A response to the C of E House of Bps’ announcement of a review of its Guidelines on Human Sexuali

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The following are to be noted.

1. In the first paragraph of the announcement of the review, the developments that are cited as having taken place since the Guidelines were first issued in 2005 all point in the revisionist direction: “a number of clergy are now in civil partnerships. The General Synod decided to amend the clergy pension scheme to improve the provision for the surviving civil partners of clergy who have died. More recently Parliament has decided that civil partnerships may be registered on religious premises where the relevant religious authority has consented."

2. The second paragraph states: “We recognize that bishops and clergy have found ways of engaging pastorally with those in civil partnerships, both at the time of registration and subsequently.” What is meant by “subsequently”? Does this mean that bishops and clergy are blessing civil partnerships in contravention of the law, which states that civil partnerships must not have any religious element to them?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

5 Comments
Posted July 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

“Though the statement refers to the context of the 1987 resolution of General Synod, it goes on to quote General Synod resolution in February 2007 commending “continuing efforts to prevent the diversity of opinion about human sexuality creating further division and impaired fellowship within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.”  In other words it is the House of Bishops’ view that approval of homosexual behaviour is not a dividing issue”.

The above is the “money paragraph” for me—so, is that it?  The HOB’s “view” is now the new teaching of the Church.  Everything that has gone before, including Scripture,  is moot.  Just wanted to make sure I had that right…

My spouse is right—it’s not God doing a “new thing”, humanity is doing the “old thing”—starting with setting itself and its desires above God.  Romans I, here we come:  the road to idolatry.

July 26, 11:34 pm | [comment link]
2. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

What is patently obvious is that a degree of dishonesty is being played out by bishops who have reached a conclusion and are not really wanting a true debate at all. Rather the desire is to work back from the answer with the least degree of loss. Much like with WO where assurances were given then removed.

And no it is not God doing a new thing. The revelation in Christ was complete and all that is necessary for salvation. This is the result of allowing secular values to dictate church policy

July 27, 3:06 am | [comment link]
3. Martin Reynolds wrote:

“Does this mean that bishops and clergy are blessing civil partnerships in contravention of the law, which states that civil partnerships must not have any religious element to them?”

This is nonsense.

Civil Partnerships are formed solely by the signing and witnessing of a schedule (there are no words), the amount of time required for this civil act can be less than a couple of minutes. The law only requires there be no religious material during this period. I have attended Civil Partnerships where the Registrars completed their momentary presence at the beginning, middle and end of the ceremony. But no religious material or music took place during the signing and witnessing of the schedule.

This is the one advantage of allowing Civil Partnerships to be registered outside Registry Offices where the prohibition against God is permanent!

July 27, 6:22 am | [comment link]
4. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Whatever the obscure intention of this HOB document, and as usual if people said what they meant and meant what they said clearly they would not get themselves into problems, this is very much looking like yet another own goal by our HOB, which will not settle the disquiet from within the CofE and for that matter the wider Communion about the direction and leadership of the Church of England at HOB level.

Why not put the other foot forward and see if you can miss shooting that as well?

July 27, 9:50 am | [comment link]
5. MichaelA wrote:

“A review about nominations to episcopate will be completed in 2012 and then a consultation document for a more general review will be made available in 2013. It is clear that the way is being prepared for a partnered or active homosexual priest to be made a bishop following the report of 2012 prior to a general review in 2013. The general review may well be done in the face of a fait accomplit. ”

This sounds like a likely scenario.

Hopefully, it will act as a wake-up call to the thousands of evangelical churches in CofE which still think that they can minister faithfully without getting involved in the current controversies. 

This move should strengthen the hand of those who urge evangelicals to get actively involved in the institutional side of the CofE.

July 27, 7:49 pm | [comment link]
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