Canadian Church report on Marriage Canon is published
BY FRED HILTZ, ARCHBISHOP AND PRIMATE ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2015
Dear Friends in Christ,
Today the Council of General Synod received The Report of The Commission on The Marriage Canon. The report is very comprehensive and reflects the commitment of the members to address General Synod 2013’s Resolution C003 in its fullness.
You will recall that the resolution requested consideration as to whether the proposal for amending The Marriage Canon would contravene The Solemn Declaration of 1893; and called for a theological and biblical rationale for the blessing of same sex marriages. The Commissioners take us into a deep exploration of the theology of marriage and present several models for understanding same sex marriage. In accord with the request in Resolution C003 for broad consultation throughout the Church the report includes a succinct summary of feedback received from Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners.
On behalf of the whole Church, I want to thank the Commissioners for the diligence with which they went about their work and fulfilled the mandate given them by The Council of General Synod. They have laboured long and produced a fine report which will be a valuable resource to the Church.
In commending it for widespread study, I pray we be guided by the wisdom of the Spirit’s leading in our preparation for conversations at General Synod 2016.
Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate
There is a further page which contains more information, and links to all the submissions that the commission received, here.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento (Thinking anglicans) Tuesday, 22 September ’15
Once again, I am indebted to Simon Sarmiento, of ‘Thinking Anglicans, for this report from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, regarding his Province’s Report on the Marriage Canon in that Church community.
Reading into the Report, one is made aware of the careful and faithful theological research that has gone into the assembling of this report. The Scriptures have been thoroughly vetted for their influence on modern-day understandings of what marriage means – both in terms of the time in which the Scriptures were written, and what has been discerned as the basic ingredients of what might be considered as an adequate theology of marriage for today.
One very interesting point is the response made by the Indigenous Church Community, which states that, although its own culture ( like that of many indigenous cultures around the world) cannot yet accommodate to the prospect of the marriage of same-sex couples, it would not withdraw from fellowship with the majority Church (A.C.of C.) as a result of any legislation that might bring approval for such arrangements.
The ‘Opt-Out’ clause has no doubt helped Indigenous Canadian Anglicans to adopt this eirenic stance – which is directly opposite to the action of the ACNA associated churches that have separated out fellow Anglicans because of the impending possibility of the total acceptance of Same-Sex relationships being recognised by TEC and the A.C.of C.
Whether, or not, at the proposed meeting of Anglican Primates in January in England, there will be any prospect of agreeing to live together in spite of differences in treatment of these issues – especially of Same Sex Unions – the Anglican Church of Canada seems to have managed the possibility of living together despite cultural and theological differences that exist between the two distinctive parts of its community – the Body of Christ in action! God be praised!
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand