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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

vive la différence

The sheer bliss of being on leave for two weeks is still with me but the debates at General Synod are bringing me 'back to earth' very quickly.
The debate on the report of the Ma Whea Commission has grabbed attention but for me the real gem is the report from the Commission on Doctrine and Theological Questions (a separate report but also included in the Ma Whea appendices).
The Commission on Doctrine (CDTQ), building on the work of the four Hermeneutical hui from 2009, has looked comprehensively at the question of marriage and/or blessing of same-gender relationships - and the report is a model of good theological reflection in a complex and changing cultural context.

My own take on the subject has tended to favour blessing rather than marriage for same gender relationships - mainly because I think that difference between the sexes is best not liturgically obliterated as if it were of no theological consequence.  Both marriage and blessed relationships will be equally 'covenanted relationships' but distinctive liturgical ceremonies would nuance their recognition.  Of course the secular understanding of marriage will probably be impatient with such a distinction - too bad!

 The conversations and reflections will continue, but I am enormously encouraged by the tone and quality of this report and grateful that our church produces work of this quality.

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