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 — June 25, 200725 juin 2007
 

Following a long and passionate debate at the 2007 General Synod in Winnipeg, the Anglican Church of Canada has rejected the blessing of same-sex unions. The result is not decisive, however, as both clergy and laity voted in favour with the bishops narrowly defeating the resolution. Earlier resolutions affirmed that the blessing of same-sex unions is a doctrinal matter and that they are consistent with the core doctrine of the Anglican Church of Canada.

The decision reached at the General Synod is the latest stage in a long process of discernment for Canadian Anglicans. At the last General Synod in 2004, a motion to authorize what is called a “local option” was deferred to this year’s General Synod. In the interim, the Primate’s Theological Commission was asked to recommend whether the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine according to Anglican theology and canons (law). The report, entitled the St. Michael’s Report, was released in 2005. It recommended that the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine, but not of core doctrine in the sense of being credal. In light of this recommendation, the Council of General Synod referred four resolutions to the 2007 General Synod. The first resolution, approved Saturday, accepted the St. Michael’s Report conclusion that such blessings are doctrinal, but not core doctrine. A further resolution to increase the voting requirement on these motions to 60% was rejected by the General Synod. A motion from the floor to hold a secret ballot was also rejected.

On Sunday morning following the celebration of the eucharist, the debate continued. The third resolution was approved, affirming that the blessing of same-sex unions is consistent with the core doctrine of the Anglican Church in Canada. As observers have noted, this establishes a theological space for gay and lesbian persons within the Anglican Church. However, the General Synod rejected the resolution tabled at the 2004 General Synod: to affirm the authority and jurisdiction of individual dioceses to authorize same-sex blessings “with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the will of the parish.” Both lay and clergy delegates supported the motion, but the House of Bishops was split 19 in favour to 21 opposed. The resolution required the support of all three orders to pass. The result of these resolutions is that the blessing of committed same-sex unions is not permitted in the Anglican Church of Canada at this time.

In 2002, the synod of the Diocese of New Westminster (Vancouver) approved the blessing of same-sex unions for the third time, and the bishop Michael Ingham concurred. Since then same-sex blessings have been permitted in that diocese in parishes that have studied and approved such blessings. It remains to be seen whether such blessings will continue after the General Synod rejected the resolution affirming the authority and jurisdiction of dioceses in this matter. The House of Bishops instituted a moratorium on same-sex blessings a number of years ago. The Anglican Journal reports that a number of bishops have expressed concern about possible disregard of the General Synod decision. An additional resolution has been brought to the General Synod from the Diocese of New Westminster to affirm the continuing practice of the Diocese of New Westminster until such time as the General Synod takes further action on the matter.

See:
Synod narrowly defeats same-sex blessings (Anglican Journal)
Emotions run high after blessings defeated (Anglican Journal)
Same-sex blessings not in conflict with core doctrine (Anglican.ca)
General Synod 2007 – Resolutions
St. Michael’s Report

Posted: June 25, 2007 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=329
Categories: NewsIn this article: Anglican Church of Canada, human sexuality
Transmis : 25 juin 2007 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=329
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Anglican Church of Canada, human sexuality


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