Sunday, February 16, 2014

Church of England rules out blessings for gay marriages

Members of the London Gay Men's Choir perform in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London
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Members of the London Gay Men's Choir perform in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London …
LONDON (Reuters) - Church of England priests will not be allowed to bless gay and lesbian weddings, or marry someone of the same sex themselves, according to new guidelines issued by the church, which is struggling to heal divides over homosexuality.
Same-sex marriage becomes legal in England next month, posing a dilemma for the Church of England, which is the mother church of the world's 80 million Anglicans and maintains that marriage is between a man and a woman.
England and Wales legalized secular same-sex civil partnerships in 2005. A church working group suggested last year that clergy allow gay and lesbian couples to mark and celebrate marriages held under the new legislation, as well as civil partnerships, in a religious service.
But following meetings last week, the church's bishops released guidelines at the weekend that ruled out any kind of blessing for gay marriages. Instead, they said, clergy could offer an informal prayer at their discretion and at the request of the couple.
"Services of blessing should not be provided. Clergy should respond pastorally and sensitively in other ways," said the guidance from the House of Bishops.
The Anglican Communion, which links Anglicans across and beyond the English-speaking world, has been split for years over gay rights and Biblical authority, especially since its U.S. branch - the Episcopal Church - ordained a gay bishop in 2003.
African traditionalists are strongly opposed to growing acceptance of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion and to a Church of England proposal for "facilitated conversations" on homosexuality.
The House of Bishops - one of three parts of the church's General Synod - also said people in a same-sex marriage should not be ordained as bishops, priests and deacons, nor should those in the ministry enter gay marriage.
"The House is not willing for those who are in a same-sex marriage to be ordained to any of the three orders of ministry," the bishops said. "In addition, it considers that it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same-sex marriage."
The legislation already forbids the Church of England and its sister Church in Wales from conducting same-sex marriages, although other religious groups can opt in if they want.
The Church of England had announced that it would address the issue of sexuality, saying it was aware it needed to reflect rapid changes in society and to address falling attendance rates and especially a failure to attract young people to the church.
The British parliament passed laws last year to allow gay marriages from 2014 in England and Wales. Scotland followed suit this month, becoming the 17th country to allow same-sex marriages.
Copies of the guidelines were sent to bishops and archbishops in other Anglican churches around the world, accompanied by a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York John Sentamu.
They acknowledged the divisions in the church on homosexuality but said same-sex marriage was a "new reality" with implications for the Church of England that had to be discussed and addressed.
(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; editing by David Stamp)
Note. . . .I looked at a few of the comments. . . .there were a plethora of comments from the self-righteous religious bigots and the "no nothing party" who have to spew there ignorance around. . . Regularly I resolve NOT to read any such comments. . . but. . mea culpa, regularly I slip back and read the trash and am no better for it. . . ;-)
. . . . .. justin o'shea



I don't think anyone on earth can
figure out God's reasoning. HUH.
Reading todays Gospel, Jesus gives
no leeway to tread, yet he punishes, and says He has great mercy for us ALL. WHAT!!!!!!!! He is so good, yet in our eyes, has He really lived to walk in our shoes as we walk through out life in our shoes..........Why did he put us upon this earth not to enjoy the fruits of His makings????????
I have had many questions... but really, not a bunch of answers.
You have to walk through life on a road of splinters of glass. Why did he sell us out to the devil. He really did, I guess cause he gave Lucifer the Shaft.
We are paying for the bad angels, maybe they were doing the bad things that are going on today, and God couldn't have His Universe
spinning out of control. Guess I
better stop now, before I spin
out of anything to say about our
Supreme Maker. Are the Theologians still trying and can't
find any answers Huh!!!!......
Guess I am a Heretic. Can anyone
be happy---I try.

JustinO'Shea said...

I am happy. . . ;-)

J said...

Religions that saddle themselves with foolish and outmoded doctrine will continue to fail in modern societies. They need a new business plan, and a new product line. The Christian churches would do better to make the Jefferson bible their core doctrine, and drop the miracles, virgin birth, a retributive god, and all but the most inchoate notions of "everlasting life". (Of course, there's always the possibility that a radical reform will only hasten the demise of organized religion.)

JustinO'Shea said...

There is a principle "What is freely asserted can be freely denied." Sic . . .

Coop said...

I've said it before... Churches don't have to recognized same sex unions. I'm okay with that. But they can't stop same-sex marriages from being recognized by the government.

And as far as the comments that Justin read go, I'm beginning to think that there's a disease spreading around the internet. Today, on Facebook, a gay friend of mine was kvetching over a blog post written by a Mormon woman decrying the supposed gay agenda in the movie "Frozen". Who dug that thing up in the first place?
Do they not have a life?

Chronic [time] wasting disease! THAT's a good name.