Thinking Anglicans

New Zealand approves same-sex blessings

Updated Saturday

Anglican Taonga reports: Yes to blessings

…The Anglican Church this morning has paved the way for the blessing of same gender relationships.

At 11:20 this morning, by majority vote, General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui passed Motion No 7 – which is the motion which accepts the report and recommendations of the Motion 29 small working group.

That acceptance is subject to the appointment of a select committee which will consider and report back to General Synod – before it finishes today – on a range of detail which the Synod must be sorted before the passage of the constitutional and canonical changes necessary to give the decision effect.

The decision, nonetheless, is clear – after almost 50 years of debate about human sexuality, the Anglican Church has created a pathway for the blessing of same-gender couples…

The report that was adopted is a lengthy document which can be found here.

The Polynesian component of the church, Tikanga Pasifika, will not be changing its practice, but has not exercised its right to veto the proposal. See explanation here.

See also Slow start. Big finish.

Updates

FCANZ response to General Synod Decision to Bless Same Sex Relationships, downloadable copy here.

Gafcon UK offers support to FCA New Zealand after same sex blessings vote

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Edward PrebblePaul WaddingtonFather Ron SmithInterested ObserverLaurie Roberts Recent comment authors
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Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

As a former member of the General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui, and the successful mover of a resolution in 2002 (yes, 16 years ago!) asking for this work to be done, I find myself with two sets of emotional reactions to yesterday’s vote. First, I must acknowledge a deep sense of relief and thanks that at last some significant movement has been achieved. Further movement is now inevitable. Thank God for that. On the other hand, I experience a cynical yawning reaction. After so many years of debate, hermeneutics conferences, respectful conversations, commissions reviewing commissions etc, we have now achieved a… Read more »

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

After posting my comment above, Iopened a message to the diocese from the bishops of my diocese, sent while they are in the Synod. Their summary of the decision is very significant: “…While subject to the final formal confirmation on Thursday, GS/THW has agreed to allow blessing of relationship for those in civil union or legal marriage. This, in turn, will allow for the ordination of those in such relationships if they are discerned in our usual processes as gifted and called in such ministry….” I had not grasped that the subject of the second sentence had been agreed. Whether… Read more »

robert ian williams
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robert ian williams

No doubt the Sydney cavalry will come to the rescue..when I was in Aotearoa/NZ , no evangelicals baulked at divorce and remarriage…they knew nothing of the Church change on contraception either.

Father Ron Smith
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re Edward Prebble’s comment. It is significant that, even though our GS decision allows for the Blessing of Same-sex Civil Marriage partners, and also those in Civil Partnerships; it DOES NOT cater for Same-Sex partners to be married in Church. Some of us had thought that this would allow those who oppose S/S Weddings in Church to be able, in good conscience, to remain in ACANZP. However, it would seem that local FOCANZ members (two of whom have recently resigned from General Synod following the result of Motion 29’s success) have resumed their threat to leave our Church. Despite Ed’s… Read more »

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

While grateful for those like Edward Prebble, I feel surrounded in my parish including my vicar by those in the middle group who seem to have no understanding of what a lifetime of victimisation by the church has achieved. I made a decision for Christ at about age 9. At age 74 I think it was the most ridiculous thing I ever did and that my life would have been a lot happier without it. I literally cried when the decision was postponed 3 years ago, now that there has been some development I could not care less. I have… Read more »

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

Ironically the following day the General Synod has apologised for taking part in the sale of Maori lands in the 1860’s. No surprise CMS was involved. Perhaps in 150 years the church, if it still exists, will be apologising for the victimisation of LGBT people. I, of course, will not see that although I have lived long enough to see the NSW parliament and police apologise for arrests and brutaiity of many of my friends at a gay rights rally in the 70’s. Fortunately I escaped as it would have been the early end of what became a long career… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

Edward says yawn but my reaction is more negative.

This is a case of the end justifying the means. It is a step forwards but it has required Synod to reaffirm in a formal vote that LGBTI people and our marriages are officially othered by the Church. Is the minor gain really worth the highly negative message that sends to LGBTI people?

Paul Waddington.
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Paul Waddington.

If I have interpreted the comments above and elsewhere correctly, the Anglican Church in New Zealand and Polynesia is falling apart. Firstly, it seems that the New Zealand and Polynesian parts are taking quite different views. Secondly, no one seems particularly happy with the outcome.

I predict that a period of even more rapid decline in church membership will follow. I understand that it is has been declining pretty anyway.

Laurie Roberts
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Laurie Roberts

I write to say how much I appreciate what Brian Ralph has written above, I feel for him, and all he has been through.

As a gay man, myself and having accepted Christ as in early teens, I too, wonder at the snail pace* of the very inadequate steps that are taken — hardly ‘progress’. I wish it to be understood that I wish no disrespect to snails.

However, church leaders at all levels, and synod and committee members baffle me.

I thank Brian for his contributions- not easy to deal with such a lifetime of homophobia.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“One group say such a move is unbiblical and unacceptable, and a third group see the other two as “extremes”, and search for any possible compromise. That third group were the big winners yesterday.” To, yet again, cite Martin Luther King: “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is… Read more »

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

Thank you for various comments made. Some responses. Fr Ron – lovely to keep up with you after all our many years of contact. I am not sure what you mean by: Despite Ed’s thought that they might have been satisfied with Civil Partnership Blessing….” I am sure they would not have been. All I mean is that taking part in a Civil Union or Marriage is now the threshold for blessing the relationship, whereas those civil steps were strenuously opposed when the government set them up. Brian. Thank you for your comments -you have my absolute understanding and sympathy.… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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“If I have interpreted the comments above and elsewhere correctly, the Anglican Church in New Zealand and Polynesia is falling apart. Firstly, it seems that the New Zealand and Polynesian parts are taking quite different views. Secondly, no one seems particularly happy with the outcome. I predict a period of even more rapid decline in church membership will follow. I understand that it is has been declining pretty anyway.” – Paul W Not so, Paul. As Edward has already indicated, the action of our Polynesian cousins – living as they do in a conservative society with government to match, they… Read more »

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

Without backing off from any of the reservations expressed earlier, the new threads posted above show that at least ACANZP is doing rather better than Anglicans in Australia or Ireland. Just not as well as those in Scotland, TEC or Canada

Paul Waddington
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Paul Waddington

If anyone is disputing that the Anglican Church in Zew Zealand is in rapid decline, have a look at the NZ government census results. It is clear for all to see.

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

Paul I certainly accept that the ACANZP has been in rapid numerical decline for some time. In my own diocese, Auckland, the last year to see an increase in the number of communicants was 1984, and the number has decreased every year since. (1984 was the year of my ordination, but I respectfully decline to take responsibility.) There are now more Roman Catholics than Anglicans in NZ, principally because Rome has been much more successful in countries such as the Philippines from which large numbers have migrated to these islands. So yes, as in Britain, North America, Australia etc etc,… Read more »