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Washington National Cathedral's Dean Announces Same-Sex Weddings

Washington National Cathedral's Dean Announces Same-Sex Weddings
Cathedral Now in Business for Gay Ceremonies

By Sarah Frances Ives
Special to virtueonline
January 9, 2013

On January 8, 2013, the Washington National Cathedral announced that they will now start performing same-sex weddings. Without building a consensus for this change in international groups who support the Cathedral, Dean Gary Hall announced that this change was "effective immediately." Hall writes, "The Cathedral will begin celebrating same-sex marriage ceremonies using a rite adapted from an existing blessing ceremony approved in August 2012 by the Church at its General Convention. . . . In light of the legality of civil marriage for same-sex couples in the District of Columbia and Maryland, Bishop Mariann Budde announced that the diocese would now allow this expansion of the sacrament, which then led to my decision for the Cathedral's adaptation of the same-sex rite."

In this decision, Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde continues her push for the destruction of the traditional Christian faith along with the adoption of her version of New Age philosophy.

Although Hall said that these weddings would be for those involved with groups at the Cathedrals, the dean also added the proviso that a "donor" who has made a "significant" contribution could have a wedding at the Cathedral, making this venerable Cathedral sound something like a Las Vegas wedding chapel. A dedicated phone number has been set up for those who want these weddings: 202-537-6225 and an email address weddings@cathedral.org for those requesting these rites.

This new public outreach also adds to the perception that the Cathedral does not seek same-sex weddings only for people currently attending the Cathedral (who could ask information from a priest when they attend worship services) but anyone out there with some money who wants to be involved with this social change. As Hall writes, "I am proud that Washington National Cathedral will be among the first Episcopal institutions to adopt and implement a rite that will enable our faithful LGBT members to share in the sacramental blessings of Christian marriage."

In private communications, the Cathedral also announced today that their decision would be publicized on the local NBC station and MSNBC later today. They also expressed the perception that more media outlets would carry their decision.

The Washington National Cathedral's recent history includes about a decade of bad theology accompanied by financial need. After their planning led to millions of dollars of shortfalls, the Washington National Cathedral has cast about wildly in recent years for an identity that would bring in large amounts of cash. The Cathedral's leadership plans have included scheduling bus tours about every three minutes that left the Cathedral looking like a bustling train station. Also, after the 2011 earthquake, leaders at the Cathedral declared the building a national icon and grabbed for federal money, a greedy move that promptly got their hands slapped and rejected by observant federal authorities. Rounds of pink slips descended on Cathedral workers, while troubles roiled this institution led by socially and politically liberal leaders who have no feel for its religious supporters, at least some of whom were still observing the Biblical Christian faith. The last amount of money that the Cathedral publicly announced that they needed was $50 million dollars.

The public media campaign of Dean Gary Hall and Bishop Mariann Budde creates confusion about their real purpose here, and once again leaders tear away from the body of its faithful supporters, in hopes of creating some imaginary legacy for themselves as leaders first to change. No, the real legacy Hall and Budde might make for themselves are with money-changers seeking some good public spin.

Sarah Frances Ives is a regular correspondent for Virtueonline. She resides with her husband in Washington DC


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