From the website of Christian Concern:
ACTION: Ask the Bishops to stand up for marriage
On 28th November 2013, the Church of England published a crucial report by the House of Bishops Working Group on Sexuality (Pilling Report), outlining its recommendations for the recognition of same-sex relationships by the CofE.
The Report suggests that, while the Church of England should not change its official teaching on marriage and sexuality, it should enter into a period of “facilitated conversions” to allow local clergy to bless same sex partnerships informally, using unauthorised liturgies.
However, to allow informal blessings of same-sex relationships, while claiming not to change the church’s teaching, would in practice and in fact, change the church’s traditional teaching on the issue.
The College of Bishops meets next Monday (27th January) to give serious consideration to the proposals put forward by the Pilling Report.
Please write to the Bishops, urging them to affirm the Bible’s clear teaching on marriage and sexuality and to give courageous leadership which is faithful to Scripture.
Concerns about the Report which you may wish to make are:
- The report as a whole appeals to the secular world-view by seeking to accommodate same sex relationships
- The liberal view of Scripture adopted by the Report is hugely concerning as it suggests that Scripture does not offer conclusive teaching on the issue of homosexual practice
- The Report wrongly claims that Scripture and theology are apparently unclear on the rightness of homosexual practice, but urges the church to go ahead and bless such practice anyway, as long as the relationships are ‘permanent, faithful and stable’
- The Bible offers clear teaching on how humans are best able to flourish and we appeal to you as Bishops to reinforce the commitment to biblical teaching
- Permitting services to bless same sex unions would be a direct denial of the authority and teachings of the Bible, and would result in serious division, distress and acrimony within the Church
- Allowing clergy to offer an informal blessing, and claiming that this does not change traditional Anglican teaching, is too fine a distinction and potentially contradictory for the wide Christian community and beyond
- True pastoral care in the case of those experiencing same-sex attraction is to help them live Christianly and it is wrong to separate teaching and practice
- Please also ask the Bishops to support the strong dissent to the Report issued by the Bishop of Birkenhead, which you can read here >
See below for contact details of the Bishops [scroll down for email list of diocesan bishops only]