Pretoria – The furore over the Anglican church’s decision to reject same-sex marriage looks likely to intensify, with its Pretoria region the latest to voice its unhappiness with the decision.
The matter was an issue of heated debate among delegates during the three-day conference that began on Thursday. Pretoria region is among the biggest regions in South Africa.
Current political and economic crises in the country, including state capture and corruption, as well as social problems, were also raised at the conference.
The dissent by Pretoria comes almost a year after the Anglican Church of Southern Africa decided that it would not allow bishops to “provide prayers of blessing to be offered for those in same-sex civil unions”. Following that resolution during a debate in Ekurhuleni, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba expressed his disappointment at the move, saying he was “deeply pained by the outcome of the debate”.
“I was glad I wear glasses or the synod would have seen tears. I wanted to be anywhere but in the synod hall – I wished I was quietly home in Magoebaskloof,” he said at the time.
Source: More ructions in Anglican church over same-sex marriage |
In the United States, 2015 was a watershed year for marriage equality. With a 5-4 decision in June, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right to marry for all Americans, regardless of the gender composition of the couple. Marriage traditionalists built their case against same-sex unions on the proposition that, as a fundamentally religious ritual, marriage was for millennia defined as a union between one man and one woman. However, Obergefell rejected the premise that lawmaking could be based solely on religious reasons without clearly defined state-sanctioned goals. Through its ruling, the Supreme Court built a constitutional wall separating marital unions from the church’s traditional definition.
Yet if 2015 saw the backers of marriage equality win a decisive victory, 2016 opened with what might be a trend among some churches to relocate the battleground over same-sex marriage within the boundaries of their own religious communities. On January 10, a leading member of the worldwide hierarchy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) announced that the church’s controversial and exclusionary policy toward gay Mormon couples and their children—first established in 2015 in response to Obergefell—was “revealed” to the church’s president and confirmed by the other church apostles to be “the will of the Lord.” Four days later, the Anglican Communion announced that it had voted to suspend for three years the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA), the largest U.S. member of the global Communion, from key voting positions. The suspension came in response to the Episcopal Church’s practice of allowing its clergy to perform same-sex marriage and for its decision, in the wake of Obergefell, to include same-sex marriage rites in its church laws.
Source: Religion & Politics
South Africa’s Anglican bishops have taken an initial step toward including LGBT people as full members of their congregations with the passage of a resolution at a meeting in the Grahamstown Diocese.The resolution now goes to the Provincial Synod, the church’s top decision-making body, which meets later this year, said Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town. Show captionAnglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba leaves a Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela was being treated on June 25, 2013. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko *Editors: This photo may only be republished wtih RNS-SAFRICA-ANGLICAN, originally transmitted on Feb. 23, 2016. This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.“I believe its adoption by Provincial Synod would be an important first step signaling to the LGBT community that we … see them as welcome members,” Makgoba said in a pastoral letter dated Monday (Feb. 22).
Source: South Africa’s Anglican bishops move toward gay inclusion – Religion News Service
FRACTURES in the Australian Anglican Church on the issue of gay clergy are set to boil over at a national meeting of bishops in early March, prompting Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson to miss the event and accuse Sydney diocese of leading a breakaway conservative movement.
The emergence of a “para Anglican Communion” was underway, Bishop Thompson said in a letter to Anglican Primate Archbishop Philip Freier in December, in which he declined to attend the annual bishops conference in South Australia from March 6 because it would give the impression of a united church that conflicted with reality.
Source: Gay clergy ‘tensions’ before Anglican conference | Newcastle Herald
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,In New Zealand, marriage equality is now built into national law, and gay marriages have begun. In a notable sign of the times, both bishops, a comfortable majority of Anglican clergy and a narrow majority of other synod members at an Auckland church conference voted in support of a motion to change church rules, and start conducting gay weddings, in church. The motion failed only because passage required a stronger, two thirds majority..
Auckland Anglicans have said no to gay marriage – despite church heads being in favour of it.
A motion to press the issue has failed at this weekend’s conference, despite both Auckland bishops and a majority of clergy being in favour.
72 members of the synod voted to push for gay marriage, 65 were against and eight abstained.
80 of the clergy support conducting single sex marriages, but with 44 against and four abstentions the motion fell short of a two-thirds majority.
If it had passed the vote would have been the first step towards allowing homosexuals to marry within the Anglican church.
The Auckland clergyman who’s been pushing for the Anglican church to conduct gay marriages, says he’s not disappointed at losing the vote.
The Reverend Glyn Cardy believes change is still in the wind.
“I’m very positive about where Auckland is. Really it shows that people do want to see change, the vast majority of the synod wants to see change.”
The Anglican Bishop of Auckland says he was simply following church rules when he turned Eugene Sisneros down for progressing with a priest training programme because he was in a same-sex relationship.
Bishop Ross Bay told a Human Rights Tribunal hearing in Auckland today he advised Mr Sisneros that entering the programme would be a dead end because of “considerable opposition” from church leaders on the matter.
It is the second day of the hearing over the alleged discrimination, which is being held at Auckland District Court.
Mr Sisneros claims he was barred from entering the programme because of his sexuality – a claim the bishop has denied, saying he was simply following the church’s doctrines.
Bishop Bay told the hearing he would not be opposed to changing his stance should church leaders alter the rules regarding the ordination of homosexual priests.
“There was no formal decision in effect … rather the bishops and I agreed together they would uphold such a policy while coming to a decision on this matter.”
Bishop Bay admitted he had licensed gay and lesbian priests working in Auckland since becoming bishop, but denied any inconsistencies in his upholding of the church’s doctrine in doing so.
In 2006 Mr Sisneros, 38, began a Bachelor of Theology degree and started signalling his desire to enter the training programme by writing to then Bishop of Auckland John Paterson, who said there was opposition to the ordination of gay clergy.
continue reading – NZ Herald News.
THE issue of gay marriages topped the agenda during the fourth day of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia General Synod underway at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.
New Zealand Archbishop David John Moxon said the church had yet to make a stand on the gay issue and the reports from the meeting would be considered before the outcome was finalised in 2014.
He said the issue grabbed media headlines the world over and the church would be making its stand public in two years time.
“We haven’t considered our final stand on gay marriage,” said Archbishop Moxon.
“We are having a commission of this church and we will listen to the Anglicans in the next two years on their views and what they think based on the Bible, from their prayers, their discussions of sexually orientation.
“We want to hear what the church thinks and we will be reporting back on our findings after this meeting and in two years time we will make any decisions on their reports and findings,” he said.
Polynesia Archbishop Winston Halapua added the issue needed to be considered carefully by members of the church.
“This issue is all over the world and it involves the Pacific including Fiji.
“We haven’t arrived at what we need to do at this point because a Bible study has been tasked to look at what the word of God says.
– Fiji Times Online.