Skip to comments.Church of England: Gay clergy to defy bishops over no-sex 'marriages'
Posted on 08/08/2005 7:37:48 AM PDT by sionnsar
The Church of England's crisis over homosexuality deepened yesterday after gay clergy said that they would defy their bishops over civil partnerships.
Some told The Daily Telegraph that they had no intention of assuring their bishops that they will be sexually abstinent when they "marry" their partners.
One said he was "furious" with the way homosexual clergy were being treated and gay rights activists predicted a widespread revolt.
The bishops also came under fire from Anglicanism's leading conservative, Archbishop Peter Akinola, the primate of Nigeria. He said the Church of England was effectively introducing gay marriages and issued a warning that it could face similar punishment to that of liberal Americans and Canadians, who are threatened with expulsion from the worldwide Church for extending homosexual rights.
The anger of liberals and conservatives follows the publication last month of House of Bishops guidance on the Civil Partnerships Act, which will offer same-sex couples legal rights similar to marriage when it is enacted on Dec 5.
The bishops' guidance said that clergy could enter into partnerships but only if they first assured their bishops that they would abide by Church teaching that sex should be confined to heterosexual marriage.
It also told clergy that they should not offer formal services of blessing to couples who had been through a civil partnership ceremony.
The bishops argued that the new law would not introduce gay marriage because it did not presuppose sexual relations, but the guidance has been widely derided.
Several hundred clergy are thought likely to take advantage of the new law and homosexual rights campaigners said that most would refuse to tell their bishop about their behaviour in the bedroom.
One of them, the Rev Stephen Coles, the vicar of St Thomas in Finsbury Park, north London, and a member of General Synod, said: "If a bishop asks me if I am having sex I will say, it's none of your business. Frankly, it is a breach of my human rights for him even to ask."
In a separate development, more than 20 clergy have signed a petition promising to offer formal blessings to couples who have entered into civil partnerships despite the bishops' ban on the practice.
The petition, which was posted on the internet by the Rev Ian Stubbs, said: "Jesus nowhere teaches that same-sex relationships fall short of God's purposes. To withhold recognition and blessing of committed same-sex covenants, including civil partnerships, is unscriptural, unlawful and dishonest. We therefore openly commit ourselves to providing, as appropriate, public services of blessing for those who seek them."
The defiance of the gay and liberal clergy will place the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in an increasingly difficult position as he attempts to prevent schism in the worldwide Church over the issue.
The conservatives are demanding the expulsion of the Americans and Canadians for consecrating Anglicanism's first openly homosexual bishop and backing gay blessings.
Their leader, Archbishop Akinola, warned the Church of England, Anglicanism's mother Church, that it could face a similar fate if it allowed its clergy to enter into civil partnerships.
In a strongly worded statement that will dismay Dr Williams, Archbishop Akinola said the bishops' guidance was akin to introducing gay marriages and called on them to renounce it.
"While I have great affection and respect for the historic role that the Church of England has played in all our lives, no Church can ignore the teachings of the Bible with impunity and no Church is beyond discipline," he said.
"The language of the Civil Partnerships Act makes it plain that what is being proposed is same-sex marriage in all but name.
"I find it incomprehensible therefore that the House of Bishops would not find open participation in such 'marriages' to be repugnant to Holy Scriptures and incompatible with Holy Orders.
"The proposal that the bishops will extract a promise from clergy who register that there will be no sexual intimacy in these relationships is the height of hypocrisy."
Lambeth Palace said the Archbishop of Canterbury was away and it had no comment to make.
Is that the sound of one of the final straws breaking? Let's just all leave, now..then we won't have to spend all our time on this garbage, we can focus on God, Scripture, and living a good life..
I hope it is. It is getting very wearying, watching all this go on and on. It is past time to bring this to its denouement.
This is what happens when people start basing their lives on sexual gratification, rather than discernment of how God wants them to live and serve. It's disgusting beyond words.
I think Jesus may actually have been wrong about something. The love of sex, not the love of money, is the root of all evil. Satan is truly sowing his seeds here. Even a blind man can see it.
And just what did these bishops expect, exactly? They STILL don't see the homosexual activist agenda?
I DID leave, a few months ago, and I can't stop talking about just how wonderful it is to be out of all of that mess - and into a faithful church where the Gospel is preached. Would I ever return to an Anglican/Episcopal church? - not on your life!
This was predictable!
Great timing there, with the subject hitting the fan at ELCA's Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, which started today.
I probably annoy some by so often tying ECUSA and ELCA together, but I truly believe that what goes for one denomination goes for the other. I also believe their liberal remnants will merge in the not-too-distant future.
Yes, I suppose it was. But sad to see nonetheless -- though if it is the proverbial straw that triggers the changes, it will be a good thing.
But it's getting ever harder to bear -- even for one long since outside of it, as I am. "The Church's One Foundation" keeps coming to mind:
Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, How long?
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!
Time to go out and read through to-day's scornful wonder...
"Binary"....ahem..I'd hadn't ever heard it quite described in that way before...
Funny, I was thinking about that hymn and particular verse just the other day in the same context!
With the Rev. Stephen Cole representing Christianity in Finsbury Park, no wonder the local imam calls for the killing of infidels. What a disgusting blight on the Holy Christian Church the Church of England and its vile spawn are! One can only pray that Jesus will return to judge soon.
Homosexual Agenda Ping.
Yup, they are pushing for it all. They want to dominate, control, win, and let's face it, be God.
Reminds me of some horrible song I heard once on the radio (how many years ago??) some idiot screaming at the top of his lacerated lungs: I WANT IT ALL! I WANT IT ALL! I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT - NOW!!!!
They're pushing hard, and may God grant the African Anglicans the spiritual strength to do the right thing.
Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.
One thing the African Anglicans should do is send missionaries to the UK and the US. We need them over here.
Should do?? They've been doing it for some time now! You can start with the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), though that is not by any means the entirety of it.
I don't find it annoying. They do have a concordance so it is justifiable to link the two groups.
Aha! Freepers know everything. I'm so silly that just because I haven't seen any in my neck of the woods I assume there aren't any!
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