Bishop John: Response to General Synod [July 12, 2016]

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

General Synod 2016 has now concluded.

Undoubtedly you have heard that an issue with the electronic voting system has resulted in a ‘Yes” in all three Houses - laity, clergy and bishops. 

The motion to revise the Marriage Canon to include same sex couples has passed this first of two readings required by the Canons of our Church. The second reading will occur at our next General Synod in Vancouver in 2019.

My intention is to honour my previous statement of July 11, 2016 and allow, with my permission, those clergy wishing to preside at a same sex marriage. I felt comfortable proceeding before the issue with the electronic voting system had been presented, because we did have the support of the Synod minus one clergy vote only. And, pastorally it is the right and proper thing for us to do. It is inclusive; it is hospitable, theologically sound and just.

Now we proceed, comfortable knowing that the National church is behind us as we continue to deliberate these next three years anticipating the second and final vote in 2019.

My friends, these were exciting times and again, you would have been proud of our delegates. They did good work on our behalf. I thank God for them, and I thank God for all who have worked so hard supporting this General Synod. I especially thank our Primate. This was an extremely difficult synod to chair and I congratulate him for a job very well done! Thank you Archbishop Hiltz.

I remain, yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. John H. Chapman,
9th Bishop of Ottawa

July 12, 2016
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