No doubt this development as reported by the Edmonton Journal (http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=bae1d20b-761c-4d16-82d6-810609908ae8&k=27424) will cause homophobic Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria to have a stroke (well, one CAN wish after all) and result in all kinds of threats and foaming at the mouth. I for one believe that if Akinola is the wave of the future of the Anglican Communion, then the U. S. Episcopal Church and progressive elements in the Communion would be better off leaving Akinola and those of his ilk to their own devices. The reality is that Akinola may have lots of ignorant, uneducated followers in Africa, but it is the progressive branches of the Communion that have the money. Cut off the money flow and see if Akinola's followers are still enamored with his homophobic rants. Here are some story highlights:
CORNWALL -- Ottawa Anglicans approved the blessing of same sex marriages by a vote of 177 to 97 Saturday, the first diocese in Canada to support the blessings since the national church nixed them this summer. In June, the Anglican Church of Canada made seemingly contradictory decisions when it ruled that same sex blessings do not contravene core doctrine, then refused to allow local dioceses to decide for themselves how to handle the issue of gay marriages.
Ottawa is the first diocese to broach the issue at the local level since that national meeting in Winnipeg. The diocese of Montreal is expected to debate a similar motion at its own annual meeting, or synod, next week. Ottawa Bishop John Chapman said he welcomed Saturday's vote because it tells him where the diocese stands on the issue. However, he stressed that the final decision on whether to bless gay marriages still rests with him, and he expects to take his time making that decision. He wants to talk to other bishops, both nationally and internationally, before going ahead with a policy.
Saturday's delicately-worded motion did not ask that gay couples be allowed to marry in an Anglican church, or even that their civil unions be blessed. It just asked that priests be given the right to approach the bishop for permission for such a blessing, should their parish approve. This way, priests and parishes who are not comfortable with gay marriage need not concern themselves with it.
Many others brought up the fact that the church welcomes gay people individually, gives them communion, baptizes their babies, and even offers a pension fund that recognizes same sex couples. Yet it can't "bless" them even though it blesses boats, houses, even animals.
The last sentence actually identifies the underlying issue. To individuals like Akinola, gays are something less than animals. Somehow, I do not believe that Jesus would concur with that.