The Anglican Journal reports that the Rt. Rev. John Chapman, Bishop of Montreal, will ask the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Canada for permission to bless same-sex unions.
“It is important that I honour the collegiality of the Canadian house,” said Bishop John Chapman at the opening of the annual synod of the diocese of Ottawa in Christ Church Cathedral Oct. 23. “We are, after all, an episcopally-led and synodically-governed church.”
The bishops are expected to discuss tomorrow the Canadian Anglican church’s response to renewed proposals for moratoria on the blessing of same-sex unions, the ordination of persons living in same-sex unions to the episcopate, and cross-border interventions. The proposals were made at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the once-per-decade meeting of bishops from around the world, in response to bitter divisions among Anglicans over the contentious issue of homosexuality.
Bishop Chapman said he would make a “conclusive statement” to the diocese within a month after the house of bishops’ gathering. It would state that after “an appropriate rite” is developed, permission would be given for one parish to offer the blessing of civil marriages between same-sex couples.
“This hope is not and must not be understood as a conclusive statement affirming that the church must and ought to proceed with the blessings of same-sex civilly married couples,” said Bishop Chapman. “As the church was not able to come to a clear mind regarding the priestly ministry of women, so we must take the process of discernment to a place beyond discussion.”
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