Photo of Major Alan G. Rogers during the wedding ceremony of Jason Cianciotto and Courter Simmons. Alan can be seen in the background as Rev. Gary Simmons presided over the ceremony. Photo/Stephanie Simmons via Wikimedia Commons

Anglicans asked to deny gay marriage for good of church

  • January 11, 2015

The international Anglican commission with responsibility for keeping the Anglican Communion together has asked the Anglican Church of Canada not to change its canon law to allow same-sex marriage.

The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order urged Canadian Anglicans not to amend their marriage laws because to do so would “cause great distress for the communion as a whole, and for its ecumenical relationships,” reports the Toronto-based Anglican Journal.

The commission met in Geneva under Burundian Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi Dec. 3 to 10.

The Canadian Anglicans had requested an opinion from the international commission on proposed changes to canon law that would allow “the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples.”

The Canadian Church is scheduled to consider such a change at its 2016 general synod — the highest level of authority in the Anglican Church.

The international body urged Canadian Anglicans not to go beyond their present system of local options, where in certain dioceses some priests and parishes are given the option of blessing same-sex unions.

A motion being prepared for the 2016 synod would allow same-sex marriages in all Canadian Anglican dioceses while allowing individual clergy, bishops, parishes and dioceses to opt out on the basis of conscience.

In 2012 the Episcopal Church in the United States authorized a “trial-use” liturgy for blessing same-sex relationships, but the American branch of the Anglican Communion has not provided for same-sex marriages. In 2005 the worldwide Anglican Communion of 80 million Christians came close to breaking up over a decision to allow same-sex blessings in the Vancouver-based diocese of New Westminster and the Episcopal Church’s ordination of openly gay New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson.

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