First we learnt that the Auckland Diocese had rejected the Anglican covenant or at least Clause 4.2.
Now comes the (for me) much greater news, that the Diocese has passed a motion which allows for persons in committed same-sex relationships to be considered for ordination.
Then the synod passed the following motion.
That this synod:This motion was put in parts, and members voted via a paper ballot. The most contentious clause, (2), passed by nearly a two-thirds majority.
(1) holds that sexual orientation should not be an impediment to the discernment, ordination and licensing of gay and lesbian members to any lay and ordained offices of the church; and further
(2) holds that persons in committed same-sex relationships likewise should not be excluded from being considered for discernment, ordination and licensing to any lay and ordained offices of the church.
(3) commits to an intentional process of listening to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, organised by the Archdeacons in consultation with the gay and lesbian community;
(4) commits to an ongoing process of discussion within the ministry units, asks the Archdeacons to facilitate this, and invites responses to those discussions to be submitted to Diocesan Council by 31 March 2012; and
(5) commits to support the process and work of the Commission to be appointed by General Synod Standing Committee as resolved at its meeting in July 2011.
The previous Bishop of Dunedin, Bishop George Connor ordained Rev Juan Kinnear, a man in a same-sex partnership who is now an associate priest in our cathedral. I know the present bishop, from his sermons while a vicar, has no personal opposition but worries about the divisions that might result, sort of the 'weaker brethren' argument. The bishop of Waiapu centred on Napier, Bishop David Rice, was Dean of Dunedin cathedral at the time of Juan Kinnear's ordination and defended the ordination to the press.
There was strenuous opposition from one parish within Dunedin. It is obviously a parish I have no intention of ever visiting.
However this leadership by Auckland, the largest diocese in new Zealand is great news, may it lead to further developments within the Province.
Thanks to Rev'd Stephen Donald for this information
The Waiapu Diocesan Synod has affirmed that sexual orientation is no barrier to ordination, and is asking for a liturgy to bless same-sex relationships.
The full motion is:
Given that Waiapu has followed a policy of sexual orientation not being a barrier to ordination; and given that there is not and has not been an agreed "moratorium" on ordinations of those in same-sex relationships;
a) this Synod affirms that sexual orientation is not a barrier to ordination, and
b) this Synod asks General Synod to move forward with the provision of an authorised liturgy for the blessing of same sex relationships to be adopted by dioceses who wish to do so.
They have apparently also rejected the Anglican Covenant