When will gay couples be able to take vows in the Church of England?

February 24th, 2010 Posted in News |

One of the most striking features of the GAFCON Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of June 2008 was the formation of a Primates Council which was urged to ‘authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations’. The radical nature of this step was underlined by a corresponding negative – the rejection of the commonly held assumption that ‘Anglican identity is determined necessarily through the Archbishop of Canterbury’.

Events in England this week have underlined the wisdom of envisaging an alternative focus of leadership for the Anglican Communion. As regular readers of these articles will know, I believe that the current Archbishop of Canterbury is promoting an illusory unity which accommodates false teaching and endangers the whole Communion.

But there is another reason for calling into question the role of Canterbury and the Lambeth institutions which is not so much to do with Rowan Williams himself, but with the relentless erosion of orthodox faith in the Church of England by the deeply secularized culture of the liberal establishment.

A number of leading academics and clergy, including the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd David Stancliffe, wrote to the London Times this week arguing that it is ‘plainly discriminatory’ not to allow gay or lesbian partners to make vows to each other in church and this was obligingly reinforced in that newspaper’s leader comment yesterday in which it called on the government to ‘resolve the legal asymmetry’ which under the 2004 Civil Partnership Act prevents same sex couples from having a Civil Partnership ceremony in church premises.  Read Charles Raven here

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