News for Week Ending 6/11/2012
Denmark to allow same-sex marriage in churchesPolitiken.dk reported June 7, 2012, that the Danish parliament has voted to allow marriages of same-sex couples in the national Evangelical-Lutheran church beginning June 15. The measure passed with 85 votes in favor, 24 against, and 2 abstentions. Heretofore, same-sex couples did not have access to marriage, only to registered partnerships.
Scotland rejects CovenantA month before The Episcopal Church is to consider adoption of the Anglican Covenant, the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted decisively against a motion that would have accepted the Covenant in principle. According to a story on the church’s Web site, the vote was 6 in favor, 112 against, and 13 abstentions. Following the vote, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Bishop of St Andrews Dunkeld & Dunblane, presented a motion in support of the Anglican Communion. In a speech to the General Synod, he called for “re-founding” of the Communion. Additional information is available in a story from Episcopal News Service.
Canadian, African bishops meetA group of 17 mostly African and Canadian bishops—the group included a single bishop from The Episcopal Church—met in Ontario, Canada, June 4–7, 2012. The so-called Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue was meeting in person for the third time. The group had its origin in the 2008 Lambeth Conference. The topics discussed at the Ontario meeting were mission and the Anglican Covenant. Judging from the statement issued at the meeting, the bishops largely agreed on the former but not the latter. Additional details are available in a story from Episcopal News Service.
Women bishops legislation headed for General Synod donnybrookThe carefully crafted compromise that would allow for women bishops in the Church of England and that was approved almost unanimously by diocesan synods may be derailed when it reaches General Synod next month. The legislation was amended by the House of Bishops in May—see Pittsburgh Update story here—and the initial announcement from the bishops was vague as to what had actually been done.
Women and the Church (WATCH), the group that has been most active in working for women bishops, has now issued a position paper on the amendments. Following extensive study and consultation, a paper has been made public that, while falling short of calling on General Synod to reject the women bishops measure, declares that WATCH cannot support it and casts doubt on its ability to be passed. The paper includes the changes made by the bishops and carefully analyzes them. Thinking Anglicans has excerpted the WATCH conclusions on its Web site here.