Synod to re-draft same-sex motion
General Synod forms a new working group to re-draft the motion on same-sex blessings. Debate will resume on Wednesday.
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TAONGA NEWS | 10 MAY 2016 |
General Synod/Te Hīnota Whānui has decided to draft a new motion that provides an alternate response to the ‘A Way Forward’ (AWF) report.
The existing motion 4 had proposed synod accept the AWF report and adopt its recommendation to establish two new services of blessing as church formularies.
While both Tikanga Māori and Tikanga Polynesian agreed they could adopt provisions of the AWF report, the seven New Zealand dioceses yesterday asked for more time to address misgivings about the two services of blessing posed.
Synod moved into conference mode, and requested space to operate with only members and those with speaking rights present.
“This has been a very difficult day for us, a rollercoaster day in many ways;” Archbishop Philip Richardson said after a half-day in conference mode.
When synod reconvened on Monday evening Tikanga Pākeha asked its tikanga partners for time to amend motion 4 to take into account the concerns of members who oppose aspects of ‘A Way Forward.’
“We are saying something to our LGBTI brothers and sisters in Tikanga Pākeha, and it’s difficult: we are all aware of the pain our inability to move will cause to you,” Archbishop Philip said. “But it is our hope that we can get to a profoundly better place than we are at now.”
Synod agreed the new working group will comprise seven members – two from each tikanga and a legal adviser.
The group will work through today and is expected to present a new motion for synod to consider on Wednesday.
Ven Te Hope Hakaraia (Upoko o te Ika) offered the support of his tikanga:
“We are willing with Pasifika to move forward.
“However, we are not deaf; we have heard the anguish and the pain of our brothers and sisters in Tikanga Pakeha.
“We want you to come on the bus, to come into our tent. We want to use our manaaki to help you.”
Tikanga Maori then agreed to revisit Motion 4 “as an act of unity, kotahitanga and aroha.”
Susan Wallace (Waipounamu) spoke to tautoko Archdeacon Te Hope.
“In the spirit of radical manaakitanga, under the koroka of the discussion we have had, no one should be left behind,” she said.
Anne Candy (Tai Tokerau), however, expressed reservations about any slowing of change,
“ We have held takatāpui [LGBTI people] captive by not offering them a place in our church.” she said.
“I find it very hard that our church isn’t going to be about emancipation.
“How long do they have to wait?”
Fe’i Tevi (Polynesia) said Polynesia would journey with Tikanga Pākehā.
“We agree that the coconut has not yet fallen; “ he said, “it will fall when it’s ripe.”
“There’s a willingness in Polynesia to look again at ‘A Way Forward’.
“It’s not our tikanga to leave anyone aside and abandon them.”
Synod to ponder blessings overnight
General Synod members are given the evening to prepare questions for a new motion on same-sex blessings.
Bishop Andrew Hedge introduced the draft motion with a preliminary explanation, before synod members were given the text to consider overnight.
Synod has been asked to prepare questions for the working group tomorrow.
SO! Members of our General Synod/Hinota Whanui now have the new Draft Motion 4 (a re-draft of Motion 30 ?) to ponder overnight! One can imagine the hastily-gathered interest groups that will be – even at this moment – huddled together in conference to discuss their particular interest in either supporting this new Motion – or, alternatively, finding ways of rejecting it.
Considering the fact that the implications of Motion 30 have been around the dioceses of our Church ever since the 2014 General Synod, one might have thought that, by the time the consequences of the decision to consider Same-Sex Blessings in our Church had reached some credence. Two years after the Motion was proposed and passed in G.S.2014, something concrete ought to have been reached by the end of the current deliberations.
YES! The Motion 30 proposal received fairly violent opposition in some parts of our Church, but when one sits down to consider what really is at stake, the furore that has arisen lately in the conservative wing of ACANZP might be considered to somewhat ‘over the top’ – especially when the traditional doctrine of Marriage (between two persons of the opposite gender) will be retained under the provisions of the Motion. This has been one of the bones of contention.
All that is being asked, is that two Persons involved in a legally contracted Civil Marriage (whether that marriage be heterosexual or Same-sexual) may be able to receive a Blessing from the Church. This is not a marriage rite, but a simple Blessing of the couple concerned. What must be recognised in all of this is that the majority of couples concerned will be members (or prospective members) of our own Anglican Churches of the Province. The real question here is; how do we treat them in terms of pastoral care and acceptance of them as co-members of the Body of Christ? The world is watching.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand