Monday, 4 June 2018

Brazilian Anglicans vote to marry same-sex couples

Updated Tuesday morning

Savi Hensman reports at Ekklesia:

Brazilian Anglicans’ ‘yes’ to marrying same-sex couples

The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil has decided to open up church marriage to same-sex couples. On 1 June 2018 its synod voted by a huge majority – 57 in favour, three against and two abstentions – to amend the rules (canons) on who could marry.

“I felt the decision was a result of the Holy Spirit’s presence and work. This widens our boundaries, allowing us to be more welcoming to the diversity of people in our country”, said the Primate (most senior bishop), Francisco de Assis da Silva.

This follows decades of discussion on sexuality, with more intensive debate in recent years. A handful of churches in the Anglican Communion (and certain other denominations) already allow clergy to marry same-sex couples, though Brazil is the first in the South to say ‘yes’…

Update
The Anglican Communion News Service now has this comprehensive report: Brazil’s Anglican Church changes its canons to permit same-sex marriage. This article includes comment from the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, and lists the state of play on this topic in other provinces which have taken, or are contemplating, similar action.

As of 2 pm Monday, there is no other report on this in English elsewhere, except for the press release copied below the fold, which has appeared at Anglican Ink.

Press release from IEAB

This is a historical moment for the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. Today, it voted in favor of amending its marriage canon to allow same-sex blessings by a large majority of votes – 57 in favor, 4 against and 2 abstentions. This is the third time the matter was brought into consideration at a General Synod.

Canonical changes were approved in an environment filled by the Holy Spirit and with mutual love and respect. It was preceeded by long, deep and spiritual dialogue. This dialogue formally started in 1997, but had been going on much earlier, and reached the whole province since then through indabas, conferences, consultations, prayers, biblical and theological publications.

The Anglican Service for Diaconia and Development – SADD and Centre for Anglican Studies – CEA were commissioned by the Synod in 2013 to deepen dialogue among dioceses of the Province. It is worth noticing that same-sex civil marriage is legal in Brazil since 2012.

We were visited by international guests such as the Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Rt. Rev. Linda Nichols from Huron Diocese in Canada, among others. They shared with Synod their experience on the matter and led us into prayer.

We affirm our commitment with the Gospel of Jesus and our belonging to the Anglican Global Family. We also hope to keep walking together with those who disagree with us as we discern how to better respond to the challenges ahead of us in our contexts.
“I felt the decision was a result of the Holy Spirit’s presence and work. This widens our boundaries, allowing us to be more welcoming to the diversity of people in our country”, said the Primate of Brazil, the Most Rev. Francisco de Assis da Silva.

“As a member of the LGBT community, I followed this debate since its inception, first as a lay person and then as a clergy person. I personally felt discrimination and persecution when I first came out in the Diocese of Recife, and saw colleagues facing similar struggles. Some people left the Church, others lost faith in the Church as an institution. When I was chosen Provincial Secretary in 2011, the Church was aware of my sexual orientation and the fact I was in a civil union with Dr. David Morales. It was not an impediment to such crucial position. In 2016, we have had an extraordinary synod in order to discuss our canons as a whole. The discussion on Holy Matrimony was very challenging because it invited the church to speak out about this theme more openly. It allowed dioceses to engage in further discussion on a topic that had not been fully debated in some circles until then. I feel proud to witness this historic day for the Church of Brazil, which is also the day we celebrate IEAB’s 128th anniversary. We stand as a lighthouse at a time this country (and the world) faces so many difficulties, such as religious fundamentalism and intolerance. I finish my term as provincial secretary feeling completely overwhelmed.” [Quote from Revd Arthur Cavalcante, Provincial Secretary]

Liturgical changes will not be needed, the 2015 Book of Common Prayer’s marriage rite is gender neutral and should be used for any solemnization of marriage, regardless of gender.

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Comments

Congratulations to Brazil

I don't understand how England got to be so socially Conservative. Scotland for instance is probably pushing ahead with modernising the Gender Recognition Act but in England the same changes are facing opposition. We do need to start wondering, I think, what is in England which means we can't pass something which in Brazil passed with such strong support.

