CANADA: Canterbury's observers see challenge, hope in attempt to resolve same-gender issues

January 11, 2010

There is "general pessimism" among bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada church's upcoming General Synod in Halifax this June.

According to a recent Anglican Journal report, this is one of the many observations recently made by two pastoral visitors from the United Kingdom who were deputized by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. They were invited to attend the four-day meeting of the House of Bishops last November in Niagara, Ontario, at the request of Archbishop Williams, who is seeking ways to heal divisions among the provinces of the Anglican Communion.

No matter what decisions may be reached at the 2010 General Synod, however, the gathering is bound to be "a watershed both for the (Anglican Church of Canada) and for its wider relations with the Anglican Communion," said Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe, and Bishop Colin Bennetts, the retired bishop of Coventry, in their report. "At its worst it could lead to internal anarchy. At its best it could help us all to appreciate and practice a properly Christian style of inclusiveness."

Gandiya and Bennetts not that the last General Synod did not approve same-gender blessings "nor did it rule against them" Such uncertainty has resulted in a situation that is "complex, not to say confusing," the newspaper reported the bishops as saying.

The visitors also noted "a widespread sense of weariness with the whole business of same-sex blessings," as well as a "palpable desire to get on with the business of mission," the Journal said.

The rest of the Anglican Journal story is here.

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