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Rev. Michael Smith, Fargo, Published July 29 2013

Letter: A clarification of church doctrine

Cali Owings writes in an article dated July 27: “St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Moorhead may also perform same-sex marriages under Episcopalian doctrine …” This is incorrect.

The doctrine of the Episcopal Church regarding marriage is found in our Book of Common Prayer, which teaches that “Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which the woman and man enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.”

While all people are welcome in our fellowship and some of our dioceses provide for the blessing of same-sex unions, Christian marriage is reserved for a man and woman in the Episcopal Church.

Thank you for correcting this error.

Smith is bishop, Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota, which includes Clay County, Minn.