Posted by: Kate on Monday, 4 June 2018 at 4:29pm BST

This is another step along the road towards the break up of the Anglican Communion. There can no longer be any healing of the rift between GAFCON and the ever more liberal Anglican Churches.

Before too long, the leaders of the Church of England will have to climb down on one or other side of the fence; and that will cause an irreparable rift in the English Church. It is just a matter of time.

Posted by: Paul Waddington on Monday, 4 June 2018 at 5:00pm BST

Hallelujah!

Posted by: James Byron on Monday, 4 June 2018 at 8:47pm BST

Probably worth clarifying that the second block quote is from Rev Arthur Cavalcante, the Provincial Secretary, and not the Primate (as wonderful as it would be to know that an Anglican Primate was in a same-sex relationship!).


ED: thanks have made this clear above.

Posted by: Peter S on Monday, 4 June 2018 at 11:12pm BST

"There can no longer be any healing of the rift between GAFCON and the ever more liberal Anglican Churches."

Don't Gafcon claim to represent "the Global South"? Against the hegemony of colonialism, white oppression and so on? It's going to be interesting to watch the people who want to argue that same-sex marruage is a liberal, northern, white, European colonialist piece of oppresion lumping Brazil in with the bad guys.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Monday, 4 June 2018 at 11:57pm BST

"Before too long, the leaders of the Church of England will have to climb down on one or other side of the fence; and that will cause an irreparable rift in the English Church. It is just a matter of time." - Posted by: Paul Waddington

Dear Paul, the Church of England has actually survived even tougher prospects than learning to live with the reality of Equal Marriage. Earlier problems with contraception, divorce and re-marriage, and women's ordination undoubtedly was the occasion of a minority leaving the Church. However, the Church has had to learn to cope with the changing reality of modern life before this.

The propagation of the Good News of Jesus Christ in the Gospel cannot be allowed to be hindered by a hypocritical observance of outdated legalistic shibboleths. Christ was crucified for advocating a loving God. Should the Church remain willing to perpetuate a culture of Law over Love?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 12:19am BST

RS, I should have thought that PW's comment made complete sense. If the CofE approves ss marriage, it will cause a division.

Josiah I-F's (rather anodyne) response also makes it clear there is a teaching of the Communion Provinces, that they have agreed, and that this is a departure from that.

One can be enthusiastic about ss marriage, as you are, but it cannot also be the case that one blithely holds the view that all will be well. No, there will be a deep division. PW is simply preferring realism over enthusiasm.

Posted by: crs on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 10:32am BST

"If the CofE approves ss marriage, it will cause a division"

Christopher, exactly the same was said of the ordination of women. The truth is that NOT approving of it will cause division as well, as was also the case with the ordination of women.

So one can be UNenthusiastic about ss marriage, as you are, but it cannot also be the case that one blithely holds the view that all will be well. We will have to, eventually, come to some settlement along the lines of the five guiding principles. There is no other choice.

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 3:09pm BST

What Dr. Idowu-Fearon began with is interesting. To quote:

"Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said: 'The churches of the Anglican Communion are autonomous and free to make their own decisions on canon law.'" This is a useful clarification in several ways--"churches," "autonomous," and "free to make their own decisions."

Of course, nearly everything that follows is an attempt to discourage other provinces from following Brazil's lead.

The Secretary General closes with the usual waffle: "It is important to stress the Communion’s strong opposition to the criminalisation of LGBTIQ+ people." Might the Communion ever say that it opposes criminalisation of same-sex _conduct_? Or does the Communion still insist that LGBTIQ+ _people_ abstain from sex, in order to stay out of jail?

Isn't it time for the Church of England to understand how ridiculous this looks?

Posted by: Jeremy on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 5:24pm BST

"the Church of England has actually survived even tougher prospects than learning to live with the reality of Equal Marriage".

