Statement following conclusion of Shared Conversations Process
12 July 2016
Over the last 2 days members of General Synod have met in an informal setting in which they have listened and been heard as they have reflected together on scripture and a changing culture in relation to their understanding of human sexuality.
Throughout these conversations, deep convictions have been shared and profound differences better understood. The Shared Conversations over the last two years now come to a conclusion with over 1300 members of the church directly involved. It is our hope that what has been learned through the relationships developed will inform the way the church conducts whatever further formal discussions may be necessary in the future. It is our prayer that the manner in which we express our different views and deep disagreements will bear witness to Jesus who calls us to love as he has loved us.
In comments to members of Synod at the end of the Shared Conversations the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said:
“At the heart of it is to come back to the fact that together we seek to serve the God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead and in whom there is never despair, there is never defeat; there is always hope, there is always overcoming; there is always eventual triumph, holiness, goodness, and grace.
That is for me what I always come back to when it all seems overwhelming.
Thank you so much for your participation. Let us go in confidence. Confident in the God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Posted by Peter Owen – ‘Thinking Anglicans’ – Tuesday, 12 July 2016 at 6:38pm BST
Succinct and to the point – but indicative of any information regarding the ‘Way Forward’ for the Church of England on its treatment of Same-Sex relationships in the Church? NO is the answer.
The Archbishop of Canterbury might hardly be expected to spell out the trajectory of future action that might be taken – on an issue which confronts every local Anglican Provincial Church where society has already accepted the reality of legally recognized Same-Sex relationships by the provision of a form of ‘EqualMarriage’ celebration.
However, the prospect of an ongoing round of talking-the-talk in ‘further formal discussions’ seems only to prolong the agony for those members of the Church of England who were looking forward to an end to homophobia and discrimination against them by the Church – merely because of their desire to settle down to a monogamous faithful relationship with the person they love and want to be with for the rest of their lives.
While the Church of England is not alone among provinces of the Anglican Communion to delay what might seem to be the inevitable acceptance that gay people are actually part and parcel of the structure of the Church; other, more liberal parts of the Communion have already moved ahead of the C. of E., believing their openness to LGBTQI people to be part of the mission of the Body of Christ that seeks to demonstrate “the great love of God as revealed in the Son” to the world at large.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand