Dave Walker has the answer:11 Comments
The American Anglican Council (a body which is closely associated with ACNA) has published a document entitled COMMUNION GOVERNANCE The Role and Future of the Historic Episcopate and the Anglican Communion Covenant by Stephen Noll.
There is an introduction and explanation of it by Phil Ashey which can be found at Introduction to “Communion Governance”. The key summary is:
1. The conclusion of this essay is that the one matter of principle that cannot be abandoned without abandoning our particular catholic and Anglican heritage is the responsibility of the ordained and bishops in council in particular, to rule and adjudicate matters of Communion doctrine and discipline.
2. If this is true, then the Lambeth Conference and the Primates’ Meeting (with the Archbishop of Canterbury presiding as primus inter pares) must be seen as the primary organs to deal with articulation of the faith, as happened at Lambeth 1998, and with breaches of the faith, as has not happened since then.
3. There must be only one track: those who adopt the Covenant are members of the Communion; those who do not adopt it are not. Bp. Mouneer Anis is right: when a sufficient number of Provinces have adopted the Covenant, the ACC and its Standing Committee should stand down and be constituted solely from Covenant-keeping Provinces. (pp. 48-49)
Updated again Wednesday afternoon
The amendment proposed by Lord Alli was passed in the House of Lords by a vote of 95 to 21.
The Bishop of Bradford spoke against the amendment and voted against it.
The Bishop of Newcastle voted in favour of it.
Others voting in favour included Lord Harries of Pentregarth, who also spoke.
Others voting against included Lord Eames.
For the official news report see this page.
And for an official analysis of the voting patterns see this.
Independent Gay weddings to be allowed in church
Ruth Gledhill Bishop of Winchester slams gay marriage in church ‘fudge’ headline changed to: Bishop of Winchester warns clergy could be sued over gay marriage
Andrew Brown Civil partnerships win in the Lords
George Pitcher Lords vote for “gay weddings” – so what?
Peter Ould Lord Alli’s Amendment Passes
Quakers in Britain Quakers welcome debate on equality
Christian Institute Homosexual unions allowed in churches28 Comments
Several articles opposing the Equality Bill amendment proposed by Lord Alli have appeared.
Fulcrum has an article by Andrew Goddard Civil Partnerships and Religion:Some Cautions and Questions.
Andrew Carey has written in the CEN and republished by Anglican Mainstream Bishops facing real issues.
Peter Ould has written Blessing Civil Partnerships in Church.
All of these were written before the revised amendment text was published, although Andrew Goddard has made some changes to take account of it.
Peter has now also commented on the new amendment here.
On the other side of this debate, Colin Coward has written Civil Partnerships in religious buildings – at last, ‘moderate’ dissent among the bishops, and dishonesty from one who should know better.
Gavin Drake has weighed in with Let’s all play ‘Pin the tail on the law’ with Lord Alli.17 Comments
From a press release by the Los Angeles diocese:
The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it has denied a petition to hear an appeal from a breakaway congregation seeking claim to the property of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of La Crescenta, California. The court posted its action, together with dozens of other petitions denied, on its web site.
Meeting in conference on Feb. 26, the high court declined to hear the petition filed by St. Luke’s Anglican Church of La Crescenta, whose members voted in 2006 to disaffiliate from the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Los Angeles.
Go here to read a statement by the Bishop of Los Angeles.12 Comments
There was a letter in the Guardian this morning from the three denominations seeking this change: Church partnerships.
Richard Harries has written an article, now available at Cif belief Commitment we should encourage. Here is part of what he says:
…Some Church of England bishops, who were hardly enthusiastic about civil partnerships in the first place, fear that if this is allowed it would blur the distinction [between] them and marriage. But this is a fundamental issue of religious freedom. On what grounds can any body claim religious freedom for itself but deny it to others? The bishops may or may not approve of what Quakers, Liberal Jews and Unitarians want, but that is beside the point. What these bodies want would harm no one, and it accords with their deepest religious convictions. Religious freedom is indivisible. The only reason for denying it must be that of John Stuart Mill, namely if some public harm would result.
The harm to be taken into account need not be only physical, as race relations legislation shows. So it could be argued that allowing some faith communities to perform civil ceremonies on their premises was harmful in the sense that it undermines the institution of marriage in our society. But just the opposite is true. If we accept the argument that we need to retain both the term marriage and the term civil partnership, and that they are not identical, it seems to me clear from a Christian point of view that a ceremony in which two people commit themselves to a faithful, lifelong relationship before witnesses, partakes of the nature of a marriage. As such, from a Christian point of view, it can also express the biblical truth that such a relationship reflects the undeviating faithfulness of God towards us and which, according to St Paul, has its prototype in the relationship of christ to his church…
BARONESS CAMPBELL OF SURBITON
53* Insert the following new Clause—
Civil partnerships on religious premises
(1) The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is amended as follows.
(2) Omit section 6(1)(b) and section 6(2).
(3) In section 6A, after subsection (2), insert—
“( ) Regulations under this section may provide that premises approved for the registration of civil partnerships may differ from those premises approved for the registration of civil marriages.”
(4) In section 6A, after subsection (3), insert—
“( ) For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Act places an obligation on religious organisations to host civil partnerships if they do not wish to do so.”
This is a substantially changed amendment. The original version read (changes marked by lining through):
section 2(5) is omitted;
(b) section 6(1)(b) is omitted;
(c) section 6(2) is omitted;
section 93(3) is omitted;
section 137(5) is omitted.
The main effect of the changes is to retain the requirement that “No religious service is to be used while the civil partnership registrar is officiating at the signing of a civil partnership document”. Also the scope is now limited to England & Wales.11 Comments