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 19, 2009

three_lionsVicar’s gay ‘marriage’ to have church blessing



From: Daily Telegraph,  09.12.05:

By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

An openly homosexual vicar is to have his gay “marriage” blessed at a church service at which the former Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev David Jenkins, will preach.

The ceremony is expected to be the first of a number of such events that clearly flout official guidelines issued by the House of Bishops in July when clergy were told that they should not conduct formal blessings of civil partnerships to avoid equating them with marriage.

But many clergy are planning to defy the bishops by hosting thanksgiving services. The prospect is causing mounting alarm among the bishops and it was discussed at a private meeting on Wednesday chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

The bishops fear that widespread indiscipline could undermine their authority and heighten tensions in the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Church.

The Rev Christopher Wardale, the vicar of Holy Trinity, Darlington, and Malcolm Macourt, a retired academic, will sign civil partnership papers before the blessing at St Thomas the Martyr church, Newcastle, on Dec 21.

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