In response to Fr Ron Smith, I think the choice of the word, survived, is very appropriate. According to the British Social Attitudes survey, I think that in 1983, 43% of British people regarded themselves as Anglican (or C of E, or SEC or C of I). Now that figure is just 15%. Furthermore, and even more alarmingly, the median age of members of the Anglican Churches in Britain is over 65. What will the position be in, say, 15 years, when most of these have passed on?

If trends continue the way that they have been going, it is likely that fewer than 8% of British people describe themselves as Anglican. The Anglican Churches may be surviving, but only just!

Over the last 20 years, I have watched the size of the Sunday congregation in my local parish dwindle from about 35 to about 12. How much longer can this parish be viable?

Posted by: Paul Waddington on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 5:31pm BST

"If the CofE approves ss marriage, it will cause a division."

The same might said of any advance in social justice: there will always be people too invested in injustice to be willing to change. Organisations have to choose whether to tactically remain with the past, or strategically move to the future. The future of the organisation is different to the temporary opinions of its current members, particularly as those opposing improvements in social justice are largely the older members.

The long-term effect on the Catholic Church in Ireland of refusing to change is glaringly obvious to see. First they can't win an referendum on same-sex marriage. Then they lose a referendum on abortion - which is pretty foundational for Catholicism - and are frightened to even campaign on the topic for fear of making a bad situation worse.

I am firmly of the opinion that there is a quote from Spinal Tap for every situation, and the recent statements from Catholic seniors in Ireland that the referendums on same-sex marriage and abortion will leave it smaller but stronger brings to mind the follow exchange:

Marty: The last time Tap toured America, they were booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas. I was just wondering, does this mean the popularity of the group is waning?

Ian: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no...no, no, not at all. I just think that their appeal is becoming more selective.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 5:43pm BST

"One can be enthusiastic about ss marriage, as you are, but it cannot also be the case that one blithely holds the view that all will be well. No, there will be a deep division. PW is simply preferring realism over enthusiasm. "

If the bishops block it again, I think there's enough momentum to get the exceptions removed from the Equality Act. It's like the Irish border in Brexit. There might be an immovable object but an irresistible force will slam into it. In both cases it will require a stroke of genius to find a solution which is not highly divisive.

Posted by: Kate on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 5:52pm BST

IO, Spinal Tap: quite marvellous. TA has 'gorn orf' these days with so many taking themselves so seriously. As church officials open their mouths only to change feet, the only response is ridicule. Thank you.

Posted by: Stanley Monkhouse on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 6:56pm BST

Only 7% of the entire population of England consider themselves C Of E.

Survival?

10% say they are RC. 6% Muslim.

I think the pressing present question is, how can there be a C of E so very few people believe is a church by law established but not attended.

No one seriously expects any of this to change.

Next year it will be 6% anglican, 6% muslim, 11% RC. And the next year following this trend.

Church of England -- just how so?

Posted by: crs on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 7:03pm BST

The deep rift in the Church of England is here already. Brazil’s action will embolden those on both sides of this argument. I don’t think that it will be possible to enforce the party line much longer because (more) bishops will break ranks. On the other hand the “conservative” view will also be expressed more strongly. Disputes where both sides are absolutely convinced they are right are rarely pleasant.

However, the very long term pattern of numerical decline seems unlikely to be affected whatever decision is taken.

Kate: much as I would wish the Church of England to make far less use of the religious provisions in equalities legislation, I can’t see anything changing there. If there’s ever reform of the House of Lords then this sort of thing might affect the view as to whether there’s any continuing place for bishops, but actually I imagine not many minds would be changed either way.

Posted by: Bernard Silverman on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 7:55pm BST

@crs

Please could you cite your source for the statistics, which seem very shocking.

Posted by: T Pott on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 8:45pm BST

CRS: It us not so much that the English have chosen to reject a national church. It's more a decision to regard all religions as nonsense.

Posted by: FrDavidH on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at 9:55pm BST

There are so many things one could respond to on this site where conservatives and traditional liberals rarely contribute. But perhaps the most important refers to the comment regarding the execution of Jesus.

