September ~ 2015 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
The church may want to look at same-sex marriages as partaking “in the same covenant” as heterosexual unions, but “on somewhat different terms,” and possibly involving alternate liturgies, recommends the report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon, released today.
Just as the New Testament describes the Gentiles in the early church as drawn into the people of Israel’s covenant with God, but not required to observe Jewish tradition, so might the Anglican Church of Canada understand same-sex couples as drawn into the same covenant as heterosexual couples, but in a new way, commission member Stephen Martin told members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS), who gathered for a special session in Toronto to receive the report.
“We’re suggesting this might be the more accurate, faithful and biblical way of thinking about what might be happening in the church today,” added commission member Canon Paul Jennings, who explained the report’s section dealing with models for same-sex marriage. “That is, it’s not a question of us redefining marriage in the abstract to be more inclusive and thereby imply, I don’t know what – that the previous understanding of marriage was wrong. But, it may be simply that God is calling same-sex couples into marriage and thereby broadening and enriching the institution without denying its previous meanings.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury today wrote to all 37 Primates inviting them to attend a special Primates’ gathering in Canterbury to reflect and pray together concerning the future of the Communion. The meeting, to be held in January 2016, would be an opportunity for Primates to discuss key issues face to face, including a review of the structures of the Anglican Communion and to decide together their approach to the next Lambeth Conference. The agenda will be set by common agreement with all Primates encouraged to send in contributions. It is likely to include the issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment and human sexuality. Archbishop Justin Welby said: “I have suggested to all Primates’ that we need to consider recent developments but also look afresh at our ways of working as a Communion and especially as Primates, paying proper attention to developments in the past.”