Thinking Anglicans

press reports on new CofE marriage document

Updated again Friday morning

Confusing headlines in this morning’s newspapers:

Telegraph John Bingham Church of England gives blessing to recognising civil partnerships

A report from the Church’s doctrine watchdog urged priests to devise “pastoral accommodations” for gay couples” and to be “flexible”.
It said the aim was to enable them to enjoy a “closer approximation” to marriage.
The senior bishop who drafted the missive to priests insisted that it did not amount to a policy u-turn and that an official ban on formal “blessings” for civil partnerships remained in place.
But he said it was clear there was a need for committed same-sex couples to be given recognition and “compassionate attention” from the Church, including special prayers.
Liberal priests, who already conduct unofficial dedication and thanksgiving for gay couples who are not allowed to marry, said it amounted to the first official endorsement for what they do…

Guardian Sam Jones Church of England rejects blessings for same-sex couples

The Church of England has ruled out offering blessings to same-sex couples, insisting that such public gestures belong only to heterosexual marriage.
The announcement – made in a report from the church’s faith and order commission entitled Men and Women in Marriage – comes weeks after the outgoing bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, suggested the church consider blessing gay couples as it should “bless true love wherever such love is found”.
The report stresses the church’s immutable definition of marriage as “a faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman, central to the stability and health of human society”, but recognises the existence of same-sex relationships, which it terms “forms of human relationships which fall short of marriage in the form God has given us”.
The bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, who chairs the commission, repeated the church’s commitment to providing “care, prayer and compassion” to those who cannot be married in church, but drew the line at blessings for gay couples. “Whilst it is right that priests and church communities continue to seek to provide and devise pastoral care accommodation for those in such situations, the document is clear that public forms of blessing belong to marriage alone,” he said…

Express Church of England gay prayers plea

Pink News Blessings for same-sex couples rejected by Church of England

The headline in The Times last night read Bishops stop short of giving blessing to civil partnerships but a subscription is needed to read the full article. Headline now changed to: Bishops devise way of ‘accommodating’ same-sex couples.

A new report on marriage has caused dismay among parts of the Church of England because of its failure to offer official blessings to civil partnerships.
The report, commissioned by the House of Bishops, stops short of endorsing formal public blessings and instead offers priests vague instructions to “devise accommodations” for same-sex couples in their parishes.
These would include “prayer, care and compassionate attention” but would not be “services of blessing or public recognition”, but would not be “services of blessing or public recognition”, the Bishop of Coventry the document’s co-author, said…

Huffington Post Gay Couples ‘Should Be Accommodated’ By Church Of England Priests, Bishop Says

Church of England priests have been told to provide “accommodations” for gay couples in a new report.
This will include “prayer” and “compassionate attention” but not “formal public blessings” in the report, written by the Bishop of Coventry and entitled “men and women in marriage”.
It is understood that these prayers could take place inside parish churches.
The Right Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry said the church remained against same-sex marriage but wished to set “disagreements against a more positive background of how Christians have understood and valued marriage.”
Setting out guidelines, Rev Cocksworth writes: “The form of prayer will depend upon the particular circumstances of the particular case.
“But we are talking about that sort of pastoral care if you like, and prayer, rather than something which is more formal and more public. This is part of the private, the personal, compassionate attention that a priest would give to people. It is not about public, formal recognition.”
The bishop said it is up to parish priests “to make informed, sensible, loving and careful judgments”.
But “what the church doesn’t offer the parish priest is a service of blessing or public recognition”…

Daily Mail Steve Doughty Church of England may allow ‘responsible’ gay couples to have their relationships blessed by a priest

The Church of England yesterday signalled that gay couples should be able to have their relationships blessed in church.
It said priests may ‘devise accommodations’ for same-sex couples ‘who seek to engage with the challenges of life responsibly’.
It suggests that public prayers which recognise gay relationships could be introduced in church services by sympathetic clergy.
Yesterday’s paper, backed by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby and the leading bishops, does not change the CofE laws which say homosexual activity is sinful and ban priests from blessing gay relationships.
But it appeared to encourage same-sex couples, saying the Church must show a ‘degree of flexibility’ over gay relationships, and adding: ‘the Church does not treat questions of what is possible in hard circumstances or exceptional conditions as simply closed.’
The proposal will infuriate traditionalists and is likely to reignite the bitter conflict within the Church over same-sex relationships.
The document likened the case of same-sex relationships to the controversy a decade ago over the remarriage of divorcees.
This ended with divorcees officially allowed to have second weddings in church, if they can find a sympathetic priest, even though CofE doctrines say marriage is for life…

