Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.

England – the gay issue

Posted by Fr Mark on August 13, 2009


Gay vicar gets Church of England civil union blessing





From, 23.12.05:


As hundreds of gay men and lesbians in the United Kingdon tie the knot in civil union ceremonies this week, a gay vicar for the Church of England had his union blessed in the church, London’s Daily Telegraph reported.

The Reverend Christopher Wardale and partner Malcolm Macourt received the blessing at St. Thomas the Martyr Church in Newcastle following their civil partnership ceremony. The couple repeated their civil union vows, with the Right Reverend David Jenkins proclaiming, “Almighty God, bless these rings which we offer in your name. Grant that those who wear them may always have faith in you and each other. May they do your will, live together in peace and love, and work for the good of others. Grant that, sharing their joys and their fears, each with patience and trust, may grow in love, freedom, and truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

In July the church’s House of Bishops banned formal blessings of civil partnerships, the newspaper reported. In addition, the guidelines bar clergy from civil unions unless they are celibate.

The bishop of Newcastle told reporters he was furious and could take action against Wardale. “If he fails to act, he will anger conservative Anglicans at home and abroad who are already suspicious that Church of England bishops are lax on homosexuality,” the newspaper said.

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