July 9, 2004
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada last month, attempting to maintain Anglican unity, tried compromise. Unfortunately, synod was rebuffed.
Synod agreed at this time not to affirm that dioceses have the authority and jurisdiction to authorize the blessing of committed same sex unions.
This was a concession to the opponents of the blessing and the wider Anglican Communion. It was a step back, especially after the American Episcopal Church voted to formally endorse `local option.'
And what did compromise gain?
- Nine Canadian bishops standing up after prayers and telling General Synod it was wrong. As the new primate Archbishop Andrew Hutchison said, their statement was likely to "reinforce division within the church."
- A group of primates urging that the Canadian church be thrown out of the Anglican Communion. Of course, there's no way for the communion to do that.
- Much harrumphing over a word, "sanctity."
Not to completely disappoint gays and lesbian Anglicans who have been seeking full inclusion in the Church for years, the synod affirmed "the integrity and sanctity of committed adult same sex relationships."
"Sanctity" was being used in a pastoral not a doctrinal sense. It was saying homosexual couples can act in a loving, Christian way toward each other - as many do.
It does seem that some people just want to fight over this issue endlessly. Is all this getting anybody anywhere? Isn't it time to take a break?