By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
TORONTO, January 15, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Toronto's Church of the Holy Trinity has presented a direct challenge to the leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada by voting to hold weddings for same sex couples.
Their statement says, "Holy Trinity will continue to exercise its conscience and bless same-sex unions and marry same-sex couples." While Holy Trinity has been conducting blessing ceremonies for some time, Rev. Jim Ferry, a preist at Holy Trinity clarified, "We also intend, when the opportunity arises, to take the next step, which is a (same-sex) marriage ceremony."
Ferry also claimed that numerous other parishes across Canada are "quietly" conducting same-sex blessings. "We're not the only ones," he said yesterday, according to the Ottawa Citizen. "There are other parishes across the country who have been quietly going ahead and doing same-sex blessings. They're in the major urban centres, wherever there's a significant population of gay and lesbian people."
...While four Canadian Anglican dioceses (Niagara, Ottawa, Montreal and New Westminster, BC) have voted to allow ministers to conduct blessing ceremonies, Holy Trinity has defied the doctrine and normative procedures of its own church by not only endorsing gay marriage, but doing so without seeking the permission of its bishop.
Last week Archbishop Fred Hiltz said in a letter addressed to his clergy, "It is important to note that the Anglican Church of Canada has not altered its doctrine of marriage as outlined in our prayer books and canons," but hedged that statement with the qualification that Canadian Anglicans "live in a country where the federal government in 2005 approved legislation that allows the marriage of same-gender couples."
The Anglican Church of Canada, which is holding its annual synod in Winnipeg this week, will be considering a resolution that would allow individual congregations to decide for themselves whether or not to bless gay 'marriages', but not in fact to 'marry' same-sex couples. The worldwide Anglican Church is currently deeply divided over the issues of ordaining homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage.
I can not see any scenario in which this will have a positive outcome as far as the unity of the Anglican Communion! People on both sides of this divide seem intent on pushing the envelope as far as possible, making any meaningful discussion of this very divisive issue nearly impossible.
Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy on us!