It is simply not true to say that he was crucified for advocating a loving God. He was crucified by the Romans, with the support of the high priest and those closely associated with him, because his activities were thought to threaten the stability of the regime in Judaea. Jesus was not a "liberal protestant" but a devout Jew with a mission to his own people, and I only wish that far more church-goers studied the real Jesus, as far as our sources go, reading, for example, the late Maurice Casey's magisterial biography of our Lord (by a scholar not least in the field of Aramaic, who ceased to be associated with the Church), or some of the many studies of Jesus and the Gospels by the late Jewish scholar, Geza Vermes, including "The Changing Faces of Jesus" and "The Authentic Gospel of Jesus", the Jesus who had some firmly challenging words to say, among other things, about marriage - marriage of a man and a woman. Misunderstanding of the reasons for the Crucifixion have led to many centuries of horrific attacks by Christians upon our Lord's own people.

Posted by: John Bunyan on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 6:04am BST

The most recent Social Attitudes survey put those identifying as Church of England at 17 per cent. Perhaps crs inadvertently missed off the first digit.

Posted by: Fr Andrew on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 7:58am BST

"It us not so much that the English have chosen to reject a national church. It's more a decision to regard all religions as nonsense."

Doesn't sound like RCs or Muslims agree. No surprise there.

Maybe I don't understand your point. It sounds like a step down from a counsel of despair.

TP. These are figures I have seen in the last week. I am happy to stand corrected. They likely refer to percentage of those active in worship attendance.

I think the main point is that there is an established church in England that an increasingly smaller and smaller proportion of subjects attend or identify with. How can this then be "the Church of England."

BTW, if memory serves already ten years ago England was more Roman Catholic than Anglican. "It's immigration." Well, that doesn't explain the decline of Anglicanism.

Posted by: crs on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 8:33am BST

"I think the main point is that there is an established church in England that an increasingly smaller and smaller proportion of subjects attend or identify with."

Christopher: and does this have anything in any way to do with same sex marriage? (the subject of the thread)

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 12:36pm BST

Re: Paul Bunyan (6:04 am), "...so many things one could respond to on this site..."


Marshal McLuhan was right. Media (one notes blogging),like the blaring car horn directed at another driver, is an extension of our nervous system. Yet, one is reluctant to 'cede the space' as the saying goes.

You rightfully reference Christian antisemitism. I reviewed Geza Vermes' comments on, Resurrection in the Hearts of Men. It is an extremely generous comment from a Jewish scholar. In a dialogical forum we could have a discussion about his intellectual generosity, his own particular life story, and how those of us who see resurrection as an ontological reality might thoughtfully respond. But on a blog site, well its a game of dunking booth at a summer fair.

Regarding your juxtaposition of a proclamation of love v. the real crucifixion, I think John Dominic Crossan's position is compelling with regard to the issues that were on the ground. However at more fundamental level the deforming power of hate is constantly opposed to the transcendent value of love. The death of Christ, even if one excavates hagiography and sees him as a pious Jewish prophet in the context of some sort of first century kibbutz like movement, is grounded in his perception of Divine Love.

You are right questioning the crucifixion as the result of some amorphic love. Likewise, I reject the explanations of classical atonement theories which ask questions of little or no practical import.

I prefer the notion of solidarity, drawn from the world of economic analysis and social struggle against power, as a way of bridging Christ's ordinary and predictable death with the struggle for authentic community in our time.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 3:31pm BST

If fewer people attend mass, does that really = 'the decline of Anglicanism' ?

I am not convinced - why should it 'equal' that ? Thinking about it - more and more bodies, knees on hassocks ? I find spirituality and prayer, and commitment and love to be more profound than that... more nuanced, less measurable, more real & risky...

trying this out : it's perhaps, more like :

'the silence of eternity interpreted by love'

and today's epistle (1.Pt) surprised by grace, (grace, grace !), and the gospel, she has been married to all 7 brothers but now she is free !

In the face of the legal-religious nit-pickers of his day Jesus, quotes his Scriptures, and concludes,

"GOD, is the God of the living and not the dead."

Posted by: Laurie Roberts on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 4:43pm BST

If fewer people attend mass, does that really = 'the decline of Anglicanism' ?

