..despite his concerns over how much energy was going into discussions over same-sex marriage, Hiltz applauded the care and respect he felt CoGS had shown in its nearly two days of closed-door discussions about the proposed change to the church’s marriage canon to allow for same-sex marriage.
“I think”¦we were really working hard here at this meeting at trying to make room for one another,” he said. “There’s a place for everyone in the Anglican Church of Canada, so how do we work hard at making room for one another””that’s going to be the challenge, in part, at General Synod, too.”
At the end of its discussions, CoGS had unanimously agreed March 12 to send to the upcoming General Synod a draft resolution prepared by the Commission on the Marriage Canon changing the Anglican Church of Canada’s law to pave the way for same-sex marriage.
At the same time, however, CoGS said that while it is legally obliged by General Synod 2013’s Resolution C003 to send the same-sex marriage motion to General Synod 2016, it has also considered “the possibility of other options.”
In a message to the church, CoGS said, “The General Synod may discern a legislative option is not the most helpful, and if so, we faithfully hope that through dialogue at General Synod an alternate way will emerge.”
CoGS did not indicate what these “other options” might be, but the message was clearly a response to an earlier statement it received from the House of Bishops that a vote to allow same-sex marriage was “not likely to pass in the Order of Bishops.” In their statement to CoGS, the bishops had also questioned whether “a legislative procedure is the most helpful way” of dealing with the issue of gay marriage. In a written response to the House of Bishops, CoGS asked “for some concrete examples of other options” to a legislative process.
Hiltz also spoke to the CoGS at length about his experiences at the January meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion, and the status of relations within the global Anglican Communion following their decision to censure The Episcopal Church (TEC) for its 2015 decision to perform same-sex marriages. The primates asked that the American Church’s participation in Anglican Communion bodies be temporarily limited.
He noted that despite this call from the primates, TEC has indicated that it will send representatives to the upcoming Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Lusaka, Zambia in April, and Hiltz said he expects they will participate as “full members.”..