The decision to ordain homosexuals who abstain from homosexual relations was defended by Archbishop Edward Scott, the primate of the Anglican Church in Canada, at a press conference on February 27. The House of Bishops, after some months of closed-session study of sexuality in its totality, had taken that step regarding homosexuals.

“Throughout the ages there have been many people of homosexual orientation who have served and given tremendous service to the church—so we are not making a change,” Scott told the press. “We are trying to bring something out into the open, to recognize something that has always been there.”

The primate said that his church was trying to face up to “the conditions that actually exist in our society and to think about them with the mind of Christ.” Asked if he was not watering down the teaching of the Bible, the archbishop replied: “We have not modified Scripture. We have made an attempt to understand it at a deeper level.” He made a distinction between homosexual orientation and sexual relations. “Homosexual orientation is not sinful, except in the sense that it may have been conditioned within a sinful world.”

In reply to a question as to whether the church considers homosexual relations to be sinful, the primate said: “it is not my job or the job of the church to be always defining and judging things.”

A member of Integrity, an organization of homosexuals within the Anglican Church in Canada, agreed with the distinction but regretted that the House of Bishops had restricted ordination to those who would refrain from having homosexual relations.

The man, identified only as John, was a member of the task force that had helped the bishops to reach their decision. “It was scary being a token fag in ...

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