Toronto tiptoes towards blessing gay couples

Bishop of Toronto Colin Johnson, Anglican Journal

The Canadian Anglican Journal reports that the Diocese of Toronto is proposing to take formal steps which will permit a 'limited number' of parishes to bless gay couples.

The bishops of the diocese of Toronto are proposing that “a limited number of parishes” be given episcopal permission to offer prayers and blessing “but not the nuptial blessing” to same-sex couples “in stable, long-term, committed relationships.”

The bishops, who outlined their proposal at a Jan. 29 meeting of the diocesan council, said they plan to conduct an extensive consultation process and would present the guidelines for implementing the proposal at the diocese’s synods in May and in November. A bishop’s commission will be formed to formulate the guidelines.

This seems to be as close as the Diocese can get without breaching national recommendations. In a different approach the diocesan synods in Ottawa, Montreal, Niagara and Huron have asked their bishops to allow civilly-married gay couples, where either or both are baptised, to receive a church blessing with an appropriate rite.

Like the US the Canadian church is following public opinion and, also like the US, many of the most conservative have left the Church, thus easing the brakes on change.

In 2007 the General Synod agreed that same-sex blessings were “not in conflict” with core church doctrine but denied the authority of dioceses to offer them. Remember the 1970s (1977?) vote of the English General Synod that there were no theological objections to ordaining women, though they didn't want to do anything about it. The time will come.

It may (I say tentatively) be that the schism in the US (with or without GAFCON) has also released the international contraints on action.

I begin to think, perhaps, maybe, that the Communion could have passed the high point of its recent fever and, though still weak and in need of nursing, the patient will not die, nor even lose too many limbs.


No comments:

Post a Comment