Cape Town diocesan synod to discuss pro-gay motion

The diocese of Cape Town, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, is scheduled to consider a motion put forward by representatives of Cape Town’s St George’s Cathedral on Saturday. The synod is held every three years. This is the first held since Thabo Makgoba became Archbishop of Cape Town.

The motion proposes that the synod “commends giving serious and prayerful consideration to the acceptance of gays and lesbians in their committed partnerships as valued members of our parishes”. It says this should be done “bearing in mind the long-standing tradition within the Anglican Communion of respect for individual conscience, in seeking to be faithful disciples of Jesus”. It also asks bishops of the church “to provide pastoral guidelines for those of our members who are in such covenanted partnerships as faithful members of our parish families”.

Makgoba’s predecessor Njongonkulu Ndungane said in 2006 the church did not regard partnership between two persons of the same sex as a marriage in the eyes of God. Those who were not married should abstain from sex. “At present there is ongoing discussion and debate about matters of human sexuality within the Anglican Church in Southern Africa and throughout the world, but while this continues, our stance remains the same,” Ndungane said.

Ndungane said in the same year that the church had set up a commission to examine gay issues.

A diocesan official said the church was engaged in a formal “listening process” meant to “put a human face on the issue”.

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