The Primate, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, has written to all bishops and metropolitans asking them to encourage their dioceses and provinces to study and respond to the St. Michael Report. The Report was produced at the request of the Primate following a decision by General Synod in 2004 to defer consideration of the blessing of same-sex unions until the Primate’s Theological Commission had studied the question. Their theological evaluation of the issue was presented to the Council of General Synod in May, a full year before the deadline, so that there will be greater opportunity for the Report to be studied by the church.
The St. Michael Report is now available for purchase at the Anglican Book Centre. Questions for study and response have been inserted by the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee. All Anglicans are invited to respond to the Report, using these following questions if desired:
The Faith Worship and Ministry Committee of the Anglican Church of Canada has been asked to gather responses from the church to the St. Michael Report. I invite you to offer your responses, whether as an individual, a study or other group, or a parish. You might wish to engage the report using some of all of the following questions:
- Please evaluate the conclusion of the report: do you agree, disagree, or wish to comment further on the conclusion ‘that the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine’.
- Discuss the level of doctrinal importance you assign to the issue of same sex blessings. Is it a ‘confessional’ issue (cf. Paragraph 9 & 10)? Where does it lie in the spectrum of doctrine between ‘core’ and ‘adiaphora’?
- Paragraph 16: If the two questions in this paragraph are on a continuum where, for you, should the Anglican Church of Canada be in 2007?
- What are the implications of the cultural context of Canadian life for ministry and doctrine?
- Re: paragraph 12 It is commonly assumed that doctrinal certainty is required before pastoral actions can be taken, but history also demonstrates that clarity emerges when thought and action occur simultaneously. (Eg. the ordination of women & children receiving communion).
- In light of all of the above, how should the church respond to the pastoral issues we are facing?
- Are there actions that need to occur simultaneously with our ongoing discernment?
- What might such actions be and what would be an appropriate way of commencing and proceeding with them and assessing them?
Other comments: Please add any additional comments you wish to make.Please share your insights, comments, affirmations and/or questions with the Faith, Worship & Ministry Committee as part of our ongoing preparation for General Synod 2007, c/o Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan: [email protected], and copy them if you wish to your diocese as it formulates a response.
The Rt. Rev’d Michael Bedford-Jones
Chair, Faith Worship and Ministry Committee
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