Church Times Madeleine Davies Marriage: a ‘gift from God’ that does not include same-sex couples, says report

AN uncompromising document released this week reinforces the ban on public forms of blessing for those in same-sex relationships. And it states that, although the introduction of same-sex marriage will not make heterosexual marriage “disappear”, it may make “the path to fulfilment, in marriage and in other relationships, more difficult to find”.

…The report does not affirm those in “human relationships which fall short of marriage relationships”, in contrast to the response to the Government’s consultation on same-sex marriage, published last year, which stated that “same-sex relationships often embody genuine mutuality and fidelity” ( News, 15 June). Its language is more guarded, stating that: “in pastoral responses, a degree of flexibility may be called for in finding ways to express the Church’s teaching practically. . . The Church does not treat questions of what is possible in hard circumstances or exceptional circumstances as simply closed.”

..The Church, the new report suggests, can “devise accommodations for specific conditions, bearing witness in special ways to the abiding norm”. On Tuesday, Dr Cocksworth said: “The Church is here for all people, and those who find themselves in same-sex relationships and have committed to those, the Church treats those people with respect, with compassionate attention, with care and with prayer. The exact form of that prayer will depend on the case itself, the situation that is before the pastor.”

The document itself does not restate the ban on blessing same-sex relationships, but Dr Cocksworth said that the “well-designed accommodations” it mentions were “different from formal public blessings”. The press release accompanying the report states: “The document is clear that public forms of blessing belong to marriage alone…”

A further version of this report is in this week’s Church Times with the headline Marriage is a gift, ‘but not if you’re gay’.

BBC Same-sex marriage: Church of England denies blessings

Update
Independent Outgoing Bishop of Liverpool wants ban lifted on same-sex partnership blessings and the ITV report on which this is based is here: Church of England conducting blessings for gay couples.

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Tony Phelan
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Tony Phelan

What kind of managerialism talks about devising and providing “pastoral care accommodation”?

sjh
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sjh

What a dreadful document – not only patronising and offensive to gay people, but to children growing up in single parent families and adoptive families of varying kinds, it is full of meaningless and unverifiable assertions, it reads like a poor GCSE paper. Grim.

karenmacqueen+
Guest
karenmacqueen+

The church’s “immutable” definition of marriage? When, exactly, did the definition referred to in this report become “immutable”? When did the Church of England first define marriage? The first Prayer Book? Was the definition mutable before then? The answer is, “yes.” The definition of marriage is mutable throughout the Bible and official marriage only applied to nobility and, later, landowners for the larger part of English history. Now, however, according to the luminaries who presented this report, the Church’s definition of marriage is immutable. Who needs a pope and a magisterium when a committee can declare a doctrine about a… Read more »

Concerned Anglican
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Concerned Anglican

Slowly, so slowly the bishops are being forced to concede that gay marriage and blessings in Church of England churches should happen. This report is another inch along the way.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

What are ‘gay prayers?’ Are they written in ‘polari’? And look at the related stories underneath the Express article. Two of the three are about clergy sex abuse. Just showing the depth of ignorance and prejudice of that newspaper.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I usually pray in Polari – when going beyond Welsh and english.

How do these bishops manage it ? Further evidence in the direction of scrapping bishops as we have known them ?

Tim Moore
Guest
Tim Moore

So Anglican same-sex couples will continue to have to go for a public civil partnership in a secular venue or in another denomination (URC, Quaker, Unitarian) because the most they’ll get from the CofE is a clandestine, un-formalised “blessing” by a sympathetic vicar. And there’s the awful language if the document that same-sex couples are in some kind of pastoral need to be accommodated for.

