Conservative vicar calls on bishop to ‘repent’ over thanksgiving for gay couples
by Harry Farley, Christian Today:
A Conservative Anglican vicar is calling on his bishop to repent for saying the Church’s view on sexuality was ‘morally unacceptable’.
Rev Steven Hanna, of St Elisabeth, Becontree, said his church ‘could not in good conscience’ attend an upcoming conference organised by Bishop Steven Cottrell after he called for thanksgiving prayers for gay couples.
In a presidential address Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell said the Church of England was seen as ‘immoral’ for its refusal to welcome gay marriage and said it should reach an ‘agree to disagree’ compromise over gay marriage as it had done over women’s ordination.
‘It would be particularly foolish for us to ignore the missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church. As I have said before, I am not sure the church has ever before had to face the challenge of being seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set,’ he said in an address to Chelmsford’s local diocesan synod.
But Hanna said his bishop had ‘not said clearly what we believe he should have said’ and called on him and other bishops to repent.