Human sexuality statement produces historic moment in the life of the church

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Through conversations, “marked by grace, honesty and generosity towards one another,” members of General Synod 2010 affirmed on Thursday, June 10 a resolution (A115: Affirmation of Sexuality Discernment) encapsulating discussions that took place through the work of various commissions and committees over the last triennium and at General Synod 2010 on human sexuality.

Archbishop Colin Johnson, Diocese of Toronto, presents resolution A115: Affirmation of Sexuality Discernment to General Synod. BRIAN BUKOWSKI / GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS
Archbishop Colin Johnson, Diocese of Toronto, presents resolution A115: Affirmation of Sexuality Discernment to General Synod. BRIAN BUKOWSKI / GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS

The statement acknowledges that there is no one view, perspective or experience within the Anglican Church of Canada. “For some, even this statement represents a risk. For some the statement does not go nearly far enough,” states the document.

“The statement reflects to the best of its ability the work of this Synod,” said Archbishop Fred Hiltz. “It is a statement that has a range of views within it and acknowledges the reality within our church.”

Represented throughout the entire document is the feeling of “transparency and openness” felt by participants at various stages of the process. “I find this a profoundly fair document,” said one individual who spoke during the debate on the resolution.

Adoption of the resolution was met with enthusiastic applause by members of General Synod.

“This morning’s overwhelming adoption by General Synod of a statement on human sexuality was a watershed and a historical moment in the life of the church,” said Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Acting General Secretary. “It was a truly an emotional experience to watch Synod’s most liberal voices lined up at the microphones behind the most conservative voices, both singing the same tune.”

“Many speakers remarked that the statement adopted is far from perfect, and it isn’t,” he continued. “But it is the farthest on the issue that the church has ever gone and to have witnessed Synod coming together this way was truly a privilege.”

The statement was developed following a process that involved faithful reporting, discernment groups, reporting from the groups, collating of the feedback, and further group discussion and reporting. The reports from the group work were used in the drafting of the final statement.

On the afternoon of June 10, delegates also passed resolution C010. The resolution proposed by youth delegates calls for General Synod to deplore any legislation calling for punishments for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their supporters and encourage partners in jurisdictions with such legislation to do the same.

Over 350 delegates and special guests have come from coast to coast to coast across Canada for this nine-day event, which takes place each triennium. Further details and highlights are available online at www.anglican.ca.


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