Saturday, May 31, 2014

Via email, a message from the Vice Chancellor of The University of the South:
Dear Members of the Faculty and Staff,
Last week I wrote to you about a matter concerning the University policy on the blessing of same-sex relationships. Over the past week, the Chaplain and I, along with the Chancellor and Regent Bishops, have been in lengthy discussions about how to accommodate the request to allow the blessing of a same-sex relationship after the couple making the request has already had a civil marriage. This particular scenario, highly improbable in December 2012, when only six states (four in New England) plus the District of Columbia permitted same-sex marriage, will become increasingly likely, now that nineteen states permit same-sex marriage and in seven additional states the matter is currently in the courts. We have been assisted by Professor Jim Turrell, whose expertise in the field of liturgics has led to the crafting of a liturgy to be used specifically in those cases where a same-sex couple has already had a civil marriage. As a result, the request to confer a blessing in All Saints’ Chapel has been granted.
I extend my deepest appreciation to all of those involved in the resolution of this issue, which has been handled in the best tradition of our University, with civility, reason, and, above all, an open mind.
John McCardell

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