The Anglican Church of Canada House of Bishops met recently to discuss proposed changes to the marriage canon. Those changes—to be debated at the upcoming meeting of General Synod in June—would remove reference to gender, thereby permitting clergy to marry couples of the same gender, something they are presently prohibited from doing.
As a change in canon law, a two thirds vote is required in each of the three voting “houses”: lay, clergy, and bishops; and that vote must be repeated at the next meeting of General Synod three years hence for the changes to take effect.
In a disturbing statement following their meeting, our bishops reported that they do not now foresee passing the motion when it is presented to them at the upcoming General Synod meeting. This is of course disturbing to all who favour same-sex marriage.
But it should be disturbing to all Anglicans, whatever their views on this subject, to hear our leaders declare themselves before the motion has even been presented, before debate has ensued, and before the guidance of the Holy Spirit has specifically been sought. In other words, it sends a dangerous message that decisions are being made without the benefit of the prayerful and consultative consideration of the whole church!
Should any of our church members wish to register their concern, letters to The Most Reverend Greg Kerr-Wilson, our Metropolitan archbishop and diocesan bishop, would not be out of place, and similarly to our Primate, The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz.