Yesterday, Archbishop Fred Hiltz met with more than 120 members and friends of the LGBTQ community in Toronto at celebration of the Holy Eucharist at St. John’s, West in Toronto.
This encounter is one among many that the Primate has had with members of the Anglican Church in and beyond Canada. During the recent Primates’ meeting in Canterbury, care for this community became a clear priority for the whole of the Anglican Communion. There was recognition by the Primates of the many ways that LGBTQ communities are risk.
“…The Primates condemned homophobic prejudice and violence and resolved to work together to offer pastoral care and loving service irrespective of sexual orientation. This conviction arises out of our discipleship of Jesus Christ. The Primates reaffirmed their rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people…”
-from the Communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican Communion, January 2016
Yesterday’s pastoral gathering was an opportunity for the Primate to be in dialogue with a local LGBTQ community about their lives and experiences within the Church and about the resolution that will go before the General Synod in July. Archbishop Hiltz remains deeply committed to hearing the diversity of perspectives in our church about this matter as reflected in his ongoing conversations with the Bishops of our Church, Canadian participants at the Anglican Consultative Council, Canadian and African bishops in dialogue, from theological students and faculty, and from members of the Council of the General Synod among others.
“I left the gathering more convinced than ever the need for the Church to take opportunity to hear first-hand the experiences and longings of LGBTQ persons,” Hiltz said. “So often we speak about instead of with the LGBTQ community. We all need to be creating these kinds of opportunities to have pastoral conversations.”
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