The Diocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Pittsburgh

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Milwaukee has recommended to Bishop Miller that he permit clergy to preside over same-sex blessings, as I wrote a couple of days ago. For support, that document appealed to Bishop McConnell of Pittsburgh, who gave such permission in spite of his own reservations.

I was interested to read that Bishop McConnell recently granted clergy permission to officiate at same-sex weddings. Lionel Deimel quotes extensively from the opinion of the Diocesan Chancellor. It seems Bishop McConnell’s concerns centered around whether an Episcopal priest could officiate at a wedding that made use of the trial rite (which isn’t Holy Matrimony). The Chancellor’s opinion is yes, because Pennsylvania law does not stipulate the form of the rite, only that there has to be a marriage certificate. Bishop McConnell’s revised guidelines are here.

Although same-sex marriage is currently on hold in Wisconsin and civil law varies widely from state to state, these guidelines and questions will be helpful as we move forward.