Who We Are
What We Believe
|Same Sex Blessing
The Continuing Crisis in The Anglican Communion Update #6
Canadian National Synod 2004
The 37th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has chosen the most liberal of four candidates as the church’s next primate. Andrew S. Hutchison, Archbishop of Montreal, in a news conference soon after his election said he favors blessing gay couples. As Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces Hutchison has not withheld his consent for blessing gay couples.
The Canadian Anglican Church's top governing body elected an openly gay Vancouver priest as second-in-command for its historic General Synod, at which delegates will be holding a contentious vote on same-sex blessings. Peter Elliott, dean of downtown Vancouver's Christ Church Cathedral, was elected prolocutor, or chair. The prolocutor is, next to the primate, the senior officer of General Synod.
St. Catharines, Ont., June 2, 2004 - Deeply divided over liberalizing church attitudes toward homosexuals, Canadian Anglicans voted to defer a decision on whether gay relationships should be blessed in church. Members of the General Synod approved a revised version of a resolution that originally would have given dioceses the authority to allow same-sex blessing ceremonies. The new version asks the Primate's Theological Commission to "review, consider and report by spring 2006, whether the blessing of committed, same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine."
Less than twelve hours later, Synod passed an eleventh-hour amendment to the motion affirming the “sanctity” of same-sex relationships.
Reaction to Canadian Synod Motion
Most Rev’d Drexel Gomez (Primate of Bahamas and the West Indies), said he saw Synod’s passed motion as “much more serious than even the original form of the motion, which did not describe the nature of same-sex unions. The attempt to give committed ‘adult same sex relationships’ the same theological stature as marriage exacerbates the crisis in the communion and will reap devastating consequences.”
“Sanctity equals blessing,” said Rev. Charlie Masters, national director of Anglican Essentials. “This is entire discussion is about whether we can bless same-sex unions. So the matter has suddenly already been decided.”
African Anglican churches condemned this month's acceptance by their Canadian counterpart of same-sex relationships. "This latest move of the Church of Canada can neither be justified nor supported," the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) said in a statement issued in Nairobi. The churches, whose leaders have been meeting in Kenya, expressed "total and absolute disgust and deepest regret at the unfortunate decision" of Canada's Anglican Church, which last week affirmed the "integrity and sanctity" of same-sex relationships.
We are deeply saddened by the decision of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada to affirm the “…sanctity of committed same sex relationships.” This is a clear rejection of the historic, biblical, consensual, orthodox Christian faith and teaching.
Many of the Primates from the Global South now have called for the expulsion of the Anglican Church of Canada. We share with them, their deep rejection of this measure. The Essentials Movement is committed to continuing as part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
We call all faithful Anglicans to prayerful action. With the Nine Bishops who protested the error of General Synod 2004, we urge you not to leave the Anglican Church of Canada, nor to do anything rash, at this time. Please join with us in Ottawa, August 30th to September 1st of this year as we declare the Christian faith and prayerfully discern “The Way Forward.” Let us continue to trust Jesus as Saviour and follow Him as Lord as we embrace our orthodox Anglican heritage.
© 2004 St. Alban's Anglican Church