This important message to the Anglican Church in Canada from a group of ordained Deacons of that Church emphasises their view of how the Church ought to respond to the failure of a recent move of its General Synod (by a Minority Vote) to amend the Marriage Canon to allow for the Marriage of Same-Sex persons in Church.
Noting that the decision was followed immediately by a document issuing from G.S.: ‘Word to The Church’; the ADC recognises the encouragement of the ‘Word’ to allow bishops, and congregations in their charge, to make their own decision about the pastoral needs of their members who want to open up the biblical concept of covenantal relationship in marriage to include intentional life-long partnerships by same-sex couples.
The ‘mixed-message’ emerging from the Canadian General Synod expresses a need to accommodate those (a minority) whose theological integrity will not allow them to alter the disciplinary Marriage Canon – while yet acknowledging the need – in today’s society – for a more pastoral approach towards those in the Church (the majority) who believe the Canon to be out of date with a pastoral call for inclusion in the total sacramental life of the Church (including the sacrament of Marriage) of ALL THE BAPTISED.
This latter understanding seeks to put aside the former constraints against the full inclusion of all God’s children in the life and ministry of the Church – putting Grace above the Law, where human thriving is at stake. This attitude matches that of the redoubtable Apostle St. Paul, who declared that: “In Christ, there is neither male nor female… but ALL are born of the One Spirit (in Christ Jesus)”
Father Ron. Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand