comfort we can take is in the knowledge that some of you have
encouraged us in the past and continue to assure us of your support. We
thank you for standing with us. Sadly, though, it seems we are now the
new marginalized minority.
On October 27, 2005, several members of the Zacchaeus
Fellowship made a presentation to the House of Bishops (available at www.zacchaeus.ca/hob.html),
which we spoke about our pasts, our struggles, our hopes and our hurts.
Every member of the House of Bishops has also received a copy of our
booklet Transformed by an Encounter with Christ.
Your statement has betrayed our witness to the House of
Bishops. You bent over backwards to express sympathy for our brothers
and sisters who openly espouse the gay lifestyle, yet your statement
held not one word of pastoral sensitivity towards us. In the name of
pastoral care, you have left us feeling spiritually bulldozed and
utterly deserted by our church. We are not at all able to agree with
the statement’s claim to consistency with paragraph
143 of the Windsor Report, which affirms “the duty of pastoral care
that is laid upon all Christians to respond with love and understanding
to people of all sexual orientations.” We point to your lack of so much
as an acknowledgment that the Anglican Church of Canada contains a
constituency of individuals who are ex-gay, ex-lesbian, or living
chastely with same-sex desires.
The Anglican Church of Canada
decided at that Synod that we are non-entities, not deserving an equal
voice alongside that of gays and lesbians. May we suggest that if a
motion of this nature with regard to people of colour had been
defeated, the cry of protest would have been loud enough to bring down
the house. In any case, when we were rebuffed in 2004, our fellowship
decided to turn the other cheek.
We have repeatedly asked that our voice representing
this constituency be heard, in particular at this upcoming General
Synod. This request has been rejected by the agenda committee. We want
to be allowed to sit at the table with our church family in order to
share our experiences. We plan to appeal to the Primate for the
opportunity to address General Synod from the floor. We ask you to
prayerfully consider supporting us in this appeal.
As we have stated before, not all persons with same-sex
attractions want these attractions affirmed. We are concerned for those
whom we describe as “silent sufferers” in the pews. These are the many
individuals who adhere to the traditional Christian teaching on
sexuality and wish for the church neither to condemn them as persons
nor to encourage them to act on those same-sex attractions. Who shall
support them? Such individuals need pastoral care – towards which goal
your statement offers empty wind. And on moral direction as called for
Resolution 1.10(c) your statement is silent.
We implore you in the strongest possible terms to
ensure that all persons experiencing same-sex attraction are offered
biblically sound pastoral care.
In the name of Jesus crucified and risen,
The Rev’d C. Dawn McDonald, Chair of the Zacchaeus Fellowship,
priest in the Diocese of Yukon
The Rev’d Dr. Don Alcock, Vice Chair of the Zacchaeus Fellowship,
priest in the Diocese of Huron
On behalf of the Zacchaeus Fellowship