Sunday, 13 February 2011

Not that civil

Ministers are expected to publish plans to enable same-sex couples to "marry" in church. Report from the BBC here
The Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone is to propose lifting the ban on civil partnerships taking place in religious settings in England and Wales.

Although there are no plans to compel religious organisations to hold ceremonies, and the Church of England 's (and the Church in Wales') present stance is not allow its churches to be used, one wonders how much longer this ban will remain in force, particularly given those already lined up not only in favour of a change in the pragmatic but essentially unreal legal distinction but, it seems, actually of an inevitable blurring of the essential theological (and far from 'discriminatory') distinction between marriage and civil partnerships. See here
Given his recent comments on the subject of "homophobic theology," one would have to assume there would be at least one Welsh bishop (albeit an assistant) in favour of a fundamental change in his church's take on the theology of human sexuality.
We can expect that in the coming debate (and in the politicised world of Anglicanism there is always a debate raging about something) all the essentially secular arguments from 'justice and equality' will be trotted out once more and, as we know well, they have a habit in modern Anglican discussions of sweeping all before them. Is there anyone out there foolhardy enough to tell me that this won't be the case sooner rather than later?

But, having said that, it is hard to see much of a distinction between the theological and ethical stances of  Liberal Judaism, the Society of Friends and the Unitarians (those who will be immediately affected by the government's plans) and that of the liberal hegemony which has contemporary Anglicanism in a vice-like grip.

Once again, as already in the case of holy orders, we are seeing a fundamental divergence taking place between Anglicanism as it has become and the Catholic Faith; and it is this divergence above all else which makes many of us uneasy to the point of despair.
It is difficult for Anglican Catholics now to see a wall without also seeing the writing very clearly on it.
Who was it who said that, ultimately, the choice would be between Rome and the liberal synagogue?


  1. I must ask our local Imam how he feels about the use of his mosque for Civil Partnership Ceremonies!

  2. I note the Archbishop of Westminster made a very liberal comment on this whereas the Church of England has said very firmly "no". The facts don't support your usual anti-anglican comments.

  3. Not anti-anglican; if I didn't care about the church of my baptism I wouldn't comment at all.
    But I'm interested to see that you believe that the C of E's "no" is definitive. It will be interesting to re-visit that one in ten years' time; that seems to be the shelf-life of promises these days.

  4. Well, I think the definitive 'no' will come to be made compulsory and will lead people astray.This is just the first stage. People who have same sex attraction are entitled to live their lives that way, but cannot compel others to approve what they do , who are unable to, because of faithfulness to gospel teaching. I have known some same sex people who are loving and faithful people,valuable human beings but God has spoken clearly in his word. Tolerance can not mean approval or acceptance of the same sex acts by the Church.They are different things and mmany same sex oriented people think the same.

    Marriage is considered by the Church as a union of a Man and Woman, a holy sacrament, bringing God's new Creations into the world and providing comfort for spouses.It has its echo in the Eucharist, the bridegroom Christ and his Church.It is a holy sacrament for us.
    The average length of an average same sex relationship is eight years.It is not a 'rights' issue.
    Of course the definitive 'no' will become compulsory in time.


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