In response to Laurie Roberts, the British Social Attitudes statistics are compiled from responses to the question: Do you belong to a religious denomination, and if so which? It does not relate to church attendance.

However, if one wants to argue along the lines of church attendance, the C of E's own published statistics tell a similar story. That is a consistent fall in church attendance, year on year, of about 1.5%. The trend is inexorable.

The most troubling statistics in my view are these:
1. Half of all members of the CofE are over 65.
2. Of those in the age range 18 to 24, only 3% associate themselves with the CofE.
These figures are very bleak indeed for the CofE.

Although the Catholics have nothing to boast about, their figures are vastly better, with the BSA surveys indicating only a very small drop in the the percentage who claim membership. I think from 9% to 8% in the last 30 years if my memory serves me correctly.

Posted by: Paul Waddington on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 6:26pm BST

"BTW, if memory serves already ten years ago England was more Roman Catholic than Anglican. "It's immigration." Well, that doesn't explain the decline of Anglicanism."

Actually, it probably does. Roman Catholics tend to have larger families than Protestants in general and likely Anglicans in particular. If the population as a whole is becoming more RC, and the Anglican portion is not growing as quickly as the RC portion, then the Anglican portion as a percentage of total population will decline.

Simple example:

Village has a population of 50, split 25/25 RC and CoE. RC couple moves in without children. Now the split is 27/25. The RC couple has three children in three years. Now the split is 30/25.

In three years, without any change in the NUMBER of Anglicans, the Anglican percentage in the village has declined from 50% to 45%. Extrapolate that to the nation as whole.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 7:25pm BST

I feel led to share this testimony from an evangelical minister and parish, in conversation with Iona's John Bell.

It is very moving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-w0ylq-waE

Surely, things must change for us before too long ?

Posted by: Laurie Roberts on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 12:43am BST

PW:

The statistics are similar in TEC. Average size congregation, uppers 50s. Average age, lower 60s. Baptism and marriage rates down more than 50% since 1980. 45% of dioceses less than 4000 ASA.

Fortunately I think the HOB in TEC is alert to the very fragile state of affairs. If you are a bishop in one of these dioceses, "you get it."

One thing the HOB has avoided is the bromide that ss marriage will bring (even anodyne) improvement.

But of course TEC does not have the bear the responsibility of being "The Church of the USA."

Posted by: crs on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 7:04am BST

Statistics. Oh how it brings us back to the simplistic divination that ssm is the one crucial variable that will make things worse, and certainly not better.

Reminds of an anecdote I heard many years ago.

There was was a preacher who no matter what the day of the Christian year always ended up preaching about death --death at Christmas, death at Easter, death at Pentecost and so on.

Finally, the feast of St. Joseph rolled around. Ever optimistic parishioners thought, "at least today, on the feast of St. Joseph, we will hear about something other than death from the pulpit."

The preacher began, "Today is the feast of St. Joseph. St. Joseph was a carpenter. Carpenters make coffins. That brings me to our subject for this morning."

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 2:27pm BST

My apologies, but the you tube video I submitted at 12.43 today was not the one I had specifically felt led to share (though it is very good).

This is the correct url and it is very moving and a real pointer towards ways for forward in evangelical churches -- and probably can be 'applied' in many different churches.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G51jf2sGts8

Posted by: Laurie Roberts on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 2:59pm BST

@crs The 7% Anglican, 10% Catholic, 6% Muslim figures appear in a report by Professor Bullivant, Europe's Young Adults and Religion. That may be your source.

They relate to the UK, not England; and to people aged 16 to 29, not the general population.

Low figures for the young are only partially generational, and partly age-related. There has long been a preponderance of old ladies in the pews, many of whom became regular churchgoers later in life. We might expect some of todays young women and men to do the same.

Re whether near-weekly communicants would be a good measure, it is now much higher than it was in most of the twentieth century and indeed the last thousand years. To an extent the Parish Communion movement, and the so-called Baptismal Integrity have pushed out everyone else.

