Episcopal church criticized for failure to speak out following Colorado shootings

Church ignores growing threat to same-sex marriage

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Episcopal Church is being sharply criticized for its silence over the recent shootings at a Colorado LGBTQ+ nightclub, says online watchdog Anglican Watch.

 The church’s silence comes on the heels of several high-profile situations in which the denomination, which claims to be inclusive, has acted badly towards the LGBTQ+ community. This includes:

  • Ignoring complaints of shunning and harassment towards a gay couple by an Episcopal priest, then serving at Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Va.
  • Inviting Max Lucado to preach at the Washington National Cathedral, despite a history of hateful commentary towards the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The planned consecration of Virginia bishop-elect E. Mark Stevenson at an Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) church in Richmond, Va. The event will include Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and bishops from across the church. The SBC expressly opposes same-sex marriage and condemns LGBTQ+ persons as sinful. Plans for the event to be held at the SBC church continue, despite multiple complaints from the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Ignoring the burgeoning threat to same-sex marriage.

Anglican Watch calls on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, all bishops, the House of Delegates, and all dioceses to immediately and unequivocally condemn this egregious act of violence and hatred. There is no excuse for sitting silent at a time like this. Violence has no role in our society, or in beloved community,” says editor Eric Bonetti.

“The Episcopal Church talks a good game,” he continues. “But the reality often is far different:

  • LGBTQ+ persons experience higher rates of sexual misconduct than other church members.
  • When we are bullied or abused we are ignored or told by judicatories that our concerns are “not of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church,” or that we should take our complaints to court. This has been the case in the dioceses of Virginia, Massachusetts, and Washington and other areas.
  • We are expected to just shrug our shoulders and go along with things when Max Lucado preaches at the National Cathedral, or Presiding Bishop plans to consecrate the next bishop of Virginia at a church that opposes LGBTQ+ rights.

“Now, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and other officials sit silent as members of the LGBTQ+ members are gunned down. This would not be the case were the murders at an African-American church.

“To be clear: Anglican Watch and I wholeheartedly endorse racial reconciliation. But it must not come at the expense of other groups seeking inclusion and acceptance.

“The church’s recent conduct evinces flat-footed responses to LGBTQ+ inclusion, a lack of understanding, and an organizational indifference to LGBTQ+ concerns. Indeed, the church ignores  threats to same-sex marriage, and now sits silent as members of LGBTQ+ persons are murdered.

“The Episcopal Church urgently needs to get its act together,” Bonetti concludes.


The Episcopal Survivors Network (ESN) is a nonprofit network of survivors of abuse and their allies. We are dedicated to:

  • Speaking out on behalf of those hurt by the church.
  • Advocating for healing.
  • Whenever possible, fostering positive relationships.
  • Seeking justice.

ESN is on the web at

Eric Bonetti
Anglican Watch
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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