Exceptions Become Norms


In 1930 the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion issued Resolution 15. With that resolution they became the first ecclesial community in the world to allow the use of contraceptives. The Resolution maintained that the purpose of marriage was for the procreation of children. Therefore, contraceptive use was an exception to the rule. They would only be allowed use by married couples and only under strict circumstances. Times have certainly changed since 1930. While Resolution 15 has not changed, Anglican pronouncements and practices have removed many of those strict restrictions. What started out as an exception to the rule, has become the norm.
On January 18, 2023, the Anglican Communion once again issued a resolution. It denied recognition of same-sex marriages. It issued an exception, however. Blessings and prayers would be permitted for said partnerships. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Eventually, as in the case of contraceptive use, the exception will evolve into acceptance and recognition of same-sex marriage. Some, less serious issues, admit of exceptions. Yet, there are those in the Catholic Church who want to introduce exceptions to fundamental moral truths.
Exceptions, even with strict restrictions and fine distinctions help no one. They compromise the truth and distort clarity. In 2021 on the question of whether the Catholic Church has the power to bless same-sex marriage, the Church did not issue an exception. It answered: “No.” The Church knows history. Whether regarding same-sex marriage, artificial contraception, or the myriads of other fundamental moral issues she knows that truth matters more than exceptions.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here