Monday, June 25, 2007

Anglican Church of Canada shies away from blessing same sex unions

Winnipeg Free Press
By Jen Skerritt

Some members of the Anglican Church of Canada were left in tears Sunday, after a motion to bless same-sex unions lost by only two votes.

The motion was supported by the majority of clergy and laity at the group’s national meeting, but two bishops who opposed the idea were the deciding factor. The motion was defeated by 21-19.

The decision shocked many same-sex supporters who thought the motion would pass since earlier in the day Anglicans voted same-sex blessings were not in conflict with the church’s doctrine.

Chris Ambidge, national spokesman for an Anglican group that supports same-sex unions, said the national meeting sent mixed messages to Anglicans across Canada and was confusing to everyone who voted.

"What is wrong with having rights of blessing when you’ve already said it's OK?" he said. "I just don’t understand that."


Bishop Peter Coffin voted to support same-sex unions, and said he's going to have a hard time breaking the news to his congregation. Coffin said he's appalled the church is talking about gay and lesbian members without discussing the issue with them directly. "I'm just dreaming up what I'm going to say (to my congregation)," he said. "It's going to be hurtful."

Ambidge said the ruling that same-sex blessings aren't in conflict with the church's core doctrine was a bit of good news that proves the church will eventually change its mind on the issue.

"The head of the baby is out, so the rest is coming," Ambidge said.

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