At its recent General Convention, The Episcopal Church (USA) redefined marriage in its canons and also authorised trial rites for same-sex marriage. 1For reports and analysis see particularly the reports of Jordan Hylden and Zachary Guiliano. Along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Fulcrum believes this is a cause for “deep concern”.
- SUPPORTING: Fulcrum welcomes the Salt Lake City Statement by the Communion Partners and supports all within TEC who continue to combine “a commitment to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters” with a determination to honour “the three moratoria requested in the Windsor Report and affirmed by the Instruments of Communion”. The Communion Partners are, along with ACNA bishops, graciously but firmly resisting what GAFCON identified as “the temptation to compromise with the surrounding culture” as are many of those in the Global South whose response to these developments includes the welcome affirmation that they “are against any criminalization of homosexuals”.
- QUESTIONING: Fulcrum questions the Convention’s actions on various grounds:
- Have these major decisions been taken with enough theological debate and scrutiny either in TEC or across the Anglican Communion?
- Do these developments not disregard principles of mutual accountability and interdependence and the Principles of Canon Law Common To the Churches of the Anglican Communion (2008) 2 Principle 70.1 reads “Marriage, an honourable estate instituted by God, is an exclusive lifelong union, signifying the mystical union that is between Christ and his Church, effected on the free exchange of consents between one man and one woman joined together by God as husband and wife and lasting until the death of one spouse”. ?
- Has TEC not now made another canonical, liturgical and doctrinal departure from the Communion, beyond it previous action of blessing same-sex unions?
- Does redefining marriage in this way not go against the teaching of Scripture (including Jesus in Mt 19 and Mark 10), tradition and reason?
- PARTICIPATING: Fulcrum encourages full participation in the Shared Conversations here in the Church of England but shares concerns about the process recently raised by the Church of England Evangelical Council’s Petertide Call to Prayer. In preparation for the Shared Conversations, we commend the work of the Fully Alive project and particularly Marriage in Creation and Covenant as a resource articulating a positive vision for human sexuality.
- PRAYING: As other provinces, notably the Scottish Episcopal Church, consider taking a similar approach to TEC, Fulcrum prays that bishops, clergy and laity will follow the faithful example of TEC’s Communion Partners. We also pray for Archbishop Justin and Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon (beginning his service as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion) as they seek to guide the Communion in its response to decisions made by TEC.
|↑1||For reports and analysis see particularly the reports of Jordan Hylden and Zachary Guiliano.|
|↑2||Principle 70.1 reads “Marriage, an honourable estate instituted by God, is an exclusive lifelong union, signifying the mystical union that is between Christ and his Church, effected on the free exchange of consents between one man and one woman joined together by God as husband and wife and lasting until the death of one spouse”.|