Rupert’s Land may authorize rites if General Synod approves

By on January 5, 2009

The diocese of Rupert’s Land synod has passed a resolution authorizing the rites of blessing for civil unions of same-sex couples if the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod, which meets in 2010, passes “an enabling doctrinal resolution” that would allow it.

The synod, which met Nov. 6 to 8, approved the resolution in a secret ballot vote, and clergy and laity voted separately. Clergy approved the resolution by 58 per cent, or 32 in favour and 23 against; laity approved it by 57 per cent, or 69 in favour and 51 against.

The diocesan bishop of Rupert’s Land, Donald Phillips, said he would wait for General Synod’s decision but that “even then he would not necessarily take action,” reported the Rupert’s Land News, the diocese’s newspaper. “He would concur in the diocesan synod vote as a valid advisory expression of the synod’s discernment of the leading of the Holy Spirit.”

The synod also passed a resolution of “general principles” governing its role in relation to same-sex unions.

Meanwhile, the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land have issued a message committing themselves “individually and collectively” to honour calls for moratoria on the blessing of same-sex unions, cross-border interventions, and the consecration to the episcopate of priests in same-sex relationships.

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