harvest plants.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Center of Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for lower levels of immigration, released a report showing 51 percent of immigrant-led households receive some kind of welfare benefit. Benefits include Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches, housing assistance ... continue reading


Pope Francis to give United States Mass in Spanish Watch

Image of Pope Francis to deliver Washington Mass in Spanish.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Donald William Wuerl has announced Pope Francis' decision to give his Washington Mass on September 23 in Spanish. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It's a recognition of how large the Hispanic population in the United States is," Wuerl said. "And he's ... continue reading


Obama gets votes to protect Iran nuclear deal Watch

Image of Barbara Mikulski becomes the 34th vote for the nuclear deal.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nuclear deal between the United States, China, Britain, France, Russia, Germany and Iran has been under intense scrutiny from Republicans and some Democrats, however Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski has agreed to pledge support. Mikulski's support means ... continue reading


Pope Francis asks American teenager to sing for him Watch

Image of Valerie Herrera sings

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

17-year-old Valerie Herrera, a senior at Cristo Bey Jesuit High School, was asked by Pope Francis to sing a song. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Americans were invited to a virtual meeting with Pope Francis via satellite, which was moderated from inside the ... continue reading


Making the punishment fit the crime - Ohio judge doles out unusual sentences Watch

Image of Judge Michael Cicconetti's type of justice seems to be working, as only 10 percent of those who complete the judge's unusual sentences wind up in court a second time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Making the punishment fit the crime seems to be the method behind Judge Michael Cicconetti's madness. The Ohio judge metes out unusual sentences in lieu of hefty fines and jail time. It must be working, as those sentenced to perform the unlikely, court-mandated ... continue reading


Pope Francis holds virtual audience with Americans prior to U.S. visit Watch

Image of Pope Francis participated in a virtual audience hosted by ABC News. Moderated inside the Vatican by ABC News'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to Americans nationwide, Pope Francis participated in a virtual audience hosted by ABC News. Moderated inside the Vatican by ABC News' "World News Tonight," the segment will air this Friday, September 4, on ABC's "20/20" news program. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'It just fell out': Latest Planned Parenthood hidden-camera footage reveals a sickening lack of human values (WARNING: Graphic Video) Watch

Image of Procurement Manager, Perrin Larton

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Planned Parenthood is exposed once again in another undercover video from the Center for Medical Progress. A conversation with Dr. Katharine Sheehan, long-time medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest until 2013, Perrin Larton, the Procurement ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:9-14
9 That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:2-3, 3-4, 5-6
2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2015 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter