Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Canadian Anglicans Prepare To Vote On Same-Sex Blessings

by The Canadian Press
Posted: June 19, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Winnipeg, Manitoba) Planning a wedding is usually complicated, taking months to sort out a seemingly endless parade of details.

For Frank Kajfes, 60, the months leading up to the big day with Bryan Wannop, his partner of 30 years, were difficult for another reason.

As Anglicans, it was important to Kajfes and Wannop, 70, to have a religious component to their wedding. Since the church doesn't allow its priests to bless same-sex unions, having Kajfes and Wannop at the altar on their wedding day was a delicate matter.

Church leaders came up with a clever compromise.

Before they were legally married by a Federal Court judge at the end of a regular Sunday mass, they were prayed for by the entire congregation of St. John the Evangelist in Ottawa _ instead of just the priest.

"They were blessing us, not our marriage. That was a technical point," said Kajfes, who's now retired after teaching for 37 years.

"It was the closest thing they could do without contravening the bishop's directives."

The Anglican Church has so far refused to allow priests to bless same-sex unions. Kajfes is happy with the way his wedding turned out, but says the church is still failing its gay members.

"We will continued to be marginalized, and we will be second-class citizens in the Anglican Church."

If Kajfes and Wannop had waited just one more year, there's a chance their wedding might have been different. The Anglican Church of Canada will vote on blessing same-sex unions this week at its General Synod in Winnipeg.

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