Monday, 18 October 2004

reaction from New Westminster

The Canadian diocese of New Westminster also featured in the Windsor Report, after its decision to authorize a rite for the blessing of a same-sex couple. Tonight, Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster issued a statement regretting ‘the consequence of our actions’.

Read the statement by following the link below.

I welcome the report and greatly appreciate that the report focuses on reconciliation. Of course we have not had time to digest the entire document, but we will prayerfully study and reflect on it in the forthcoming days. I will be referring the report to our next Diocesan Synod in May, where we will together decide our course of future action.

We in this diocese will continue to respect the dignity of every human being, as our baptismal covenant says. We will continue to affirm the presence and the contributions of gay and lesbian persons in our church, within whom the spirit of God moves. This will not change.

We do regret the consequence of our actions with sadness. We realize that many have not understood what we have been attempting to do in this diocese, or have even received news of our actions with dismay. What we have been trying to do is make the church more welcoming and open to all Christians, whatever their sexual orientation.

We are certainly open to wider consultations, especially with those who have not understood our actions. We went through a lengthy discernment process and produced many resources, all of which are open to everyone on our website. I invite Anglicans everywhere to read what had been produced (www.vancouver.anglican.ca), and to contact the diocese or me if they still have questions.

We are glad that the report does leave open the door to further discussion about issues such the ordination of gay or lesbian persons, and the blessing of same sex unions, and we hope the further advancement of the role of women in the church.

We welcome the clear condemnation of the practice of some bishops involving themselves, uninvited, in the affairs of another diocese or province.

In short we appreciate that the tone of the report is reconciliation. We are fully committed to the Anglican Communion which embraces a worldwide diversity of cultures and traditions within common prayer.

Bishop Michael Ingham, Diocese of New Westminster

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Monday, 18 October 2004 at 11:12pm BST | TrackBack
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