Anglican Bishops Put on Hold Blessings of Same-Sex Marriage
Free Press, April 29, 2005
WINDSOR (CP)—Canada’s Anglican
bishops have unanimously passed a resolution to put a moratorium on future
church blessings of same-sex relationships following three days of debate. The
decision, reached during a closed-door session at a conference here, will halt
the ritual for the next two years and give church leaders time to study the
issue as it relates to the official doctrine of the faith, Archbishop Andrew
The primate of the Anglican Church of Canada cautioned
that while a statement by the bishops carries a great deal of weight, the
moratorium must still be approved by a meeting of the church’s Council of
the General Synod.
That meeting, which includes the bishops, clergy and
members of the laity, is expected to take place May 6-8 in Mississauga.
The 40 bishops also agreed to officially withdraw from a
meeting of the worldwide Anglican Consultative Council, slated for Nottingham,
England, in June to appease conservative elements in the international church,
He said that decision must also be approved by the
Church leaders in parts of Europe and Africa had
condemned the practice of blessing same-sex unions in Canada and requested the
Canadians not attend.
They also demanded the voluntary withdrawal of
Episcopalian representatives from the United States because of the recent
appointment of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
“We have an obligation to the church around the
world,” Hutchison said, explaining Canada’s decision to comply with the
request not to attend.
“In some cultures
homosexuality is still a major criminal offence, punishable by heavy prison
sentences. We must respect those cultures.”
However, the bishops’ statement also makes it clear
Canada appreciates efforts by international primates neither to encourage nor
initiate cross-boundary interventions, and affirming the place of homosexuals
in the church.
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