A Contribution to the Anglican Church of Canada’s Commission on the Marriage Canon
Canadian Anglicans and Roman Catholics have been in formal dialogue with each other for more than 40 years. The bonds of trust that have grown between our two churches during that time allow us, even in difficult times, to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to each other, and to engage in dialogue with one another with “the frankness that friendship allows” (Cardinal Walter Kasper’s address to the 2008 Lambeth Conference).
The Anglican Church of Canada and the wider Anglican Communion have been grappling with questions of human sexuality for at least a generation. In 2013, the Canadian church’s General Synod proposed an amendment to its canon law that would change the definition of marriage to include couples of the same sex. A process demonstrating “broad consultation” was mandated, and this included seeking the counsel of the Anglican Church of Canada’s ecumenical partners, of which the Roman Catholic Church is one of its longest standing. The General Synod’s Commission on the Marriage Canon therefore invited the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue of Canada to provide input on a matter that has clear ecumenical implications.