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Synod to re-draft same-sex motion

General Synod forms a new working group to re-draft the motion on same-sex blessings. Debate will resume on Wednesday.

taonga news  |  10 May 2016  |

General Synod/Te Hīnota Whānui has decided to draft a new motion that provides an alternate response to the ‘A Way Forward’ (AWF) report.

The existing motion 4 had proposed synod accept the AWF report and adopt its recommendation to establish two new services of blessing as church formularies.

While both Tikanga Māori and Tikanga Polynesian agreed they could adopt provisions of the AWF report, the seven New Zealand dioceses yesterday asked for more time to address misgivings about the two services of blessing posed.

Synod moved into conference mode, and requested space to operate with only members and those with speaking rights present.

“This has been a very difficult day for us, a rollercoaster day in many ways;” Archbishop Philip Richardson said after a half-day in conference mode.

When synod reconvened on Monday evening Tikanga Pākeha asked its tikanga partners for time to amend motion 4 to take into account the concerns of members who oppose aspects of ‘A Way Forward.’  

“We are saying something to our LGBTI brothers and sisters in Tikanga Pākeha, and it’s difficult: we are all aware of the pain our inability to move will cause to you,” Archbishop Philip said. “But it is our hope that we can get to a profoundly better place than we are at now.”

Synod agreed the new working group will comprise seven members – two from each tikanga and a legal adviser.

The group will work through today and is expected to present a new motion for synod to consider on Wednesday.

Maori support

Ven Te Hope Hakaraia (Upoko o te Ika) offered the support of his tikanga:

“We are willing with Pasifika to move forward.

“However, we are not deaf; we have heard the anguish and the pain of our brothers and sisters in Tikanga Pakeha.

“We want you to come on the bus, to come into our tent. We want to use our manaaki to help you.”

Tikanga Maori then agreed to revisit Motion 4 “as an act of unity, kotahitanga and aroha.” 

Susan Wallace (Waipounamu) spoke to tautoko Archdeacon Te Hope. 

“In the spirit of radical manaakitanga, under the koroka of the discussion we have had, no one should be left behind,” she said.

Anne Candy (Tai Tokerau), however, expressed reservations about any slowing of change,

 “We have held takatāpui [LGBTI people] captive by not offering them a place in our church.” she said.

“I find it very hard that our church isn’t going to be about emancipation.

“How long do they have to wait?”

Fe’i Tevi (Polynesia) said Polynesia would journey with Tikanga Pākehā. 

“We agree that the coconut has not yet fallen; “ he said, “it will fall when it’s ripe.”

“There’s a willingness in Polynesia to look again at ‘A Way Forward’.

“It’s not our tikanga to leave anyone aside and abandon them.”