The Diocese of The Arctic
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA
Friday, July 15, 2016
To be read in all congregations on Sunday July 17
To Clergy, Lay Leaders, Congregations and people of The Arctic
First of all I want to tell you that the Anglican Church of Canada has not changed the marriage canon
and are not permitted to do so unless approved at the 2019 General Synod.
Secondly, I want to thank our delegates for their polite, strong and brave stance at General Synod.
In the face of continual pressure to change the marriage Canon, our delegates were not intimidated by those who wanted them to remain silent.
Our delegates asked, “Why after three hundred years of sharing the bible with us, are you wanting us to turn from the bible’s teaching on marriage ?
We will not turn!”
Thirdly, I want to say, we are saddened by the way we were treated with disrespect, but we are not alone.
The 85 million strong Anglican Communion, has said, do not change the Marriage Canon.
All the Primates at their January meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury said, “Do not change the Marriage Canon.
Finally in Canada there are bishops and dioceses who have the same mind of as the Arctic, stood to say no to changing the marriage.
We have signed the following statement attached to this letter.
In Christ’s service,
Rt. Rev. David W Parsons
Bishop of the Arctic
A Statement from some Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada July 15th, 2016
To all the faithful in the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion
At its recent General Synod the Anglican Church of Canada took the first step in changing its Marriage Canon to allow for the solemnization of same sex marriages by its clergy. The entire process, beginning with the hasty vote in 2013 and concluding with the vote and miscount this past week, has been flawed and has inflicted terrible hurt and damage on all involved. We absolutely condemn homophobic prejudice and violence wherever it occurs, offer pastoral care and loving service to all irrespective of sexual orientation, and reject criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.
Though the change to the Marriage Canon would require a second vote in 2019 in order to come into effect, some bishops have vowed to proceed with same sex marriages immediately, contrary to the explicit doctrine and discipline set out in our constitution, canons and liturgies.
In passing resolution A051 R2 the General Synod has taken a further step in ordaining something contrary to God's Word written and imperils our full communion within the Anglican Church of Canada and with Anglicans throughout the world. We believe that our General Synod has erred grievously and we publicly dissent from this decision. Resolution A051 R2 represents a change to the sacrament of marriage inconsistent with the Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition of the Church Catholic and the Book of Common Prayer. This would be a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of the Anglican Communion on the doctrine of marriage. Sadly, this complicates relationships within the Anglican Church of Canada and as a Province with the Anglican Communion.
We unambiguously reaffirm our commitment to:
Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all,
His body, the Church Catholic,
the Anglican Church of Canada,
the Anglican Communion,
the scriptural, traditional and catholic definition of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman as set out in both the Book of Common Prayer and the Book of Alternative Services,
and the pastoral care of all within our jurisdictions and the communion.
The Resolution as carried does not provide adequate protection for the consciences of dioceses, clergy and congregations. We are concerned for all those of a traditional conscience on marriage within the Anglican Church of Canada.
We call on our Primate and the Archbishop of Canterbury to seek ways to guarantee our place within the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion.
We ask for your prayers.
+Stephen, Bishop of Algoma
+David, Bishop of The Arctic
+Darren, Suffragan Bishop of the Arctic
+Fraser, Bishop of Athabasca
+William, Bishop of Caledonia
+Michael, Bishop of Saskatchewan
+Larry, Bishop of Yukon