The study guide that formed the basis for St. Clement's educational series is entitled Permanent Sexual Commitments: The Development of Anglican Tradition. It was designed to provide a context for the church's discussion of homosexuality and same-gender relationships.
The group at Toronto's Church of the Redeemer which created the study guide used at the St. Clement's series comprises single people and married couples, gays, lesbians, lay and clergy. A final version is expected to be published by Anglican Book Centre this spring.
Sections in the guide examine the development of the church's views on marriage, divorce and singleness. A lengthy section on the Bible and homosexuality explores the church's approach to Scripture.
Development of the Anglican ethical tradition by means of Scripture, reason and experience is repeatedly referred to. The guide cites the 1979 statement by the House of Bishops that "many gays and lesbians have been and will be among the faithful chosen by Christ to be spiritual leaders."
The bishops' statement is seen as ambiguous, however, in giving homosexuals "equal claim" to acceptance and pastoral care in the church, yet stopping short of giving its blessing to committed samegender relationships. …