The question "Do you belong to a religious denomination and if so which one?" may not be useful in regard to the C of E. Opening with "Are you a Protestant or a Catholic?" and honing in from there might give a very different answer.

Still, whatever the figures, the reality is dire.

Posted by: T Pott on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 3:34pm BST

"Still, whatever the figures, the reality is dire."

I agree. God has only good things for His creation.

Let's see where He is going now...

Posted by: crs on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 7:25pm BST

In fact longitudinal comparisons of the BSA over long periods show that the religious or non religious composition of each cohort is pretty stable as that cohort ages. So the current makeup of 16 to 29 year olds is a reasonable predictor of middle aged people in 20 to 30 years and of older people in 40 to 50 years. T Pott’s assertion isn’t strongly supported by the Survey. And when that cohort becomes parents, the evidence (over many decades) is that the next generation will be even less affiliated.

But T Pott is right about older people predominating in church. That will presumably continue; there will just be less of everybody.

Posted by: Bernard Silverman on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 7:31pm BST

Interesting how a such a good news story from Brazil has turned into such a bad news side bar on this thread about stats in the UK/England and (of course!) TEC.

Conservatives ought to know that statistics on religious participation is a mug's game. Don't let them tell you every silver lining must have a dark cloud.

Who is to say that statistical analysis presents a bleak situation going forward. The measured decline of institutional forms of Christianity in western democracies may actually be measuring the shedding of unnecessary baggage, ineffective governance structures, culturally irrelevant messaging, and so forth. The field may be clearing for the establishment within our Anglican tradition of authentic adaptive communities of faith.

Celebrate the decision in Brazil. Don't let stats undermine morale. Be of good cheer, Christ has overcome the world.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 10:51pm BST

"Low figures for the young are only partially generational, and partly age-related"

Perhaps. Finally, however, the general managers of symphony orchestras are realising that people don't grow into Shostakovich, and their audience is starting to die without (outside London, at least) significant replacement. Perhaps it's different for churches. Perhaps.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 11:21pm BST

RG:

Boy you are singing the conservatives tune here: "may actually be measuring the shedding of unnecessary baggage, ineffective governance structures."

General Convention in TEC, Title IV, 815 Second Avenue, Salary for the President of the HOD, CEOs, COOs -- all of this is bloated and expensive.

Let dioceses be free to do mission.

If SCOTUS hears the SC case and were to rule in favour, the great sucking sound you would be hearing is the retreat of dioceses into their respective non-centralized regions to do mission and balance their budgets. Much as TEC was when I was a young Episcopalian.

I predict the wedge issue at GC 2018 will be a full-time salary for the President of the HOD, in exchange for her full-court-press for ss marriage v the HOB.

One more bloated and expensive "unnecessary baggage, ineffective governance structures."

Posted by: crs on Friday, 8 June 2018 at 8:55am BST

"If SCOTUS hears the SC case and were to rule in favour, the great sucking sound you would be hearing is the retreat of dioceses into their respective non-centralized regions to do mission and balance their budgets."

It's a very BIG if of course Christopher, and doesn't seem very likely. But given your following observation, by the same token wouldn't it be better to let Anglican Provinces like Brazil make their own decisions about ss marriage, as they have done, without any adverse observations?

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Friday, 8 June 2018 at 12:30pm BST

Re CRS, "Boy you are singing the conservatives tune here" Nah, I think you are experiencing mondegreen or something.

"General Convention in TEC....etc. etc. etc"

Hey man, your're singing the same old song. Like the crackling sound of an old favorite worn 45rpm from yesteryear. All your posts come down to the same refrain....TEC .....TEC......TEC....broken record...broken record...broken record....

Same sex marriage is coming to the Anglican tradition my friend. . You know, like Leonard Cohen's song. Democracy is Coming. ( :

Won't you sing it with me?

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Friday, 8 June 2018 at 2:14pm BST

"Same sex marriage is coming to the Anglican tradition my friend."

Of course it is. It is already here. Your song book is signed.

That isn't the issue. At issue is how wide that Anglican Tradition swath will be. If you are happy with 20% and a divided AC, you will get your wish!

