Anglican Samizdat

June 1, 2009

A list of Anglican Church of Canada clergy who support same-sex blessings

In January 2007 a number of ACoC bishops, clergy and lay people signed an open letter exhorting general synod to approve same sex blessings. Take a look at the list of people who signed it to see if your rector is there.

Here is the letter:

Living God’s Blessing

Anglicans of homosexual orientation have formally, by episcopal decision, been accepted as equal members of the Anglican Church of Canada since 1979. However, that acceptance did not include accepting any form of sexual expression for homosexual persons, who therefore have never been treated as equal, embodied persons. Though celibacy is understood in scripture to be a vocation (Matt. 19:12), it has been imposed on gays and lesbians, making it not vocation but compulsion, and denying them any sanctioned form of sexual intimacy.

The affirmation in 2004 by General Synod, the church’s highest governing body, of “the sanctity and integrity of committed, adult same-sex relationships” was a step towards real equality. However, since then, there has been a moratorium on further use of blessings outside New Westminster. In the face of the growing split in the Anglican Communion, General Synod 2004 referred the question of blessing same-sex relationships to the Primate’s Theological Commission. Its St. Michael Report has recommended that such blessings are a question of doctrine, but not of core doctrine. This means that General Synod will be able, in 2007, to affirm the blessing of same-sex relationships.

We believe that:

1. Silence contributes to the injustices experienced by gays and lesbians.

2. Truth, love and justice are biblical imperatives not to be jeopardized by clamours for unanimity disguised as “unity”. Unity in Christ, proclaimed as Lord, requires truth and justice for all.

3. We have the obligation to use reason to interpret scripture in the light of new knowledge and understandings.

4. It is unbiblical, unjust, ethically wrong, and morally unsound to impose celibacy on gay and lesbian clergy.

5. Because the core of the gospel message is covenant with God, with family, and with community, the covenants between same-sex couples should be affirmed and blessed by the church, as is the case for heterosexual couples.

The church has acknowledged the sanctity and integrity of adult committed same-sex relationships. Civil marriage for same-sex couples is now the norm in Canada. Thus it is time for the church to accept as valid all marriages performed in Canada, and to bless the marriages and unions of all who request such a blessing. This can happen while the discussion continues about the possibility of the solemnization of same-sex marriages in the church.

For anyone who doubts that the the Anglican church has abdicated its role of setting moral standards for society, pay attention to the last paragraph: the church defers to culture for ethical inspiration.

Here is a chart of the number of clergy who signed this by diocese:

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The next chart is probably more interesting, since it show the percentage of clergy in each diocese that signed the letter. I had to estimate the total number of clergy in some dioceses, so, although it paints an interesting picture,  it isn’t 100% accurate:

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As a coincidental twist of irony, Steve Hopkins from Niagara is a signatory of this missive; he is also introducing an Essentials event next Saturday where I am leading the worship. Delicious.

3 Comments

  1. I remember a couple of years ago there was another letter urging synod not to go ahead with SSB’s, also signed by a number of clergy. Any idea where that one is? I thought it might be on the Essentials website, but I can’t find it now.

    Comment by John K — June 2, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  2. John,

    No, I haven’t seen that one. I only came across this one because someone referred to it in an email.

    Comment by David — June 2, 2009 @ 11:31 am

  3. See you there. What a mix of ideas and people this will be.

    Comment by Gawk — June 2, 2009 @ 10:53 pm


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