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Sunday, June 24, 2007

O, Canada!

The Anglican Church of Canada has been meeting in Synod all weekend long, and it has been anything but boring.

Yesterday, they passed a resolution (152 for 97 against in the house of clergy and laity and by a vote of 21 for and 19 against in the house of bishops) which said, "That this General Synod resolves that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the core doctrine (in the sense of being credal) of the Anglican Church of Canada."

You can read all about it

This came after a lengthy discussion and debate about the process of their voting - whether a motion would carry by a simple majority, as is their custom, or to change it so that in order for a motion to carry it would require a 60% margin.

That procedural vote was ultimately overturned in favor of maintaining the simple majority rule.

At this point, Kendall Harmon, the ubiquitous canon theologian from the Diocese of South Carolina was quoted as observing that the Canadian church's discussion was more theological than ours, and more respectful than ours; that they were taking this more seriously than we have, and that they apparently have the courage of their convictions, unlike the US church.

And, look what they went and did. Sonofagun, huh?

Having said and done all THAT, today Synod narrowly defeated a motion which read,

"That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesan synod,

a. with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and
b. in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the will of the parish,

to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions."

The vote was as follows:

In Favor / Opposed
Laity 78 / 59 Passed
Clergy 63 / 53 Passed
Bishops 19 / 21 Failed


That's a defeat by only two men in purple shirts. The laity clearly are ready for this; the clergy only a bit less so.

This is both heartening and heartbreaking.

As our Jewish sisters and brothers say every year at the end of the ritual of the Passover: "Next year in Jerusalem!"

Hang on, kids. A change is coming. It will happen.

It is only a matter of time.


David said...

The. Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon is from the Diocese of South Carolina, not Upper south Carolina.


O, Elizabeth ... we picked the same title for our blog today ... hope the "Sopranos" withdrawal symptoms are fading ... it's tough on a Sunday night, tho, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

That's a defeat by only two men in purple shirts.

Well, one of the "No" votes was a man. But the other... surprise!

Oh well, all in all, we can feel encouraged (though not ecstatic) by the actions of Canada. It will happen. And, I believe, everyone is sure of that. I can imagine the hand-wringing going on in "certain" parts.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Great minds, Suze, and all that.

I'm just taking a break from my musings about The Sopranos. It should be up soon.

I'm in serious withdrawal, girl

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

David - GET OUT! Really?

I don't know why I'm surprised. We've learned long ago that the best man for the job is often a woman. Sometimes the same is true for the worst man.

Anonymous said...

a comment this afternoon at Jake's:

According to Essential Canada blog (anti-gay lobby), Victoria Matthews voted in favor of the resolution deeming not in contradiction to core doctrine. But she vote against authorizing the local option. So, there is one other bishop in question who got weak knees. I suspect, though have no way of knowing for sure, that it is Greg Kerr-Wilson, bishop of Qu'Appelle in Regina, SK. He was formerly dean of the cathedral in Edmonton before his episcopal election, and very close to Bp Matthews.
TrinityMatthew | 06.24.07 - 5:54 pm | #

Anonymous said...

Speaking of two great minds thinking alike on your and Susan's choice of title: I have to say that I just love the Canadian National Anthem. I wish ours were this beautiful.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, I'm sure I'll get letters on this, but I recently watched Casablanca again (for the, oh, I don't know 85th time), and I still love the part where the national anthem of France is sung louder than the nathional anthem of Germany.

France and Canada have the kind of national anthems that make you want to put on your boots and march anywhere.

The Star Spangled Banner, great as it is, just doesn't have that same effect.

Okay, I'll shut up now. After all, I do live in Republicanville.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love that part too. Sing it again, mon capitaine.

One of the few times I have been genuinely "moved" by The Star Spangled Banner was when we sang it at a service at the hospital on the Friday after 9/11. To set the scene: It was at noon on the day that people all over the country were holding services of mourning and prayer. The "old" chapel at Good Sam is a big reverberant mission-style church with wonderful acoustics. And it was packed! I don't know who was taking care of the patients because it seemed that the entire hospital staff was in that chapel. Suspecting there would be a crowd and that the little organ might not be enough to support congregational singing, I hired a brass quintet that we'd used on special occasions. While I don't normally combine patriotism into a religious service (ouch!), this seemed to be an occasion for a liturgical exception. The concluding "hymn" was the National Anthem sung with full voice and depth of feeling by all... at a grand & dignified tempo and accompanied by organ and brass. Well... it was something! People shook and freely wept during "and the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air..."... the image of the WTC inescapable. It was one of those moments.

Jim in DofWT said...

OOPS! On the 86th time you watch Casablanca notice that the song sung by the Germans in Rick's is NOT their national anthem "Deutchland, Deutchland Uber Alles" - you'll find that music #522 - Hymnal '82.

A good excuse to watch this GREAT film again - and maybe sing "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" next Sunday. Hang in there - love your blog.

Anonymous said...

Update on info as to who voted "No": In a post today at Jake's:
The two bishops who voted for the no-conflict resolution but against the blessings were David Torraville of the diocese of Central Newfoundland and James Cowan of the Vancouver Island diocese.

Bishop Cowan said after the vote that, while he favoured same-sex unions, he was still "asking for the theological rationale." Bishop Torraville is known to have faced strong opposition from among his clergy to the blessings...

David said...

Oh that part of Casablanca where the French sing La Marseillaise always brings tears to my eyes :)

Here's a link to the scene on YouTube.