And there will be your TEC...TEC..TEC

Posted by: crs on Saturday, 9 June 2018 at 7:42am BST

Your comment, AG, reflects the general wisdom (SCOTUS hears about 1% of the submissions made to it). Notable therefore was the announcement a month back that, together with another Johns v Wolff case, SCOTUS would meet in conference to review the TEC v SC case on 7 June -- last Thursday. The fact that state courts have held differently on this matter may be relevant to their decision. TEC adopted the tactic of holding that SCSC did not decide on the basis of Jones v Wolff -- a high risk, dubious, move. If 4 judges decide they want to hear the case, it will go forward. Announcement comes as early as next week. Most in EDSC I know are dubious it will be heard, but no one knows what happened on Thursday. Enjoy your Exeter weekend.

Posted by: crs on Saturday, 9 June 2018 at 8:38am BST

With regard to further developments on the same sex marriage issue in The Communion, The Diocese of Toronto has just elected a new diocesan Bishop, The Rev. Rev. Andrew Absil.

http://www.toronto.anglican.ca/2018/06/08/get-live-updates-from-the-electoral-synod/


All the nominees were asked how they would vote in 2019 on second reading of the Canadian Church's proposal to amend its marriage canon in favor of same sex marriage in the church.

Absil, along with all the other candidates, with one exception, answered with an unequivocal 'yes' i.e. they would vote in favor.

If the page is still up, their responses, may be found here. Scroll down to questions on the marriage canon.


http://www.toronto.anglican.ca/2018/05/29/nominees-respond-to-questions/


Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 9 June 2018 at 8:08pm BST

Re:CRS, "It is already here." You missed the continuous sense and the allusion to Leonard Cohen's tune, Democracy (The Future).

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 9 June 2018 at 8:37pm BST

Typo correction: The surname of the bishop elect of T.O. is Asbil ( not Absil), and his title is obviously not Rev.Rev. It is The Very Rev. Andrew Asbil. my bad.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Sunday, 10 June 2018 at 4:05am BST

RG: Glad Leonard Cohen is helping you.

What are the odds of ACoC survival as an institution?

Posted by: crs on Sunday, 10 June 2018 at 7:03am BST

Having read all the opinions in the South Carolina decision, it seems obvious that the justices were quick to base their reasoning on state law, not federal law.
So I'm not sure why it's "high risk" to characterise that decision as the majority characterised it.
We shall know tomorrow.

Posted by: Jeremy on Sunday, 10 June 2018 at 8:34pm BST

Re: CRS: "What are the odds of ACoC survival as an institution?" Short answer, I don't worry about it. The Church is in the hands of The Spirit.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Monday, 11 June 2018 at 1:45pm BST

And now we know--the United States Supreme Court has denied certiorari, meaning that the prior decision of the Supreme Court of South Carolina stands.

See here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/061118zor_aplc.pdf

Posted by: Jeremy on Monday, 11 June 2018 at 2:52pm BST

I disagree Jeremy and TX and Illinois make clear that Jones v Wolff remains a disputed federal ruling at state level.

That said, TEC has won and it is now their duty before God to take the diocese over and make it work.

I am in Paris today and away from the news, but somone forwarded the results that EDSC people thought was likely.

Having almost lost my wife last year to lung and heart problems I know that life has its life and death struggles.

The clergy and people in EDSC will learn from God how they will make their way after this very hard season. We are talking about the vast preponderance of that assembly. My prayers will now be with them in this time of mourning their grave loss. God is in this wheelhouse 24/7.

Posted by: crs on Monday, 11 June 2018 at 4:51pm BST

"Jones v Wolff remains a disputed federal ruling at state level."

In Jones v. Wolf (one "f"), the United States Supreme Court interpreted the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Have you ever heard of something called the Supremacy Clause?

Or are you refighting the Civil War all over again?

Posted by: Jeremy on Monday, 11 June 2018 at 7:45pm BST

https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/cases/jones-v-wolf

Here is a thumbnail that might help you Jeremy. TX and Ill ruled that an accessiion clause did not establish a trust and Jones v Wolf had called for neutral principles of law to be applied.

