The General Synod has passed a resolution which notes that Tikanga Pasifika will not be voting for the blessing of same-gender relationships.
This church has put on record the fact that Tikanga Pasifika is against the blessing of same-gender relationships.
That does not necessarily mean, however, that Tikanga Pasifika will vote against the passage of the motion which will open the door to these blessings.
Because it has also spoken, in this resolution, of its desire “not to be an obstacle” or to hinder progress of the recommendations for Tikanga Maori and Tikanga Pakeha.
Abstention from voting on the passage of Motion 7, therefore, would appear to be Pasifika’s chosen option.
Late yesterday afternoon Fei Tevi sought leave to bring forward a motion without notice which gives a Tikanga Pasifika blessing of same gender relationships.
That leave was granted, and the motion – which seeks to protect Diocese of Polynesia against perceptions in the Pacific Island nations that their synod representatives are promoting a breach of island laws, customs, and the expressed wishes of Anglicans back home – was passed without dissent.
The preamble to the resolution notes the “deep interweaving of cultural and religious values at the core of our Pacific societies that place a profound respect, and reverence for the belief in God and the belief in the traditional understanding of marriage.”
It also notes that the constitutions of Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji “do not recognize any union between the same gender”.
And the resolution recalls “the outcomes of the talanoa on the report of motion 29 in the Diocese of Polynesia and notably at the Diocesan Synod.” (That talanoa had shown that Diocese of Polynesia members were opposed to the idea of same gender blessings.)
Fei Tevi had served on the Motion 29 working group, in fact, because the archbishops had wanted that group to be three tikanga.
The resolution also speaks of “receiving with deep appreciation” the Motion 29 group’s report “and noting the proposed recommendations – while “celebrating the core values of the 3 Tikanga Church of mutual respect and common journey.”
To read the full text of this resolution, click here.