I am really pushed for time this week so this post is mostly a series of links (H/T to various correspondents or blogs I follow).
In the last couple of weeks material has been published ahead of the forthcoming General Convention charting proposed changes to the canon on marriage. The first link is the official church based set of material. The next two links are responses to this material.
If TEC makes its marriage canon gender-free (or gender-neutral) then it will be the final nail in the coffin of its relationship with the wider Communion. I can only see Canada possibly following TEC in such a direction. I cannot think of any other member church going that far anytime this century. Can you?
The fourth and fifth links take you to some CofE material about shared conversations on sexuality. Responses?
The sixth link takes you to a review of an interesting book. Thoughts?
Finally, below, I cite information in a Latimer Fellowship (NZ) newsletter re a legal challenge being mounted against a clause in Motion 30.
As time permits in the next few pressured weeks I may come back to any or all of the matters below. I welcome your comments. I remind you to publish at least your first name. I may not have time to respond to your comment no matter how inviting you make it to take discussion further ...
TEC files re proposed changes to canon on marriage
Anglican Communion Institute (Ephraim Radner)
The Living Church
Church of England Resources for Shared Conversations
Grace and Disagreement resource booklet links
Scripture and the plausibility of teaching on sexuality
Here in ACANZP, news of the legal challenge being mounted against clause 4 of Motion 30:
(From Latimer Online newsletter)
Since the last General Synod a group of people have been working quietly on a
legal challenge to the constitutionality of Clause 4 of Motion 30 which allowed
for the recognition of formalised same sex relationships. The applicants to the
Judicial Committee are aware of the high level of distress Motion 30 clause 4
caused and the likely level of interest in this case.
Information Regarding a
Submission to the Judicial Committee Regarding the Constitutionality of Clause
4 of Motion 30.
At the 62nd assembly of General Synod Motion 30 was passed establishing a
working group. Its' purpose is to bring to the next General Synod
recommendations about process and structure whereby those who hold contrasting
views on the voice of scripture, doctrine and the church formularies on the
validity of the blessing of same gender relationships may be able to maintain
their position with integrity within the church. It did not propose or set in
train any change in the Constitution or the parameters in which General Synod
is required to work. The motion in its preamble states clearly that the church
upholds the traditional understanding of marriage and further notes the
potential of the working group’s task to impact on the Church’s theology of
marriage and ordination thereby acknowledging that the status quo does not
allow for the blessing of same gender relationships nor the ordination of those
in such relationships.
The motion, however, also included a fourth clause which allowed for
clerical discretion in the recognition in public worship of a same-gender civil
union or state marriage of members of their faith community but only with the
permission of their licensing Bishop and vestry.
The passing of motion 30 and in particular clause 4 has caused widespread
distress across the Province including two priests leaving the church. While
many would acknowledge there is value in discussing processes and structures
whereby people can maintain their integrity there is deep concern that this
fourth clause is not only unconstitutional but it also pre-empts the work of
the working group and potentially signals the direction the working group may
head in. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary to recognise something is
to “accept that something is true or important” and that it has “legal or
official authority.” The New Oxford Dictionary of English has the following
meanings : “acknowledge the existence, validity or legality of..”,
“officially regard as valid or proper” or “show official appreciation of,
Given the meaning of “recognise” and that same gender marriages and civil
unions are not recognised by our formularies as they stand any recognition of
such unions in any manner is unconstitutional and no Bishop, Priest or vestry
having signed an allegiance to General Synod may sanction such a recognition,
(CONSTITUTION OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN AOTEAROA, NEW ZEALAND AND POLYNESIA
Part C, Clause 14. “No doctrines which are repugnant to the Doctrines and
Sacraments of Christ as held and maintained by this Church shall be advocated
or inculcated by any person acknowledging the authority of General Synod / te
Given the above line of reasoning an application has been made to the
Provincial Judicial Committee submitting that General Synod was also in error
in passing clause 4 as it proposes unconstitutional action. On that basis the
applicants are asking the Judicial Committee to rule accordingly on clause 4,
noting also that the clause is secondary to the main task of motion 30 anyway.
The applicants are the Ven. Tim Mora, Rev. Chris Tims and Chris Barfoot, with
legal assistance from Don Mathieson and others, and the Submission will be
presented to the Judicial Committee on the 2nd of March for consideration.
The applicants acknowledging the importance of this matter for the future of
the church sincerely request your prayer support.
If you wish to read the submission being made to the committee you can email
Don Mathieson at email@example.com and request a copy."