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Orlando Episcopal Cathedral Will Baptize Gay Couple's Son After All

Orlando Episcopal Cathedral Will Baptize Gay Couple's Son After All


The news comes in the wake of controversy over the initial postponement of the baptism.

The infant son of a gay couple will be baptized at the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando, Fla., after all.

The baptism, initially set for April 19, was postponed, apparently due to concerns on the part of some church members. After the couple, Rich and Eric McCaffrey, publicized the situation on Facebook, Bishop of Central Florida Greg Brewer agreed to meet with them.

"Bishop Brewer extended an invitation to meet with us and we had the opportunity to speak with him yesterday evening," Rich McCaffrey posted on Facebook today. "We spoke frankly and openly about the chain of events. The Bishop acknowledged he learned the Cathedral set a firm date of April 19 for the baptism, but did not support postponing the baptism. He genuinely wanted to learn about us and expressed his apologies for how it had been handled. Most importantly, he was clear he is supportive of Eric and I, two dads, baptizing our son at the Cathedral and offered to be a part of it.

"We are appreciative and are looking forward to the baptism to take place this summer," he continued. "At the same time we know on many fronts there is healing to be done which will take time. Some may question why we are choosing to return to the Cathedral. We are returning because we still have faith in the goodness of people, and we trust people have good intent and ultimately will do the right thing. This is not to say faith or trust should be given blindly, but there are moments when you must choose to rise above the fray and acknowledge you are part of something bigger."

Brewer told the Orlando Sentinel that he and the McCaffreys had "a very good meeting" Thursday evening. This reportedly will be the first baptism of a same-sex couple's child at the cathedral.

The Episcopal Church is generally LGBT-friendly; it ordains clergy in same-sex relationships and offers ceremonies for same-sex unions. However, some congregations are less welcoming than others. Brewer in 2012 joined 11 other bishops in opposing the denomination's provisional approval of the rite for blessing same-sex unions.

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