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