Breaking News from Up North (and a nice wedding present for Jerry & Bruno!):
At its annual synod or general meeting, held 19 October 2007, the Anglican clergy and laity of the Diocese of Montreal voted in favour of a motion requesting "that the Bishop grant permission for clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages, including marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized; and that the Bishop authorize an appropriate rite and make regulations for its use in supportive parishes."
The vote taken on Friday night was passed in the order of clergy (44 - 25) and in the order of laity (59 – 32).
A statement from Bishop Barry B. Clarke:
The Synod – our diocesan legislative body – has now requested that I grant permission for clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages, including marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized; and that I authorize an appropriate rite and make regulations for its use in supportive parishes.
I will need some time to reflect on today's discussions, to consult further with the other Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada when we meet later this month, and to consider the concerns of our partners in the wider Anglican Communion.All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. As in any family, we have disagreements – sometimes serious. And as a family, it is important for us to be together; to continue to meet together to discern the mind of Christ. I was elected as Bishop of all Anglicans in this diocese, and as such, I call upon all to remain at the table, working to sustain the highest level of Communion possible.
Until a decision is made, there is no change in our current policy and practice; I expect our clergy to refrain from blessing same-sex couples.The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada is meeting next week in London, ON and is expected to discuss not only the implications of both the Ottawa and Montreal dioceses' vote but also conflicting interpretations of the ramifications of General Synod's decision around same-sex blessings.