Magazine article Anglican Journal

Canadian Response Asserts Autonomy; Will Be 'Mindful' of Common Life

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Canadian Response Asserts Autonomy; Will Be 'Mindful' of Common Life

Article excerpt


Mississauga, Ont.

The Council of General Synod (COGS) endorsed a response to the Windsor Report that stated Canadians will make decisions around the blessing of same-sex unions at its General Synod "mindful of the common life of the Communion and in response to the leading of the Spirit, as we see it in our own context."

The Windsor Report, produced in 2004 by an international commission, outlined ways of healing divisions within the Anglican Communion over human sexuality. It recommended a moratorium on public rites of same-sex blessings and election of a gay person to the episcopate.

However, several members of CoGS expressed strongly that the Canadian church, like all national Anglican churches, is autonomous and needs to consider its own circumstances when making decisions.

The response to the Windsor Report also stated that "more work should be done in examining the way authority is exercised in the Anglican Communion." It expressed concern "about the attempt to increase the influence of bishops by giving to the Lambeth Conference and the primates' meeting an authority not previously held."

The report underscored the role of laity, stating, "We do not wish to see this role diminished in the membership of the Anglican Consultative Council."

The report also:

* noted that in response to the Windsor Report, the house of bishops in 2005 adopted a statement committing themselves to a moratorium on same-sex blessings; the diocese of New Westminster subsequently confirmed the decision by restricting same-sex blessings to the eight parishes which "as of the end of synod had, by majority vote of the parish membership, decided to ask to be places of blessing,"

* stated that while it is preferable that Anglican provinces consult with one another on important matters, it has "never been the case that all provinces must agree before a decision is taken;"

* stated the belief that "among Christians of good faith, there can be legitimate differences on many issues, and we wish to protect the freedom of conscience of those with differing views. …

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