No decision on gay blessings from South African bishops

George Conger

The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa has been unable to come to a common mind on the issue of gay blessings, but have agreed to continue dialogue on the issue in preparation for the 2016 Provincial Synod. A statement released on 15 Feb 2015 following the House of Bishops’ 2-5 Feb 2015 meeting in Durban stated: “We also agreed on a way forward for the pastoral guidelines regarding Civil Unions in ACSA, which we now have in draft form. All Dioceses are asked to consider these issues of mission and ministry during 2015 and the first part of 2016. The aim is to present a resolution on them to Provincial Synod in 2016.” Sources tell AI the bishops have agreed they do not agree on the doctrinal issues at stake, but are determined to hold the institution together. The bishops heard a presentation on Paul’s Theology of the Body by Canon Janet Trisk, a member of the Sea of Faith Network, which encouraged new thinking on human sexuality. However, the political calculus within the House of Bishops, divided between traditionalists, evangelicals and liberal catholics – coupled with questions of corruption and misconduct among some bishops – makes a united theological stance unlikely, sources tell Anglican Ink.

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