Galilee Report offers insights on human relationships

The Primate’s Theological Commission, a group of 12 Canadian Anglican theologians, has issued the Galilee Report, which addresses questions about human relationships and the blessing of same-sex unions.

The report sprang from the 2007 meeting of General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s governing body, which requested that the commission consider these questions before the next meeting in 2010:

  • The theological question of whether the blessing of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine
  • Scripture’s witness to the integrity of every human person and the question of the sanctity of human relationships

There are several components to the Galilee Report: the report outlining the commission’s discussions; an essay called “Integrity and Sanctity” that reflects the group’s consensus on the second question; and a series of essays by commission members showing their differing thoughts on same-sex blessings (available June 2009).

“The report recognizes that there is no consensus on the blessing of same-sex unions,” said commission chair Bishop Linda Nicholls (area bishop, Diocese of Toronto). “We did come to deeper understandings of each other and deeper clarity about the question.”

“It was a difficult journey,” Bishop Nicholls explained. “People came from very different theological persuasions. However, it was a breakthrough to realize that they couldn’t come to a consensus. They recognized what they had done and named what they learned about each other.”

The Galilee Report is the most recent step in the Anglican Church of Canada’s ongoing discernment about whether or not parishes should bless same-sex unions. In 2004 the Primate’s Theological Commission issued the St. Michael Report, which stated that the blessings were a matter of doctrine, but not a matter of core doctrine. The 2007 General Synod accepted this report and affirmed that same-sex unions were not in conflict with core doctrine. However, General Synod did not pass a proposed motion that would have allowed dioceses to authorize the blessing of same-sex unions.

Now that the Galilee Report is out in the world, the commission welcomes feedback from all Canadian Anglicans. Responses will be collated and presented at the 2010 General Synod, along with the Galilee Report. Email your responses to Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, director of Faith, Worship, and Ministry or mail them to

The Primate’s Theological Commission
c/o Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 3G2

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