It’s like a liturgical version of cottaging. A sad and shameful day for the Church of England.

rjb
Guest
rjb

Confusing indeed. What exactly is “pastoral care accommodation”? I’m all for compromise, but it would be nice if the Church of England could for once speak in plain English. What exactly do they intend to offer same-sex partners if not the gift the church has traditionally offered to all couples seeking the blessing and the ceremonies of the church? And how can the church justify offering the sacrament of marriage publicly to non-Christians, yet refuse even a public blessing to gay Anglicans?

Jean Mayland
Guest
Jean Mayland

This is an appalling report and shows nothing of the love of God. Still it is there and we can use it to push back the barriers a bit further.

We CAN bless people but call it something else! God will not be fooled . Press on

Fr John E. Harris-White
Guest
Fr John E. Harris-White

Thank you for the ever truthful comments of my brother priests. Jean we shall continue with Gods grace to show His love for all, in the way He directs us. Ooops time for mid day prayer…..the heart of the priest , gay or otherwise.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

rjb,
Pastoral care accommodation is being incredibly compassionate to the victims of your prejudice.

badman
Guest
badman

All the reports are correct because the CofE is now trying to face both ways at the same time.

It’s an improvement on facing backwards, but not as good as facing forwards.

And the Church still looks pretty silly, which is a problem, because it cannot bring people to God until it makes more rapid progress towards credibility.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Fudge, fudge; Nudge, nudge; Wink, wink! When will the Church come to understand that the public are not fooled by doubler-mindedness on the part of its doctrinal commissions.

While one might be tempted to rejoice at this obvious turn-around on Same-Sex relationships, the Church can hardly escape the charge of hypocrisy.

Until the Church ‘comes clean’ about the reality of homosexuality as part and parcel of the human condition, and therefore needing to be properly accommodated by Church and society, there will always be this unfortunate tendency to practise equivocation and legerdemain in this area of ordinary people’s lives.

Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente
Guest
Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente

What a superb exercise in prevarication. There’s only a couple of small paragraphs about civil partnerships in the document and no one in the press knows whether the CofE has moved slightly to the right or to the left. Meanwhile the bulk of the document is a clumsy pile of complementarian cum theology-of-the-body offerings and no one bats an eyelid. Do straight couple have to believe this now to enter marriage in the CofE, that it is a quasi-sacrament instituted by God in paradise? that it has a clear biblical foundation despite what article 25 asserts? and what the heck… Read more »

RevDave
Guest
RevDave

Isn’t it time that liberal clergy finally started resigning?

When the conservatives lost on women’s ordination 300 or so went over to the RCs or Orthodox (ok 20 came back later). But only one Liberal has ever resigned over the CofE’s rejection of gay relationships.

That makes liberals seem lack the courage of their convictions.. taking its money is, in practice, condoning the CofE’s stance!

Tim
Guest

For some years I have held firm to a line that it is `being in communion with the See of Canterbury’ that defines a church as member of the Anglican communion – as distinct from allegiance to some kind of doctrinal, moral, regulatory or other code.

It’s kinda hard to feel bothered when I see the CoE bending over forwards to make itself increasingly irrelevant to society – first women not-bishops, now this reiteration. What use is a wheel if the axle has rotted away?

Jonathan Bell
Guest
Jonathan Bell

I like to think that I have a large degree of “inoffendability”, but the noughties was an odd decade in which I attended several CofE weddings of atheist friends yet could have my civil partnership only “prayed about”, and that privately. My feelings aside, what – of value or love – does this publication say to the infertile couple? To families with one active parent? To the newly-widowed mother or father? To those who have grown up within the pain of an abusive or otherwise difficult traditional family environment, in which some other pattern would have been far preferable and… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Oh, I get it! (bang my head against a cement wall for greater clairty) Let’s us talk turkey (or for Americans ¨gobbledygook¨)…marriage is only for the most illustrious member of humanity who has a penis or vagina but only loves and/or is ONLY intimate with those who don’t have them? Let us do a more thorough background check…that’s right, take them togs off, let us see thy penis and thy vagina!(tell us how you intend to use them, or not use them) Once again I stand on the sidelines of a lifetime of high-brow-doubletalkers, talking deceit. I watch as frightened… Read more »

Rosie Bates
Guest

All I can say is it is known to be one of the attributes of the very Devil – all that is against the love of God – to confuse. I am becoming increasingly ashamed to call myself a CofE Anglican when their various statements afford no clear loving dignity to over half their members, not to mention all those we are called to serve. I suppose Priests may conduct services of blessing at will – given that the guidelines are so obscure. The powers that be may have a hard time challenging this. It remains sad that this could… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

‘It’s like a liturgical version of cottaging.’

