Today's plenary will pick up hard moral decisions
by Lisa Barrowclough
A widow who is expected to marry the brother of her husband even though he has AIDS, Chinese children left abandoned in an orphanage, and the pain of a man watching the suffering of his dying wife will catch the attention of the Conference today. These stories are central to this afternoon's plenary session as it tackles the everyday difficulties of "Making Moral Decisions." At the centre of the session will be a paper by Bishop Rowan Williams (Monmouth, Wales). (Read the full address here.) This looks at ethics within the Body of Christ, reminding us of the "self-knowledge" and the awareness of the "body" to which we belong which must be central to all decision-making.
The session also features a video that focuses on five scenarios: native Canadians, abortion in China, homosexuality, AIDS in Africa and euthanasia-assisted suicide. It listens to the voices of various people affected by these issues, and asks: "Will the Church help show the way forward?"
The plenary also will hear from several bishops around the Communion as they share brief stories of prominent issues in their dioceses. The session will be chaired by Bishop Victoria Matthews (Edmonton, Canada) and is set for 2.30pm in St Augustine and St Columba Halls.