Anglican church of Southern Africa rejects blessing of same-sex civil unions

Angolan churches refuse to bless same sex marriges. (PHOTO: Virtue Online)

Originally published in Virtue Online.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa voted last Friday to reject a proposal to allow prayers of blessing to be offered for people in same-sex civil unions under South African law.
The vote was taken by the church’s Provincial Synod, its top legislative body, on a proposal by the Diocese of Saldanha Bay, which stretches from the northern suburbs of Cape Town to the Namibian border.

The initial motion before the synod also proposed that bishops could provide for clergy who identify as LGBTI and are in legal same-sex civil unions to be licensed to minister in parishes. But the proposers withdrew this section before debate began.

Opposition to the proposal was strongest among bishops, with 16 voting against and six in favor. Sixty-two percent of lay representatives to the synod voted against it (41 votes to 25), and 55 percent of clergy (42 to 34).

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The church includes Anglicans in Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and on the island of St Helena. Same-sex marriage is allowed only under South African civil law.

Before announcing the result, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba spoke of the “palpable pain” in the church over the vote:

“I wish I was in Makgoba’s Kloof (his ancestral home) … because if one (of you) is pained and hurt, it pains me too and I have learned as a priest that there are no losers or winners in the kingdom of God.

“The pain on both sides is palpable and tangible, and the image of a double-edged sword pierces me…”

He added that “all is not lost.” He said the issue might hopefully be taken up again at the next Provincial Synod in 2019, and the church could also consider raising it at the next Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops in 2020.

He also said the issue could be discussed at the local level in parishes and dioceses “so that we can continue to discern together the mind of God…”

After announcing the vote, he called for silence “as we bring before God the pain that this outcome will cause to some members of this synod, some members of our parishes, some members of our church.”

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  1. This article does not point out the Arch bishops support for same sex marriage. He should be defrocked

  2. Makgoba ‘pained’ over Anglican same-sex debate outcome

    shared via @News24

    Cape Town – Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba spoke out on Saturday about his anguish over a debate which rejected proposals to soften the Church’s stance on gay clergy and same-sex marriage.

    “A word to our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers: I was deeply pained by the outcome of the debate,” said Makgoba in a statement.

    His comments followed a synod held in Ekurhuleni on Friday which rejected a proposal to allow bishops to license clergy who identified as LGBTI and are in a same sex civil union to minister in parishes

  3. Peter Throp ( Value Life)

    To condone (Bless) SIN is a sin in itself.

  4. Samesex marriagesare against the doctrine of God the Father. To oppose God is too dangerous. You WILL NOT SEE heaven.

  5. Peter Mc Gregor

    I concur with the above comments. When the Anglican Archbishop, Thabo Makgoba is prepared to side with those dissidents who clearly want to oppose the word of GOD, then the Anglican Church is in serious trouble. To say that Lesbians and Gays are “Sisters and Brothers” is “surely sickening” and to be sure, our senior Brother and Apostle Paul, would never have conceded to such nonsense!The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a wonderful message of Hope to a sinner who is prepared to repent, but it has no value to a sinner who is not prepared to repent.Perhaps the Bishop needs to understand that there are only winners in the Kingdom of GOD. Losers do not gain entry. And if anyone feels that is a bit harsh, perhaps they should acquaint themselves with the words of Jesus Christ.