Posted by: Tim Moore on Wednesday, 10 April 2

No, it isn’t. ‘It’ makes no sense at all !

Rosie Bates
Guest

‘Isn’t it time that liberal clergy finally started resigning? When the conservatives lost on women’s ordination 300 or so went over to the RCs or Orthodox (ok 20 came back later). But only one Liberal has ever resigned over the CofE’s rejection of gay relationships. That makes liberals seem lack the courage of their convictions.. taking its money is, in practice, condoning the CofE’s stance!’ Rev Dave, Please don’t call for resignations and don’t assume that only one liberal minded priest has ever resigned over this issue. I am heterosexual and my Bishop knew exactly why I resigned and could… Read more »

Grandmère Mimi
Guest

When an institution advocates for hypocrisy, it’s difficult to know exactly what it’s “really saying”.

June Butler

Gary Paul Gilbert
Guest
Gary Paul Gilbert

The options have become clearer. Anglican same-sex couples, even if civilly married, would not be allowed public recognition for their families–no matter how many years they have been together. Their options are civil partnership (eventually civil marriage at register offices)or civil partnership/marriage at religious venues which permit. The C of E remains in the closet. I would choose the register office without religion rather than accept stigmatization from an uptight religious institution. But I could be missing something. I married in Montreal seven years ago and have been with my husband for thirty years. I may not understand that there… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

‘Isn’t it time that liberal clergy finally started resigning?

I know 3 who have done so over the last few years.
They go quietly and with a heavy heart.
They don’t make a big song and dance about it like the opponents of women priests did.
But maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing if they did.
It’s about time the church realised how damaging its policies are to so many people.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You. We post those signs all over town. For a long time it didn’t mean us, us as women, or us as LGBT persons. But finally, it does mean us, all of us. I pray that CoE can make that journey. As far as I can tell, the only thing in the way are your moronic bishops on the Faith Commission, regarding LGBT, and a General Synod that does not accurately represent the majority view on WBs. Your people are so awesome and I pray that you either overcome the politics or let your awesomeness shine… Read more »

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

Perhaps it is instructive to compare today’s report with two paragraphs of an interview with Archbishop Welby. JW: I think that the problem with the gay marriage proposals is that they don’t actually include people equally, it’s called equal marriage, but the proposals in the Bill don’t do that. I think that where there is… I mean I know plenty of gay couples whose relationships are an example to plenty of other people and that’s something that’s very important, I’m not saying that gay relationships are in some way… you know that the love that there is is less than… Read more »

Old Father William
Guest
Old Father William

I agree, Cynthia. “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” finally means what it says. I feel so glad to be an Episcopalian. But I’m afraid that I’m among those who have ceased to care as much about the Communion as I used to. British society won’t wait for the CofE to catch up.

RevDave
Guest
RevDave

Rosie, I respect you for your decision to resign over the CofE’s repeated rejection of same-sex relationships as not equal to marriage.

Erika, isn’t it a bit sad that only 3 liberal clergy have had enough conviction to resign? (plus, maybe, another I knew of in Oxford about 10 years ago, plus now Rosie – so maybe that’s 5).

Still falls far short of the several hundred conservatives ca. 1992, plus those who went over to the Orthodox in the 1980s in a quieter fashion.

Gary Paul Gilbert
Guest
Gary Paul Gilbert

The Episcopal Church in the United States is not uniformly liberal. Diocesan bishops can prevent parishes from blessing same-sex couples. And while nine states and the District of Columbia now allow civil marriage equality, the denomination has begun to prepare blessings for same-sex couples. But these are not to be marriage. Same-sex couples are prohibited from using the rite in the Book of Common Prayer.

