Church of England Evangelicals reject Bishop’s proposal to allow blessing of same-sex marriages
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Church of England Evangelicals have rejected a theological essay published by the Bishop of Oxford which argues Anglican clergy should be able to bless and marry same-sex couples if they choose, the Christian Post (CP) reports. The Church of England does not allow the blessing of civil partnerships or the marrying of same-sex couples.
In a recently published 52-page essay titled Together in Love and Faith, Bishop of Oxford Steven Croft asserts that the Church has caused “acute” pain and distress to the LGBTQ community, that he himself has had a change of heart on the issue, and that he believes the solemnisation of same-sex marriage in the Church of England should be allowed, CP reports.
“I am sorry that, corporately, we have been so slow as a Church to reach better decisions and practice on these matters,” Croft writes.
Nevertheless, Croft says, traditional Anglicans should be allowed to opt-out of any change to the current Church of England rules on LGBTQ partnerships. “Any settlement must be founded on love and respect: love and respect for LGBTQ+ people and their families within and beyond the Church, love and respect for those who take different views,” Croft says.
Rejecting Croft’s argument, and calling for “robust” protections to be implemented to protect traditional Anglican views on same-sex partnerships, the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) said in a statement: “CEEC continues to believe that the Church of England’s current position on human sexuality is built on the teaching of scripture and is therefore good for individuals and society as a whole.”
In a separate statement, the Oxford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship said it was “grieved” by Croft’s argument because it “departs from the clear teaching of the Bible in relation to sex and marriage,” CP reports.
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