Married gay vicar: Church of England’s same-sex weddings conversations are ‘pointless’
A London vicar who defied the ban on gay clergy marrying has branded the Church’s current round of discussions about same-sex marriage “pointless”.
The College of Bishops is meeting this week to have “shared conversations” about the Church of England’s approach to sexuality and same-sex couples – without committing to any outcome.
London vicar Andrew Foreshaw-Cain, of St Mary’s with All Souls in Kilburn, who defied the Church to marry his partner in June, called for action.
He told Church Times the discussions were “pointless”, adding: “It’s OK for straight men to stand around saying how important it is to have a conversation, but meanwhile the Church is seen as homophobic, and discrimination is continuing, and that is affecting real people.”
This week’s meeting follows several other attempts by the Church to revise its policy on same-sex weddings.
The long-awaited Pilling Report recommended last year that the church adopt a more conciliatory approach to same-sex couples, but the House of Bishops refused to back formal blessings for marriages, and forbade gay clergy from marrying.
An adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury warned Bishops earlier this week that “decisions will have to be made” on the Church’s approach, and that talks cannot go on indefinitely.
Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation, said: “For me the ideal outcome will be that people will be able to articulate with a measure of empathy the views of others that they don’t agree with.
“When we get to the process beyond the shared conversations, decisions will have to be made, because we can’t leave it in this space forever.”
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