Women may become bishops but many of the big parishes still hire men for top leadership posts is what I have heard. I hope I am wrong.

Gary Paul Gilbert

JCF
Guest
JCF

“A report from the Church’s doctrine watchdog urged priests to devise “pastoral accommodations” for gay couples” and to be “flexible”. It said the aim was to enable them to enjoy a “closer approximation” to marriage.”

Mrs Parks, why so upset? We’re “flexibly” “accomodating” you w/ this perfectly functional BACK-of-the-bus—acknowledging your “close approximation” to being human!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

RevDave,
you credit me with an omniscience I do not have. I personally know 3 liberal clergy who have resigned. I thought that was actually a shockingly high figure if you consider that I am tucked away in a small rural village and don’t go out much!
Because these are not people I know “of” or whom I have come across on the Internet but actual people I know personally.

If that is a pattern elsewhere, then the flight of liberals from the church should be deeply troubling for everyone who still values depth and diversity.

Jean Mayland
Guest
Jean Mayland

We liberals do not resign. We stay in the Church and fight for change

Jean

RevDave
Guest
RevDave

Jean, but will people believe you are really committed to liberal beliefs if you aren’t prepared to act on them in a way that costs you (like some liberals have, but many more conservatives, in the UK and US)?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

RevDave,
believe us that staying in the church as it is is hugely costly!
I can see that it would be lovely for you if we all left, but costly witness can take people out of the church as well as keep them hanging in there in the faint hope that God might use them as an agent for change.

Don’t be quite so quick to judge!

Rosie Bates
Guest

Rev Dave Be careful not to confuse ‘hissy fit’ resignations of many who were not happy being Anglicans in the first place. Some may have left their stipendiary posts over this issue but have not laid aside their orders. The bullying culture and personal sensibilities in particular situations were complex factors some years ago and led to some sad situations as Erika is aware. In my small corner I know of others. I remain an ordained priest. Jean is right and ten years on has brought much enlightenment and hope. Is it a good time to organise a well thought… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

Revdave said: “When the conservatives lost on women’s ordination 300 or so went over to the RCs or Orthodox (ok 20 came back later). But only one Liberal has ever resigned over the CofE’s rejection of gay relationships.” Those 300 or so were given generous compensation packages, (which those who came back were not required to repay). Not only did this make it possible for those people to leave without too much hardship, it also meant that numbers were recorded. No compensation package has ever been offered, or even suggested, for women priests who decide they can no longer stomach… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Is it a good time to organise a well thought through statement signed by those of us who are not in accord? It stikes me it would not be short of signatures, especially as many Anglicans have doubtless helped to fund this pernicious document – unwillingly and definitely unwittingly.

Posted by: Rosie Bates on Thursday, 11 April 2013 at 1:57pm

This is a very good idea, Rosie, it seems to me.

Laurence

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“as are the many lay people who stop coming to church, or never join because they see an institution which discriminates against women and LGBT people.” And there, of course, is the crux of the matter. Making sure that women and gays stay at the back of the bus is an obsession of elderly conservatives, no-one else. As endless American writers are pointing out in relation to the loss of young people from American conservative churches as soon as they are out of their parents’ control, few people under forty are willing to align themselves with perceived homophobes. “Living in… Read more »

Rosie Bates
Guest

Laurence – I detect that there has been a lot of silencing and suffering in silence. I tend to search for purpose in this. ‘She would wouldn’t she’! I am drawn to Prof Diarmaid MacCulloch’s new book about Silence and Christian History and have just ordered it as he has suffered enough to be a pretty good prophet in these searching times. What interests me is how many pro equality folks are popping up right now and using clear plain speaking that is actually touching hearts and minds – in very fresh and creative ways – unlike a lot of… Read more »

Bob McCloskey
Guest
Bob McCloskey

Gary Paul Gilbert: In point of fact there are American dioceses where clergy are now permitted to officiate at Marriage liturgies in those states where the laws have approved gay marriage. The Blessing rites approved by General Convention are no longer the only rites operable in those situations. BCP marriage rites sometimes with alterations, sometimes without, are in use. As of October 2012, the Bishop of the Diocese of New York authorized his clergy to officiate at gay marriages, given the state’s recognition of same. Thereby, the priest celebrant functioned in the same manner as has always been the case… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Hear, Hear, Rosie!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Rosie,
wouldn’t it make sense for those who want to change the church NOW to talk to some of the groups who have been active in this for a long time? I’m thinking of Changing Attitude, LGCM, Inclusive Church, for example. It might make more sense to strengthen the voice these still relatively small groups have and to use some of the communication channels, their stories, their accumulated theology and structures they have already established than to start up another new group.

