Monday, November 10, 2008

Diocese of Niagara bishop calls for rite for same-sex blessing

a c c w e b n e w s
The Anglican Church of Canada

Marites N. Sison staff writer
Nov 6, 2008

The bishop of the diocese of Niagara, Michael Bird, on Nov. 6 said he
intends to follow in the footsteps of two other bishops in the Anglican
Church of Canada who have informed their synods about their intention to
develop a rite that would allow the blessing of same-gender couples who have
been civilly married.

"As is the case with our brother and sister Anglicans in the dioceses of
Montreal and Ottawa, I believe we are among those who have been called by
God to speak with a prophetic voice on this subject," Bishop Bird said in a
letter issued on the eve of the diocesan synod scheduled Nov. 7 to 8 in
Hamilton, Ont.

"I, therefore, intend to ask for a rite to be developed for the blessing of
same-sex couples who have been civilly married, along with a process to
enable these blessings to take place that will at the same time honour the
diversity of tradition and theology that exists across Niagara," he said.

Bishop Bird said it is his hope that the process will "move ahead as
expeditiously as possible and that I will be in a position to report back to
the diocese within the next few months." He assured, however, that all
clergy and all parishes would be "fully free to follow their own conscience
on this matter, as and when we are able to move forward."

To read the rest of the story, please visit the Anglican Journal Web site,

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