Canadians rebuff Bishops’ proposal

Integrity Canada has released a statement today that takes issue with the recent Canadian Anglican House of Bishop’s statement on Same-Sex blessings. The statement is posted on Integrity USA’s blogsite:

“Gay Anglicans offer mixed reviews of a statement by the Canadian House of Bishops in which the bishops claim to support ‘the most generous pastoral response possible’ toward gay and lesbian couples while they also signal they will veto attempts to clarify the church’s teaching.

Members of Integrity Canada are at turns offended, disappointed, and confused by the bishops’ ‘possible pastoral responses’ and demands for prolonged dialogue and study.

The proposed pastoral provisions are a ‘slap in the face of committed gay and lesbian couples,’ says Michelle Crawford-Bewley of Integrity Toronto. ‘We are relegated to second-class status in our own church.'”

The release quotes a member of Integrity stating:

“As limited as the proposal is,” observes Chris Ambidge of Integrity Toronto, “in some jurisdictions this would be an improvement. In some places children of gay parents are denied baptism, gay people are turned away from the communion rail, and the bishops know that. We’d expect them to implement their earlier policy that it is unacceptable to deny baptism to children to discipline their parents, but until then any tentative statement in that direction is welcome.”

You can read the rest of the release here: Gay Anglicans rebuff Bishops’ proposal for “pastoral care” and more study

Anglican Essentials Canada has posted a statement from that also rejects that Canadian HoB statement but for opposite reasons. It states in part:

Unfortunately, the Bishops’ statement forecloses any further discussion of the blessing of same sex unions by accepting those in committed homosexual relationships to Communion and confirmation. The statement advocates using the Eucharist as a device to give the church’s recognition to gay and lesbian married couples. This supposes that gay and lesbian practice is, in principle at least, a form of Christian holiness, and it clearly insinuates the hope that the forthcoming General Synod will explicitly sanction the blessing of same-sex unions, so bringing the ACC into line with the civil marriage of gay couples that are now sanctioned by Canadian law. This deviates directly from the pastoral care of homosexuals which the whole Christian church has practiced till very recently, and to which the Lambeth Conference of 1998 recalled us all, and to which the greater part of the world-wide Anglican Communion adheres today. The deviation is totally unacceptable to all those who hold to the apostolic Christian faith as the churches of the Anglican Communion have received it.

The full statement by Anglican Essentials is posted here.

The article published in the Star (and on as linked above) which claimed the HoB called for the “status quo” has been responded to by the General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada. He specifically rejects any sense that the matter is settled going forward. He states:

The statement issued by the Canadian House of Bishops was intended to anticipate the pastoral needs of Anglicans after a decision on same-sex blessings, which will be made by our General Synod in June. The statement describes the status quo and is not pre-emptive of the decision General Synod will make. Bishops will be part of that process, but they do not make such decisions on their own.

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