A Statement from Some Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada • July 15
To all the faithful in the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion
At its recent General Synod the Anglican Church of Canada took the first step in changing its Marriage Canon to allow for the solemnization of same-sex marriages by its clergy. The entire process, beginning with the hasty vote in 2013 and concluding with the vote and miscount this past week, has been flawed and has inflicted terrible hurt and damage on all involved. We absolutely condemn homophobic prejudice and violence wherever it occurs, offer pastoral care and loving service to all irrespective of sexual orientation, and reject criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.
Though the change to the Marriage Canon would require a second vote in 2019 in order to come into effect, some bishops have vowed to proceed with same-sex marriages immediately, contrary to the explicit doctrine and discipline set out in our constitution, canons, and liturgies.
In passing resolution A051 R2 the General Synod has taken a further step in ordaining something contrary to God’s Word written and imperils our full communion within the Anglican Church of Canada and with Anglicans throughout the world. We believe that our General Synod has erred grievously and we publicly dissent from this decision. Resolution A051 R2 represents a change to the sacrament of marriage inconsistent with the Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition of the Church Catholic and the Book of Common Prayer. This would be a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of the Anglican Communion on the doctrine of marriage. Sadly, this complicates relationships within the Anglican Church of Canada and as a Province with the Anglican Communion.
We unambiguously reaffirm our commitment to
- Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all,
- his body, the Church Catholic,
- the Anglican Church of Canada,
- the Anglican Communion,
- the scriptural, traditional and catholic definition of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman as set out in both the Book of Common Prayer and the Book of Alternative Services,
- and the pastoral care of all within our jurisdictions and the communion.
The Resolution as carried does not provide adequate protection for the consciences of dioceses, clergy and congregations. We are concerned for all those of a traditional conscience on marriage within the Anglican Church of Canada.
We call on our Primate and the Archbishop of Canterbury to seek ways to guarantee our place within the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion.
We ask for your prayers.