The church’s bishops are “are not of one mind” on the definition of marriage.
Though the Anglican Church in Canada last week failed to amend its canon to sanction same-sex marriages, in the wake of the narrow vote, dioceses have opted to continue with them anyway.
The amendment, first passed in 2016, required a two-thirds majority vote among lay delegates, clergy, and bishops at two triennial general synods in a row. While it met the threshold among lay and clergy (80.9% and 73.2%) during this year’s synod, the bishops’ vote last Friday fell just short of two-thirds (62.2%).
On Monday, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of Canada, read a statement to the delegation saying the bishops “are not of one mind” on the issue, but that “we are walking together in a way which leaves room for individual dioceses and jurisdictions of our church to proceed with same-sex marriage,” according to Anglican Planet.
The initial rejection came as a blow to the majority of Canadian Anglicans, who support same-sex marriage, which has been legal in the country since 2005. But after Monday’s announcement, several bishops indicated that they would be taking advantage of the “local option,” which permits dioceses to follow their “contexts and convictions” on this issue, the CBC wrote.
The conservative minority in the Anglican Church in Canada has raised concerns over the decision to permit same-sex ceremonies despite the failed vote.
“In a church that affirms the ‘One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church’ I can’t make sense of what local option means in this context or in the global Church,” Bishop Joey Royal, a suffragan bishop of the Arctic, told Anglican Planet.
“This is something that has not yet been fully acknowledged despite …