Anglican Church of Canada delays changing marriage canons

The Council of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada was not able to come to agreement on the whether or not blessing "same-sex unions" is something proper for a Church to do. Because of this lack of agreement, there will be no request to change the Canadian marriage canons to include rites of blessing for same gender couples.

From the report:

"Bishop Linda Nicholls, chair of the Primate’s Theological Commission, explained that the Galilee Report was written in response to a request from General Synod 2007 to consult with dioceses and parishes and report prior to General Synod 2010 on two points:

- the theological question of whether the blessings of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine; and

- Scripture’s witness to the integrity of every human person and the question of the sanctity of human relationships.

Bishop Nicholls said that the commission was able to reach a consensus on the second point and their conclusions are summarized in one page. However, the commission could not reach consensus on the first question. Members of the commission ‘come from a diversity of positions on the questions we are facing,’ said Bishop Nicholls, and they felt that the commission’s struggle reflected the broader struggle in the church."

Read the full report on the meeting here.

This may or may not be the final word however. A participant in the meeting observed:

...that there seemed to be a “will to move the conversation forward,” but how to do it was the question. “Consider whether or not to bring a motion for a change the marriage canon,” she said, directing members’ attention to General Synod’s request, but she suggested that CoGS could also move beyond that. “You can say, ‘No, we’re not going to bring a motion for a change in marriage canon, however we are going to do this.’” A small writing group was appointed to work on Saturday night on transforming the discussion into a document that the council could respond to on Sunday.
Comments (3)

Anglican Church of Canada to gay Anglicans: "Drop dead but don't forget to tithe and go to mass on Sundays and red letter days."

Wow, the Anglican Church of Canada has such weighty theological issues to look at! Why don't they just say that LGBT Christians in Canada should transfer to the United Church of Canada, which seems to understand the notion of the infinite worth of each individual?

"In light of ‘The Galilee Report’ of the Primate’s Theological Commission , which reflects the diversity of opinion and lack of consensus in the Anglican Church of Canada about whether ‘the blessing of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine’, the Council believes that further work needs to be done on outstanding questions which include:

* any distinction between a blessing and a nuptial blessing
* any distinctions among marriage, the blessing of a civil marriage, and the blessing of a union
* the theological significance of blessing the civil marriage of a same-sex couple."

One could ask just as well whether the Anglican Church of Canada is a spirit-led development. Jesus preached the Kingdom but unfortunately we got churches.

Gary Paul Gilbert

The ACofC bishops may be more cautious, but let's give some credit for the pastoral statement they put out a few years back. I would love to see our bishops as a whole put out a statement anywhere so positive not only in terms of words, but actually suggesting particular means of pastoral and ritual care.

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