The Anglican Church of Canada's House of Bishops released a statement on Monday evening acknowledging they have "caused deep hurt."
The Church voted over the weekend on allowing same-sex marriage within the communion. In order to pass the motion needed to receive two-thirds votes in three levels of voting. It received overwhelming support from the laity and clergy but failed to get the needed votes from the House of Bishops.
The results seemed to stun many gathered at the General Synod. Matt Gardner from the Anglican Journal reported that the stunned silence following the results being shown to those gathered was broken by a loud cry from an LGBTQ youth who ran from the room.
Outgoing Archbishop Fred Hiltz delivered the statement from the House of Bishops to the General Synod on Monday afternoon.
"We see your tears, we hear your cries, and we weep with you. We have caused deep hurt. We are profoundly sorry," the statement says.
The bishops say that they cannot come to an agreement on the matter they are "walking together in a way which leaves room for individual dioceses and jurisdictions of our church to proceed with same-sex marriage according to their contexts and convictions, sometimes described as 'local option.'"
Many local churches or dioceses have been conducting same-sex marriages since 2016 following the first reading of the motion which sought to amend Canon 21 - the Anglican Church of Canada's marriage canon.
The statement concluded saying "Although we as bishops are not able to agree, in the name of Jesus Christ, we commit to conduct ourselves 'with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace' (Ephesians 4:2-3)."
The Prolocutor and Deputy Prolocutor issued a response to the bishops on behalf of the laity and clergy.
"We have heard and felt and acknowledge the pain, hurt and anguish of many people in this General Synod and beyond, particularly in the LGBTQ2S+ community, their families and friends."
While reflecting on the many things that were accomplished in agreement at the General Synod, the Prolocutors also say in response that work needs to be done in the governance structure of the Anglican Church of Canada.
"We also strongly endorse the proposed actions of this Synod calling for work, in the next triennium, on our governance structures, size and composition of Synod, and planning for the future. We acknowledge that it is not only ‘what’ we do at Synod but, equally important, ‘how’ we do our work, and we confess and lament that some of the ways in which we deliberated in this session of Synod caused alienation and hurt. We look forward, therefore, to reviewing these matters before our 43rd General Synod.
"We pray for God’s grace and the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit as we move forward, as we work toward living fully into these commitments."
The 2019 General Synod closes out Tuesday in Vancouver, BC. The next General Synod will occur in 2022.