Bishop ‘not optimistic’ that Church of England will resolve same-sex marriage split

Nick Duffy September 13, 2014
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A Church of England Bishop says he is “not optimistic” that the Church will be able to reach a resolution to a divide over same-sex marriage.

The Bishop of Willesden Pete Broadbent made the comments ahead of a meeting of the College of Bishops next week, which is attempting to reach a compromise between clergy who want the church to embrace same-sex couples, and evangelicals who remain staunchly opposed.

According to the Church Times, he said: “It won’t be an easy conversation – more difficult than that on women bishops – but we are absolutely going with this.

“[I’m] not optimistic about the outcomes. Archbishop Justin [Welby] has broached the concept of ‘good disagreement. I don’t think we know what that might look like.

“There is a huge polarity between those who want the C of E to hold to its historic understanding of marriage – and not to change its canonical and liturgical formulae – and those who want the C of E to embrace total equal treatment, expressed in a change in relation to doctrine, marriage, and pastoral practice.

“Some are looking for a ‘two integrities’ approach – personally, I can’t see the Church holding together on that kind of basis.”

A briefing paper for next week’s meeting says it intends to “support a process of conversations across the Church of England”, with facilitators ensuring it will be “a safe place for all viewpoints to be expressed” with no “predetermined trajectory”.

The House of Bishops banned gay clergy from marrying earlier this year, though a hospital chaplain who was sacked following the ban is suing the Church over the decision.


More: bishop, Christianity, Church, Church of England, England, London, Religion

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