Civil War? Supremacy Clause? Sorry, but this is so far afield as to confuse yet further.

Have a good day.

Posted by: crs on Tuesday, 12 June 2018 at 6:16am BST

Christopher:

I am sorry that the breakaway diocese lost their call for appeal, but it was obviously not a huge surprise.

My question to you remains: how does it seem right to you that groups of churches like these may break away and still call themselves Anglican, but when a province like Brazil makes a reasoned decision, as outlined in the topic of this thread, you somehow suggest they are not right to do so?

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Tuesday, 12 June 2018 at 9:53am BST

Can you show where I have said Brazil does not have a right to something?

I also find it strange that people view the decision re SC something the diocese is shocked by. No, they believed their church homes were their own and fought long odds for that. Families will do that.

We will have to see now how that plays out on the ground.

Posted by: crs on Wednesday, 13 June 2018 at 6:17am BST

This thread on Brazil got somewhat derailed onto South Carolina. Now we have a new thread on SC, please no more comments here about South Carolina.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 13 June 2018 at 8:16am BST

"Can you show where I have said Brazil does not have a right to something?"

Yes Christopher. Review your comment of 1032 on 5th June. Or are you now saying that Brazil can happily go along this line?

Make your choice. You can't really have it both ways. Either dioceses and Provinces are free to follow their conscience and still be Anglicans, or they are not. What works or South Carolina must also work for Brazil, n'cest pas?

Posted by: Andrew Godsall on Wednesday, 13 June 2018 at 12:26pm BST

Regarding the Brazil decision, there is an informative article in Human Rights Watch by Daniel Ramirez (see link) which may help contextualize the decision in Brazil for those of us not deeply familiar with the struggle for sexual and gender equality in Latin America.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/02/06/latin-america-could-lead-way-lgbt-rights-2018


"[The Inter American Court on Human Rights] affirmed that the American Convention on Human Rights requires countries to allow same-sex couples to access civil marriage, and all of the rights and benefits that derive from it. It also asserted that governments should allow people ...to change their name and gender marker on official documents, in accordance with their self-perceived gender identity."

Brazil's fairly progressive situation is noted in the article.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Wednesday, 13 June 2018 at 5:57pm BST

You have a creative imagination, AG! I said it will cause a division in that comment. You claim I said they haven’t the right. Of course they do. And with choices there are consequences.

Posted by: Crs on Friday, 15 June 2018 at 4:11pm BST

John Bunyan: "the Jesus who had some firmly challenging words to say, among other things, about marriage - marriage of a man and a woman"

Talk about misunderstanding!!! The strong words were all about divorce!!! And about the fate of women who were cast out of the protection of a male household. The man and woman bit, used to support heterosexual marriage to the exclusion of gay marriage, is ridiculous as men could have up to 5 wives! To take Jesus out of that context as an excuse for homophobic exclusion doesn't seem intellectually honest.

Jesus had "firmly challenging words" for the Pharisees who used the letter of the law to violate the spirit of the law and contribute to exclusion and injustice. Jesus was killed because he challenged religious authority. The final straw was when he chased the money changers out of the temple; an assault on their income stream...

MLK was murdered when he started opposing the Vietnam War and fair wages for the janitor's union. We still kill our prophets. It's just now we don't have to go to Jerusalem or Oxford to do it...

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 15 June 2018 at 10:11pm BST

Incidentally, I think Brazil, ACoC, SEC, TEC et al doing what they want to and EDSC and the major regions of the AC the same is the where we are/are headed and I am not sure why you'd think otherwise. I believe we are witnessing a major division and it would be better to accept that and not coerce dioceses in TEC or Provinces or any other segment into having to fall in line. That has been my consistent point on this thread and eslewhere. I do not think Anglicanism is sustainable as a drumbed up set of artifical compromises. I believe its demise as heretofore is before us and we must wait to see how the dust settles.

Posted by: crs on Saturday, 16 June 2018 at 7:02am BST
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