The Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, which is the executive body of General Synod between Synod meetings, has issued a response to the most recent statement from the Canadian House of Bishops regarding the issue of marriage equality. That response is printed below in full. (the original can be found here)
The Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada is the executive body of General Synod. Its membership is made up of the Primate, the Prolocutor, the Deputy Prolocutor, the Chancellor, bishops, clerical and lay members of General Synod elected by the General Synod on the nomination of the Provincial Caucuses, one youth member of the General Synod from each ecclesiastical province elected by General Synod on the nomination of the Provincial Caucuses, one member nominated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and two members nominated by the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples. The General Secretary of the General Synod is an ex officio member of the Council of General Synod without voting privileges.
To the Rt. Rev. Don Phillips, Secretary of the House of Bishops
The Council of General Synod acknowledges receipt of the statement from the Special Meeting in February 2016. We appreciate the bishops’ integrity in communicating to the Council.
We share their concern that the report, This Holy Estate, has not been more widely engaged with across the church. We look to our bishops to ensure that members of their diocese, especially delegates to General Synod 2016, have read and engaged the report.
In their statement, they wrote that they wondered if a legislative process is “the most helpful way of dealing with these matters”. The Council has also considered other options. If a legislative solution were not the best way to proceed on this question, we would ask the House of Bishops for some concrete examples of other options.
They expressed a desire to “explore other options for honouring and fully embracing committed, faithful same-sex relationships”. We would welcome concrete examples.
We share their commitment “to achieving the greatest pastoral generosity possible.” We ask the bishops for some concrete examples. For example, if a local option is the way forward, will the House be prepared to live with and honour the choices of individual dioceses?
We continue to pray for the work of the House of Bishops and ask that they continue to uphold the Council of General Synod, and those who are delegates to General Synod 2016 in their prayers.