Synod Defeats Windsor's Moratorium on Blessing; Change Would Have 'Pre-Empted' Debate

Article excerpt

One of the first skirmishes on same-sex issues took place early in General Synod as members defeated a motion that would have called on dioceses to comply with a moratorium on blessing ceremonies for gay couples.

The vote came on an amendment to a motion to accept the church's response to the Windsor Report, an international document exploring how the worldwide Anglican Communion can live with disagreements.

Those speaking against the amendment said it would preempt the discussion scheduled for later in Synod on whether dioceses should be allowed to offer the blessing ceremonies. (The socalled "local option" motion for dioceses was later defeated by the bishops, though lay and clergy voted in favour of it.) Supporters said it would strengthen the church's response.

Synod then voted to accept the report of the Windsor Report Response Group, which collected opinions from nearly 200 Anglicans from across the country.

The report and resolution had earlier at Synod been the focus of two extra-plenary "conversations," scheduled in order to allow members to hear a panel discussion on the matter and to ask questions. …