Niagara diocese approves blessings for noncelibate gay couples; bishop assents

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The southern Ontario diocese of Niagara, meeting at its annual synod, on Nov. 17 voted to allow civilly-married gay couples, “where at least one party is baptized,” to receive a church blessing.

Bishop Ralph Spence, who had refused to implement a similar vote three years ago, this time gave his assent, making Niagara the third diocese since the June General Synod convention to accept same-sex blessings.

Of the 294 clergy and lay delegates, 239 voted yes, 53 said no and two abstained. In 2003, out of 319 delegates, 213 voted yes and 106 said no.

Read it all.

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

4 Comments
Posted November 17, 2007 at 7:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br. Michael wrote:

Good.  We need clarity.

November 17, 9:29 pm | [comment link]
2. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) wrote:

I just realized what has been most distressing to me about both of the Niagara threads. Every time I see either headline, my poor tired brain wants to rearrange ‘Niagara’ to spell ‘Nigeria’. So every time I see the headlines, I have to pause and read them more carefully.

November 17, 9:50 pm | [comment link]
3. robroy wrote:

What about ancient tradition? What about not aggravating the current tensions in the Anglican Communion? What a farce. What a bunch of hypocrites.

November 17, 10:34 pm | [comment link]
4. jamesw wrote:

The synod decision seems to contradict a “pastoral statement” reaffirmed by Canadian Anglican bishops at their October meeting that says clergy may celebrate a eucharist and intercessory prayers with a homosexual couple, but not pronounce a nuptial blessing. Bishop Spence was a co-author of the statement, but he commented that “the ground shifted underneath us when Ottawa and Montreal took the stances they did. The spirit of that pastoral letter is very much present. We strive for a generous response.” In practical terms, however, he agreed that synod’s decision and the pastoral statement now co-exist. “That’s where it stands,” he said.

Kind of puts into perspective how much credence you can give liberal promises, doesn’t it?

November 18, 3:45 am | [comment link]
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