England – the gay issue
Posted by Fr Mark on August 20, 2009
Anglican clergy across Britain are defying the Church of England’s ban on gay “marriages” by presiding over hundreds of such ceremonies every year
From Catholic World News, 23.10.02
Anglican clergy across Britain are defying the Church of England’s ban on gay “marriages” by presiding over hundreds of such ceremonies every year.
An investigation by The Daily Telegraph has revealed how easy it is for same-sex couples to receive a blessing ceremony in an Anglican church. During the one-week investigation, reporters posing as gay couples were offered blessings by 14 different vicars even though they were strangers who had no connection with either the local church or the parish.
Blessing gay couples, either in church or in private, is forbidden by Church of England canon law. However, most of the vicars who agreed to help a same-sex couple confirmed that they had performed similar ceremonies in the past. The Telegraph has chosen not to name the priests.
One vicar told the reporters, “On average, I tend to perform about four same-sex blessings a year. Sometimes it seems like I do more homosexual blessings than ordinary church weddings.”
A vicar in the diocese of Lincoln said that he blessed homosexual couples with the consent of his bishop. He said, “I have mentioned what I am doing to my bishop and he told me that he himself often received requests and would be happy to pass them on.”
The Bishop of Lincoln, John Saxbee, told the newspaper that he personally had no problems with gay blessings and was aware that at least one local vicar was presiding over such ceremonies. He said, “A vicar in my own diocese has told me he is blessing same-sex couples. I think that is fully in line with the pronouncement by the House of Bishops in 1991 that homosexuals should be welcomed into the life of the Church.”
A spokesman for the Church of England told the newspaper: “The Church of England does not recognize these blessings. I have no personal knowledge of these things going on.”