In 2007 the General Synod asked the Primate of The Anglican Church of Canada to request the Primate’s Theological Commission to consult with the dioceses and parishes and report in advance of General Synod 2010 on
- the theological question of whether the blessing of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine; and
- Scripture’s witness to the integrity of every human person and the question of the sanctity of human relationships.
Over the past two years the Commission has met to work on this request.
The Commission offers the paper entitled “Integrity and Sanctity” as its consensus response to that part of the request. Members further prepared papers for discussion at the meetings of the Commission on a range of approaches as to whether the blessing of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of doctrine. The papers represent a variety of theological approaches present among its own membership and in the wider community of the church. Papers address scriptural concerns (Papers 3 and 4), development of doctrine (Papers 5 and 6), pro and con arguments for the blessing of same-sex unions (Papers 7 and 8); alternative approaches to considering human sexuality (Papers 9, 10, and 11), holiness and tradition (Papers 12 and 13), and past examples of changes in pastoral practice and doctrine (Papers 14, 15, and 16).
The process of discussion did not lead to a consensus within the Commission but rather led us to deeper recognition of the ongoing theological conversation that exists and is not complete. A summary of our discussion is captured in The Galilee Report (Paper 1), so named due to its creation at the Galilee Centre, Arnprior, Ontario, where the Commission met in November 2008.
In order to consult with dioceses and parishes, the Commission decided that the papers we had discussed would provide the wider Church with an appropriate field of material for consultation and for reflection with an invitation to offer comments and response to the Commission. To that end The Galilee Report is posted on this website. The accompanying papers are also online. It is our hope that individuals (clergy and lay), parish groups, diocesan gatherings, theological colleges, and other groups will read these offerings and respond to us by December 1, 2009. The responses received will be incorporated into the report of the Commission to General Synod 2010.
Please send your comments and responses to the questions on page 4 to the address below:
The Primate’s Theological Commission
c/o Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 3G2
The Rt. Rev. Linda Nicholls
Chair, Primate’s Theological Commission
1. Does The Galilee Report reflect your experience of The Anglican Church of Canada at this time?
2. Do these papers, prepared by the Commission, offer an adequate response to the request of General Synod to “consult with the dioceses and parishes … on the theological question of whether the blessing of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine”?
3. Are there additional resources that you would suggest on the theological question of whether the blessing of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine?
4. What is missing in the conversation from your perspective?
5. Please add other specific comments….
- Table of contents, including discussion papers by members of the Commission
- The Galilee Report
- Integrity and Sanctity
A Consideration by the Primate’s Theological Commission
- Download the Galilee Report
- Download the Galilee Report including discussion papers