Some Canadian bishops threaten to leave if marriage equality passes General Synod

The Anglican Journal reporting on the meeting of the Council of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada in an article entitled “Bishops explain same-sex marriage statement to CoGS“:

Bishop John Chapman, of the diocese of Ottawa, expressed frustration over what he said was an attempt on the part of some bishops to “blackmail” other bishops into choosing between the unity of the church and the dictates of their consciences.    “A couple [of bishops] made it pretty clear that if this motion were to pass, they would seriously question their membership in the Anglican Church of Canada,” said Chapman, who told CoGS he was voting in favour of the resolution. “I didn’t hear anybody say, ‘If this doesn’t pass, our membership is questionable.’”

From the same article:

…a week before its meeting, CoGS was informed by the House of Bishops it is  “not likely” that the motion to allow same-sex marriage will pass with the required two-thirds majority in the Order of Bishops.

Speaking before CoGS members, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and chair of CoGS, acknowledged that reactions to the bishops’ statement have ranged from “gracious to vitriolic.”

At the January primates gathering Hiltz convinced the primates not to consequent his province the same way they consequented The Episcopal Church. He argued Anglican Church of Canada was only considering marriage equality whereas The Episcopal Church had adopted it.

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  1. Dr. William A. Flint, MDiv, PhD

    ” expressed frustration over what he said was an attempt on the part of some bishops to “blackmail” other bishops into choosing between the unity of the church and the dictates of their consciences”

    Choose this day whom you shall serve. The Gospel of God is open and loving toward all God’s children. For the Canadian Church to deny equality to all its baptized members would be a betrayal of the very principles on which the Church is built.

    How long will people have to wait to be free. TEC took a bold step forward and did what they knew was right. Now we will see if Canada will follow.

    Remember marriage equality was established in Canada long before it came to the USA.

  2. Valleri

    [Welcome first time commenter. Please note, for future comments, our policy requiring first and last names. – ed.]

    Thanks be to God for those who know that all God’s people, gay, straight, bi-sexual, or transsexual are part of God’s family. They have waited far too long. I’m so happy to see that this is finally coming to a vote for our brothers and sisters in Canada.

  3. William Bockstael

    Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

    Canadian Anglican bishops: We won’t, we don’t believe in that stuff

    • Chris Harwood

      I don’t think that’s how the BCP has it in Canada. Isn’t that one of the 1979 changes? Not every church in Anglicanism has rewritten the BCP as much/in the same way as TEC.

      • Jim Pratt

        The Canadian church has gone further, and added one more promise to the Baptismal Covenant:
        Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth?
        (added by GS 2013)
        While the 1962 BCP is still the “official” book, about 90% of parishes use the Book of Alternative Services (which draws heavily from the 1979 American BCP) as their principal book.
        And I did have one colleague in my previous diocese who refused to use the BAS baptismal service precisely because of the the phrase “respect the dignity of every human being” (he was an Englishman and an evangelical)

    • Chris Harwood

      That depends if “respect” equals “let them do whatever they want”. Can one disagree with respect? If not, the lawyers for a couple of polygamists in this state are laying the groundwork to force legalization of their “marriage” as well. You can’t even argue that that’s not Biblical.

  4. Regressives are all the same. If they don’t get their way, their first reaction is to take their marbles and go home.

  5. Joseph Glarner

    I pray they make the right decision. God’s love is for everyone. We lost churches in the states over this, hopefully Canadian Anglicans will figure this out. I know some of them may not understand, so I hope they look deep. Even though they shouldn’t have too.

  6. Anne Bay

    I’m surprised it’s an issue. I thought Canada was far ahead of the U.S. in being open and encouraging to the LGBT community! And the new Premier of Canada is clearly a supporter of the LGBT community. Puzzling why the Anglican Synod wouldn’t be on board with the forward look of Canada. General Convention is coming along on same-sex marriage-although it’s some way to go, but they made a start. As Premier Trudeau said, “it’s 2016!”- I have to agree.

    • Margaret Sjoholm-Franks

      Canada is way ahead in being open and encouraging to the GLBT community…the ACC does not represent the entire country, it’s only a small fraction of Canadians who profess some kind of religion. Maybe you ignore that gay marriage has been legal in Canada for over 10 years, with all the benefits.

  7. Jerald Liko

    I suppose my hope for ACC is that, having seen the good, bad & ugly of how TEC handled the issue, they’ll be able to learn from our experience. I’ll pray for our neighbors to the north.

  8. Carolyn Peet

    It would appear that all of the bishops are having to “choose between the unity of the church, and the dictates of their consciences”, no matter which side of the issue they are on.
    Question: Can one respect the dignity of another, but still disapprove of, say, their desire to marry their full-blood sibling?

    • Ann Fontaine

      What does marrying your full blood sibling have to do with 2 adults in a monogamous, loving, non-exploitative relationship? No one is asking for marriage between siblings (which was only instituted to prevent birth defects from too close a relationship and interestingly approved of in some cultures).

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