I read a commentary this past weekend about the Anglican Church and marriage equality, and one of the points made has me thinking about why the Roman Catholic hierarchy has been so negative on LGBT issues.
An essay by Alf McCreary in Northern Ireland’s Belfast Telegraph responded to the Church of England General Synod’s recent rejection of a bishops’ report re-affirming marriage is only between a man and a woman. McCreary’s evaluation of the decision is:
“. . . [T]he Church is in a no-win situation. The latest developments in the Church of England , following a three-year process that had attempted to solve this most divisive issue, merely showed how difficult it is, if not impossible, to satisfy both sides.”
McCreary steps back a bit from the Anglican debate to look, somewhat wistfully it seems, at the Roman Catholic situation in regard to marriage equality:
Source: – Bondings 2.0
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).
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.
Ever felt excluded in a Church. If so, and you live near Warrington, we would love to see you on Sunday at our Open Table service. We are welcoming to LGBTI and other excluded people e.g. all disabilities. It can be really really tough if you are gay and have faith, we aim to provide a safe space for people to come along. We are not aiming to throw religion at folk, merely to offer the chance to meet like minded people to have some time for a service, refreshments and time of sharing. Please share this with your friends, even if your not a person of faith yourself, you never know who might want to hear about this group. Doors open at 6 p.m. for cuppa, service at 6.30. St Johns, Wilderspool Causeway, we would love to meet you.
,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.”