This section of the report identifies and explains the proposal for changes to canons required to enable a person who has entered a civil marriage with a person of the same sex to qualify for ordination.
It is proposed that Clause 10.4 of Title D Canon I, Chastity, be amended to read:
Chastity is the right ordering of sexual relationships. Rightly ordered relationships are those in which ministers:
are celibate; or
are married pursuant to Title G, Canon III, Part A; or
are in a civil marriage that has been blessed pursuant to Title G, Canon III, Part B, provided that this definition of chaste does not apply in any Diocese or Amorangi that has not authorised a service or blessing of civil marriages in accordance with that Canon.
At present ministers who are celibate or who have been married by the Church are considered to be in rightly ordered relationships. This amendment enables those who have entered a civil marriage and have been blessed also to be rightly ordered. Those in civil marriages will not be considered to be in rightly ordered relationships unless the marriage has been blessed by a service authorised in the diocese / amorangi in which they minister.
This change has three implications. Firstly, it means that those who are in an existing civil marriage that has not been blessed through an authorised service will not be considered to be in a rightly ordered relationship for the purposes of Title D Canon I.
The second, and associated, implication is that all dioceses / amorangi will need to adopt an authorised service of blessing for heterosexual couples in order to ensure that ministers in existing civil marriages will be able to have their marriages blessed, and thereby to be considered as in a rightly ordered relationship.
Thirdly, those in same-sex civil marriages which have been blessed will only be considered to be in a rightly ordered relationship in dioceses / amorangi that have authorised a liturgy to bless same-sex marriages. In dioceses / amorangi that have not authorised such a service, those in same-sex civil marriages will not be considered to be in rightly ordered relationships. This enables individual dioceses / amorangi to decide whether or not they authorise the service, and accept candidates for ordination who are in same-sex civil marriages which have been blessed.