Theological Commission finds same-sex blessings to be a ‘matter of doctrine’

An Anglican Church of Canada theological commission has offered the opinion that the blessing of same-sex unions is a “matter of doctrine.”

The St. Michael report, presented to the Council of General Synod (CoGS) meeting in Mississauga, Ont., notes that although same-sex blessings are “a matter of doctrine,” they are not a matter of “core doctrine.” (The “core doctrines” of the church are the central tenets of the faith as expressed in historic documents.)

“We believe that this issue has become a matter of such theological significance in the Church that it must be addressed as a matter of doctrine,” said the report. It added, however, that it believes same-sex blessings should not be “a Communion breaking issue” and that doctrines can develop and change.

The Council of General Synod, the Anglican church’s chief governing body, voted to receive the report and recommended it to provinces, dioceses and the House of Bishops for further study, before it goes to the 2007 General Synod. General Synod meets every three years.

The issue of whether or not same-sex blessings are a matter of doctrine could affect whether or not the church has to change its canons or laws for them to be performed.

Amending the canons of the church is a lengthy process, which can take at least two meetings of the General Synod or six years. The Primate.s Theological Commission was asked by General Synod last year to give its opinion on whether or not the blessings of committed same sex unions are a matter of doctrine.

Today, CoGS will decide on a response to a request by the Anglican Primates issued in their communiqué in February that both the Canadian and U.S churches voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council, a key body of the Anglican Communion.

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For more information, please contact Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416 924 9199 EXT. 306,[email protected] or Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry, 416 924 9199 ext. 281, [email protected]

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