Rosie Bates
Guest

Erica et al here are some of my musings – Yes this would be a great start and is exactly what I would envisage and I am sure would be welcomed. I imagine this needs someone to make contact who already has personal rather than simply on line connections. Perhaps find a comfortable venue for face to face presentations and discussions and space for listeners and observers. I would also suggest mostly CofE participants or we risk being diverted, however valuable other Provinces experiences??? Discuss! Colin Coward and Jeffrey John both seem to me to present their truths calmly and… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Thanks so much , Rosie. I see. I can appreciate the difficulties and pitfalls to some extent, but probably with insufficient empathy or wisdom. I think your kind of approach, getting people together, forming concensus and offering encouragment to all – straight and lgbt in this endeavour makes good sense. I too, feel lacking in necessary abilities – I may have had and now lost some. But I have been as honest and open as I could (or even more than I could really) all my ordained ministry and most of my life. So I hope it helped someone and… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Gary said: The Episcopal Church in the United States is not uniformly liberal… Women may become bishops but many of the big parishes still hire men for top leadership posts is what I have heard. I hope I am wrong. Gary is partly right. The same independence that allowed New Hampshire to elect a gay bishop has the capacity to indulge bias toward men, or women. The trend is overwhelmingly toward inclusion, but I don’t know if we are at full equality, probably not. We do have a female Presiding Bishop and she was a first in the Anglican Communion.… Read more »

Rosie Bates
Guest

Part 2 I sense a need for a considered response before June because who knows what is in store in July. We know Anglican Mainstream are busy. Transparency about aims and objectives would be key. Right now we have no idea of the scale of support but I am happily convinced the Holy Spirit does. Is it important to prioritise the most urgent issues that might come to pass more speedily? Full permission for Blessings in churches with PCC approval for instance? The Marriage discussion is still exploratory and does need to be addressed. I do seriously fear that the… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Rosie, I like your proposal about talking. The issues are just too abstract for most people, since CoE doesn’t seem to listen to LGBT persons or groups. If it’s any help, I’ll be in the UK in July and early August. I can’t represent the whole TEC, but I’ve been a member of our LGBT group, Integrity and can Witness personally. Better than that, I could try to find a far better representative. I know a couple of really dynamite people who have worked on this for years in TEC. Truly holy people. Just let me know. Any number of… Read more »

Rosie Bates
Guest

Cynthia, I am not in a position to organise anything as I am retired and stuck in a backwoods part of Diocese of Europe – whole Diocese signed up to ‘the backwards in doubt’ Forward in Faith! Church Times telling Anglicans to ignore statement is one thing but delaying a joined-up response to what lies behind seems foolish. What about an ‘Open Letter’ to ABC with LGBT and heterosexual input? I spent time in three Cat A Prisons as well as parish and I am convinced that after in depth work with paedophiles and their victims that the Original Sin… Read more »

Rosie Bates
Guest

Cynthia, My previous post doesn’t mean I don’t accord with your idea of July/August get together. Seems good to me and the Holy Spirit. Go for it!

Gary Paul Gilbert
Guest
Gary Paul Gilbert

Bob McCloskey, that there are dioceses which currently allow priests to serve as agents of the state to preside at the civil weddings of same-sex couples shows progress in the Episcopal Church, but even relatively liberal dioceses, such as New York, have dragged their feet. Bishop Mark Sisk waited until 2012 to allow priests of the Diocese of New York to serve as agents of the agent for same-sex couples, whereas the nearby dioceses of Long Island, generally moderate, and Newark had already done so. Sisk waited for General Convention to give him more coverage. The Bishop of Rochester was… Read more »