Changes to the Marriage Canon not likely to pass

The Canadian House of Bishops at its special session in Niagara Falls, 23-26 February 2016, discussed matters relating to the upcoming gathering of the General Synod where proposed changes to the national Marriage Canon will be considered.

The statement from the session released on February 29 says that “in light of the deep differences we have on the matter of changing the Church’s teaching on marriage”, it became clear “that the draft resolution to change the Marriage Canon to accommodate the marriage of same-sex partners is not likely to pass in the Order of Bishops by the canonical requirement of a 2/3rds majority in each Order.”

“We have grappled with this issue for three meetings of the House, and we feel a responsibility to convey our inability to come to a common mind in discerning what the Spirit is saying to the Church. We share this out of respect for the considerable work that the Church has invested in preparing to debate this motion at General Synod. We continue to wonder whether a legislative procedure is the most helpful way of dealing with these matters.”