Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pastoral generosity

On the order paper today is resolution C009, moved by an openly gay youth member from the Diocese of Toronto. The text is as follows.

Affirm that the most generous pastoral response possible be provided to people in committed same sex relationships; and that in dioceses, with the approval of the diocesan bishop, the most generous pastoral response in each individual context be determined.

This motion is very clever. By granting a local option (the bishop is empowered to determine what constitutes appropriate pastoral care) without saying so outright (the "b" word does not appear) it avoids the Archbishop of Canterbury's jesuitical definition of "formal." It is not the blessing of same-gender unions itself that is problematic for ++Rowan, for such is the common practice of his own province, so long as we do not use the word in a formally enacted resolution.

UPDATE The motion, which was the only way we were going to salvage anything out of this mess, has been withdrawn.


keith nethery said...

The House of Bishops already has this in place. Bob Bennett, Bishop of Huron, is the first to move forward with this, and Huron has a liturgy available on it's website that provides for a generous pastoral response, but no blessing. Oddly enough, I've heard flack from both sides - one says it doesn't go far enough, the other says it's just a blessing dressed up in a liturgy

Geoff said...

The HoB pastoral statement is certainly the best thing we have going, but unlike this motion it envisions certain defined limits on the form such a pastoral response might take.