Bishop Robert F. Bennett’s Charge to the 167th Synod of the Diocese of Huron

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I must confess that I’m quite torn on the issue [of same sex blessings] and in that sense ponder whether I actually might reflect where a significant part of the church might be. On the one hand, I agree with the National House of Bishops desire to “develop the most generous pastoral response possible within the current teaching of the church”. On the other hand, my catholic sensitivity of whom we are as church mandates that I take very seriously the Archbishop of Canterbury’s request that we embrace a ‘season of gracious restraint’ in the matter of same-gender blessings. To state the obvious, nothing is easy here!....

As we journey to General Synod 2010 in Halifax, I intend to embrace the pastoral model. It is where I suspect Huron’s heart is. For further clarification, I am committing to maintaining the moratoria as requested by the wider Anglican family. For me, this season of ‘gracious restraint’ will take us to Halifax 2010. We find ourselves in an ‘in-between time’ that must be used to prepare for the national gathering and beyond. I also reaffirm the National House of Bishops’ statement on Sexuality that commits to the most generous pastoral response possible within the current teaching of the church. To that end, I am asking the Diocesan Doctrine and Worship Committee (or a sub group) to synthesize and make available the most recent and relevant material to aid in this discernment time. (This is a long list that includes the House of Bishops statements/The Rothsay report/The Galilee report/The Windsor Report/The Anglican Consultative Council statements/Primates’ communiqués/Lambeth Indaba reflections/Council of General Synod communiqués/ Anglican Covenant process…see why my file is so large!) I’m also requesting the Doctrine and worship Committee (or a sub group) to develop appropriate protocols, guidelines and evaluative tools to enable us to move forward with appropriate liturgies to celebrate the love, mutual fidelity and support that gay and lesbian Anglicans model every day for the church and wider community. I envisage that the framework for this would be Eucharistic in nature with approved intercessory prayers but with no nuptial blessing (as per the 2007 statement of the House of Bishops).

When the Doctrine and Worship Committee has done their work, I am prepared to consider giving permission for those requesting to move ahead (using of course, the approved liturgies).

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

Posted May 26, 2009 at 8:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

So pastoral one couldn’t cure a soul of a sin.  That’s where pasotoral gets ya’ when it has no doctrinal foundation.  Oh, it feeeeeeels so good.  Let’s not stop anyone from feeling goooooood - at least as long as they are here.

May 26, 8:08 pm | [comment link]
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