Church of England to Bless Gay Marriages Under Bishop Ruling

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside Church House, the venue of the Church
DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

Bishops in the Church of England have given the green light for gay marriages to be blessed by officials within the faith.

Homosexual couples who have recently married within a civil setting will soon be able to have their union blessed within Anglican churches in England, with Church of England bishops having reportedly voted in favour of the practice as part of efforts to reform the faith.

Despite the move representing a massive concession to pro-LGBT factions within the church, many activists remain unhappy due to bishops failing to go further by permitting single-sex marriages within the religion.

According to a press release issued by the Church of England, bishops voted in favour of same-sex blessings after a six-year consultation period as part of efforts to reform the faith.

The Church will also issue an apology later this week “to LGBTQI+ people for the ‘rejection, exclusion and hostility’ they have faced in churches and the impact this has had on their lives”, the press release claims.

“I know that this has been costly and painful for many on all sides of the debate and has touched on deeply personal matters and strongly held beliefs,” Sarah Mullally, the bishop who reportedly lead the discussion on the topics, said.

“We have been moved by what we have heard and seen. And what has come through very clearly, even though there continues to be disagreement among the bishops and among the wider church on these questions, is a strong desire to continue to share our life together in Christ with all our differences,” she went on to say.

Although many within the wider Anglican communion — which has currently seen numerous near-schismatic events occur over the last number of years — will likely see the blessing of gay marriages conducted outside the church as in violation of Christian teaching, pro-LGBT elements within the church seem to be annoyed at the ruling for not going far enough.

For instance, one gay rights campaigner sitting on the Church’s general synod attacked the decision as being mere “breadcrumbs from bishops”, and that it would mean homosexuals would remain “second class and discriminated against” within the religion.

Some politicians have also been demanding that the church begin accepting gay marriages, with Conservative Party MP Penny Mordaunt — who was brought up as a Roman Catholic, not Anglican — writing to the church’s leadership earlier this week to tell them to extend the sacrament to homosexual partnerships.

Meanwhile, another bishop within the Church, Steven Croft, also expressed disappointment gay marriage wasn’t agreed upon, saying that there still wasn’t a “sufficient” strength of feeling amongst bishops to implement the change.

“I’m sorry that some things are not being taken forward, particularly marriage in church for same-sex couples,” he reportedly said. “I would have wanted to see that but there simply wasn’t a sufficient majority [among bishops] for [it].”

The changes as agreed by the bishops are now due to be voted on at a meeting of the Church’s general synod, which is set to take place at the beginning of next month.

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