two motions on monday

with 3 comments

This morning there was a significant chunk of time on the agenda to present, debate, and vote on amendments to Canon III , The Primacy.  However, after the initial presentation of the motion, there was only one comment when in committee of the whole, and no debating at all when we were back in session – it passed easily.  That meant we were (prepare to be gobsmacked, I certainly was) an hour ahead of agenda schedule.  So the no-debate motions scheduled for this evening were brought forward.

Two motions worth mentioning on that list (that passed – we vote on these motions separately).  One was to continue the dialogue between bishops that +Colin reported on yesterday in the sexuality reporting.  The second was about possibly getting out of the marrying business altogether.

This was actually presented by someone who is afraid that churches could be forced (FORCED!) to perform marriages that they wouldn’t normally approve of, and mis-quoting the Prime Minister in the process.  In fact the Civil Marriage Act explicitly recognises the freedom of religion clause in the Charter in saying ministers of religion DON’T have to marry any just couple that presents itself..  I suspect that the motivation behind this person was he didn’t want to be forced (FORCED!) to marry homo couples, but never mind.  The motion calls for a task force to study the implications of the church moving to the European model, where people get married with the civil authorities first, and then those who wish, get a blessing from the church.  That task force would report back to General Synod 2013.

A number of people wanted that removed from the no-debate list, but a motion to that effect failed, so any actual debate on it became out of order.  The motion itself passed quite handily, I suspect since it was only calling for information, and leaving the actual decision up to GS13 (or later).

I would not be at all heartbroken if that happened.  It would put same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, with civil marriages, on exactly the same footing when it comes to church blessing.


Written by Chris

June 7th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Posted in General Synod