Archbishop Andrew Hutchison has decided not to appoint new members to the Primate’s Theological Commission, which has been asked by General Synod to determine whether the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine and to submit its findings at the 2006 triennial meeting in Winnipeg .
Archbishop Hutchison said he considered whether to form a separate task force or appoint new members to the commission, a task that belongs to the primate. However, after meeting with members of the commission last June in Montreal , he decided otherwise.
?I was there to take to them a request from General Synod, which had asked if the new primate would ask the commission to make a judgment on whether the blessing of same-sex relationships involves doctrine or not,? he said in an interview with Anglican Journal . ?I considered the possibility of appointing a special task force but then I thought it would probably be better received if the commission, that I did not appoint but my predecessor did, took the assignment.?
He said that it was the commission’s request to ?carry on? with the task. ?I did raise the question of whether there was good balance in the existing commission and commitment from those who are on it to continue and I got a very clear response that they’ve developed clear dynamics; they work well together. I’m quite content to leave it as is.?
Walter Deller, principal of the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad in Saskatoon , is acting chair of the commission in the absence of Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton , who is recuperating from breast cancer surgery.
?The commission agreed to undertake this task, and spent some time discussing the best way to approach the work involved in order to report to Council of General Synod within the timeframe requested by General Synod,? said Mr. Deller. The commission plans to meet again in January 2005 and members continue to prepare materials related to the question posed by General Synod.