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Canadian archbishop suspended for lesbian wedding


Anthony Cuesta | October 06, 2006

Archbishop Terence Finlay
TORONTO — A former top Anglican archbishop in Canada was suspended from performing marriages for the rest of the year because he officiated at a same-sex wedding this summer.

The move to marry a lesbian couple by Archbishop Terence Finlay, retired bishop for Toronto, has sparked added interest because he was noted for having fired a priest in 1991 for having a homosexual relationship. Shortly before he retired in 2004, he admonished a Toronto priest for performing a same-sex marriage.

"The couple I married are very close friends of our family. I've known one since she was a small child," Finlay told the Anglican Journal. "Her father was one of my theological professors and he was an honorary assistant in one of my parishes, and over the years, our families have remained very close."

According to the Toronto Star, Rev. Sara Boyles, minister at Toronto's Holy Trinity Church who was publicly scolded by Finlay in 2003 for performing a same-sex marriage, applauded his action, saying it will give strength to the movement to have homosexual unions recognized by the church.

"It's the calling of the church," she told the Star. "He has acted with integrity."

Finlay's action is certain to aggravate strains in the world Anglican Communion, which is on the verge of schism over the issues of permitting active homosexuals in the priesthood and blessing homosexual unions, reports Canada�s Globe and Mail. His reprimand was reported on the BBC World Service and in The Times of London and the London Daily Telegraph.

The diocese of New Westminster, B.C., permits its priests to bless gay unions, but nowhere in the Canadian Anglican Church are homosexual marriages permitted, though they are legal across Canada.

Boyles said that, despite Finlay's assertion that he does not want to be a leader on this issue, the blessing of a same-sex marriage by such a respected church leader will have a big impact.

The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian church's governing body, the General Synod, will meet in June to decide whether same-sex blessings should be permitted in all Anglican dioceses. – Issued by Gay Link Content


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