The bishops of the diocese of Saskatchewan have said that even though they do not support changing the marriage canon to allow for the marriage of same-sex couples, they will work for unity regardless of the vote’s outcome.
“What unites us is our faith and commitment to Jesus Christ,” Michael Hawkins, bishop of Saskatchewan, and Adam Halkett, bishop of Missinipi, said in a pastoral letter circulated to parishes June 30. “While these disagreements are painful and distressing, we need each other.”
The letter was released a week before the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada holds its triennial meeting in Richmond Hill, Ont., July 7-12. Delegates from across the Canadian church will decide, among other matters, whether or not to change the church law on marriage to accommodate same-sex couples.
The letter joins a number of statements made by some bishops and diocesan synods clarifying their positions in advance of the controversial vote, scheduled to take place July 11.
However, while the letter says the synod of the diocese of Saskatchewan “has been clear on several occasions that it does not want to see the marriage canon changed,” it acknowledges that there are many individuals in the diocese who would welcome such changes.
The bishops said that differences on the issue of sexuality should not get in the way of the greater commonalities that unite Anglicans.
“We are bound together by more than opinion and taste, we are all blood relations in Jesus Christ,” the letter says. “The challenge before the church for some will be to live out that truth in the midst of the tensions and differences of our day. We call on you to join us in that.”
Hawkins and Halkett also said that regardless of their views on same-sex marriage, they are “mindful of the need to protect the human rights and lives of all, especially those who have been so long subject to discrimination and hatred,” and want to “make no distinction” in welcoming people.