While the House of Bishops has said that the upcoming vote to allow same-sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada is unlikely to get the number of votes it needs from their order, Archbishop Fred Hiltz said it is not a clear-cut division.
When it comes to allowing same-sex marriage, the bishops seem to be thinking “yes,” “no” and “maybe” in roughly equal proportions, Hiltz said. A number of bishops in the Canadian church also have a “holy desire” to consider alternatives to a simple yes-no vote on same-sex marriages, he said. Some have given considerable thought to other alternatives, and these are likely to be the main topic of conversation when the House of Bishops next meets in April, he added.
“The reality in our House [of Bishops]””and I think it’s a reflection of what’s in the church at large””is that, I think, we’ve got about a third of the bishops that would clearly love to see us move, and we’ve got a third that would say no”¦and I think we’ve got a third that are really wrestling. That’s my sense,” Hiltz said. “So clearly you haven’t got a two-thirds either way.” Since a change to the marriage canon is considered a matter of doctrine, it will need the approval of at least two-thirds of three orders””laity, clergy and bishops””at two consecutive General Synods to be passed. The first such vote is slated for this July.