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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Tonight you have another opportunity for a similar discussion, not leading to a vote but leading to an opportunity to give advice and feedback. The College of Bishops met together in January at our annual retreat, and just before we began that retreat, we decided that we needed to sit down together and talk out what it might mean in the Diocese of Toronto to exercise generous pastoral care which the House of Bishops of the Canadian church had set as guidelines for the life of the Anglican Church of Canada. Having been together at Lambeth, having engaged in conversations with the House of Bishops in the Canadian church, and having had partnerships with various places across the world, we had a full, frank conversation and discovered that we had a whole lot more consensus than we originally thought.
Part of that consensus was that the way forward at this time, when there is no consensus within the life of the church, was not to engage in a legislative vote that sets policy, that enshrines things in legislation, but rather thatwe needed to recognize that in this period of time as we engage in a period of gracious restraint, when it is quite clear in the teaching of the church that marriage at this time is a holy relationship between a man and a woman in solemn matrimony and that that is a subject for the General Synod and not the Diocese of Toronto to define.
In that period of time when there are pastoral needs that are evident within our parishes amongst faithful people, how might we deal with those pastoral, individual circumstances in the most generous and gracious way possible while holding open the opportunity for further discussion and consideration by the wider church?
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