Justin Welby’s gay marriage troubles could be about to get worse

Mar 18, 2023 by

by Andrew Tettenborn, Spectator:

After the hash the Church of England has made of the issue of same-sex marriage, a group of MPs led by long-standing churchman Ben Bradshaw has hatched a plan to pull the Anglican chestnuts out of the fire. His scheme is undoubtedly well-meaning: unfortunately, it is more likely to push them further in, to be reduced to ashes.

The current church fudge, prepared by the bishops after years of politely pious wrangling and approved by Synod last month, is easy enough to criticise. The teaching that marriage proper is between one man and one woman remains: the church will thus will have no part in marrying same-sex couples. However, it will now bless loving and committed same-sex unions and develop special prayers for them. The illogic is clear: if the justification for rejecting same-sex marriage is that any kind of sex outside opposite-sex marriage – same-sex or otherwise – is sinful, it hardly makes much sense to bless (i.e. condone) it in relationships short of marriage. Predictably, this Janus-faced compromise has satisfied no-one. Traditionalists see marriage being left as an empty shell; radicals see the plan as not going far enough.

Labour’s Ben Bradshaw has now tabled a ten-minute-rule bill in the Commons to sort things out. He proposes a deceptively simple measure that would override church self-governance in this respect and permit, but not require, clergy to marry same-sex couples in church.

Read here (£)

Read also:  MPs’ ‘brazen attack’ seeks to impose same-sex marriage on CofE, Christian Institute

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