Vicar resigns over proposal to allow same-sex blessings

same-sex blessing

Vicar Jay Behan of St Stephen’s church in Shirley has resigned from the Anglican general synod and says he is looking at ways to leave the church.

He disagrees with the recent decision made by the Anglican Synod to give bishops the freedom to allow the blessing of same-sex couples in their dioceses.

The motion allows only for blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples who have been married elsewhere.

The proposal also gives each diocese’s bishop and clergy immunity from complaint if they refused to conduct blessings of same-sex couples.

Behan is chair of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ), an evangelical conservative group within the church, that opposes same-sex blessings.

A statement on the FCANZ website greeted the synod vote with “deep sadness.”

“We are ready to support people and parishes that cannot remain within this changed Anglican structure.

“We will work together nationally and internationally to provide fellowship and support as we look towards new ways and structures of ministering the unchanging good news of Jesus,” it stated.

FCANZ is governed by a Trust Board located in Christchurch.

It is unclear how many members it has. The FACNZ website reported that a total of nearly 500 Anglicans attended two conferences in Auckland and Christchurch to launch the organisation in 2016.

FCANZ is the New Zealand arm of a Global Movement known as the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA).

FCA is closely associated with Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCOM).

It is a coalition of Anglican bishops, archbishops and lay people from around the world.

They come mainly from churches in the southern hemisphere – Africa, Asia, Australia, South America – but also enjoy the support of unhappy conservative evangelicals from the US, Canada and England.

According to a Guardian report, gay clergy and same-sex unions are the main issues for FCA.

However, members are also unhappy with the west’s failure to proselytise to non-Christians.

FCO claims to represent around half of the world’s 77 million Anglicans.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , ,