Anglicans exploring marriage
Challenge Weekly 19 July 2012
The nature of marriage, the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of gay priests were hot topics at the Anglican Church’s 60th General Synod/Hinota Whanui in Fiji last week. About 160 delegates from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia attended the church’s Synod which was held from July 6 to 12 at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi. On July 10, the Church decided it needed to talk about marriage. Without dissent, and after a debate that at times included displays of raw emotion, Synod passed a resolution that “asks Episcopal Units to hold conversations in our church and with the wider community about the nature of marriage and to explore how the church might theologically and liturgically respond to gay and lesbian Anglican couples who request this rite”. It also asked the General Synod Standing Committee “to support and resource the Episcopal Units in this endeavour …” It was clear that the mover of the resolution, the Rev Glynn Cardy, of St Matthew-in-the-City, in Auckland, hoped this would lead, eventually, to the possibility of gay and lesbian couples getting married in Anglican churches. Synod members queued up at the microphones to affirm the motion but a number suggested there were lines in the sand they would not cross. Archdeacon Tim Mora, of Greymouth, took issue with Mr Cardy’s exegesis. “Let’s have a deeper reading of the texts,” he said, “and see what they really say”.