This Week at St. Stephen’s–January 24, 2016


June 7At the risk of returning too soon to a painful topic, there have been two recent developments in our quest to offer same-sex blessings at St. Stephen’s.

One of course is the decision last week of the primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion to censure the Episcopal Church of the United States over its endorsement of same-sex marriage. (Every nation or region of the earth is presided over by an archbishop called a primate—pronounced prī-mĕt, to distinguish them from our Neanderthal forebears.)

This decision does not affect the Canadian church directly but without doubt our House of Bishops will have this in mind—as a deterrent—next summer when our General Synod meets to consider changing the marriage canon to allow the marriage of same-gender couples.

Meanwhile, following the failure of the Shared Episcopal Ministry protocol to move us forward on this issue (through the use of an alternative bishop), we have launched a formal appeal to our Canadian Primate, Fred Hiltz, asking for his guidance, or that of the House of Bishops. Specifically, we are asking: How can we follow the deepest dictates of our conscience under a bishop who prevents us from doing so?

There are other paths we can follow, new strategies we can still employ, but each one takes us farther down a road that leads ultimately to the ecclesiastical equivalent of civil disobedience. So our hope is that we will receive a supportive reply from the Primate, despite the recent decision of his colleagues.

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