Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Civil Partnerships and the CofE

In view of the forthcoming Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships it may be of interest to read what the Church of England said formally to the UK Government back in 2003 when the government was holding a public consultation on this matter.

The document is on the CofE website in Word format though its location here is not very obvious. An accessible copy of it is available here.

The government document to which this was responding is this one (very large - 1.5 Mb - pdf file). The report on this consultation is another similar sized document. One item from it is this:

2.13 Of those representing nationally-based religious groups:

  • For example, the Church of England, the Catholic Bishops Conference, the Salvation Army, the Methodist Church and others
  • 53% (9 responses) supported the principle of a civil partnership scheme
  • 47% (8 responses) opposed, or did not offer an opinion on, the principle of a civil partnership scheme

2.14 Of those representing individual religious groups and congregations:

  • These were largely Baptist, Evangelical, Free and Congregational churches
  • 85% (17 responses) opposed the principle of a civil partnership scheme
  • 15% (3 responses) supported the principle of a civil partnership scheme

The legislation that was then drafted and subsequently passed differs from what was in the consultation document in various ways, so the CofE comments should not be interpreted as applying to the legislation as it now stands.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 31 May 2005 at 11:47am BST
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

Grow up, Church. The Civil Partnerships act has created same sex civil marriage - and quite right too.

The Church should not be allowed to impose its own bigotry upon those outside - and for that matter, some of us who cling on inside, often against our better judgment....

Posted by: Merseymike on Tuesday, 31 May 2005 at 10:08pm BST

'Grow up'?? Gives a whole new meaning to maturity. Funny, it doesnt seem to have much to do with the beleifs or lifestyles of any actual mature or wise Christians.
The presupposition of comment 1 is that the church should fall in line with what the state does. What then is the point of the church. The powers of this world obviously have nothing to learn from Jesus.
Words like 'bigotry' are mere rhetoric. Arguments, please!! :o)

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Wednesday, 1 June 2005 at 10:31am BST

Fair point, Christopher. I think the Church has very little 'point', as the almost complete lack of interest in its activities from 97% of the population indicates. Either the Church must change or become the property of the premoderns.
The Church actually has no choice but to obey the law, and the bulk of CofE bishops in the Lords voted in favour of Civil Partnerships in any case.

Posted by: Merseymike on Wednesday, 1 June 2005 at 4:50pm BST

97%? Only 92% are not regular attenders, and of these 92% some percentage must be interested.

Whether people are interested in something is not a barometer of how significant that thing is. How many people are interested in relativity theory? It can't be very important then.

'The Church has no choice but to obey the law'??? This point I dont understand. It is the law which defines this to be the case in the first place, so all you are saying is 'sez the law'. One could equally quote a 'sez the church', namely 'All human beings are ultimately answerable to a higher and more important court.'

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Thursday, 2 June 2005 at 10:40am BST

The Church does not have the right to defy the law. The Bishops have realised this, hence this laughable compromise.
I'm glad you still think the Church is important. It sums up why the right wing of the church has lost most of its campaigns over the past few years. May it ever be so!

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 2 June 2005 at 9:22pm BST

In all things *charity*, Merseymike.
I take no pleasure in making others "losers" to my wins, and I would like others to not take pleasure in making *me* a loser, to their wins, either.
The Salvation of Christ is *supposed* to make ALL of humanity "Win/Win": I just wish Christians would remember this.

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Friday, 3 June 2005 at 5:58am BST

What's your agenda, Merseymike?

Posted by: Ian on Friday, 3 June 2005 at 8:00am BST

Having posted the last message, I received an acknowledgement with an intriguing bit added:
"Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at plugins/Blacklist/lib/Blacklist/App.pm line 44."
Is there a blacklist in this forum?! Surely not! What's all that about?

Answer from TA: this simply refers to a bug in the software which protects this blog from hundreds of spam comments about poker, viagra, etc. There is no black list for humans.

Posted by: Ian on Friday, 3 June 2005 at 8:03am BST

JC ; the problem is that for me, these are not 'issues'- they are people's actual lives, and I do think that there is a time when a compromise cannot be reached. In that sense, for example, in terms of civil law, I do rejoice when groups like the Christian Institute fail to achieve their aims, because i believe not only that they are profoundly wrong, but that the sort of society they wish to see would be one which would be deeply damaging to me and many of my friends.

Ian ; complete inclusion and acceptance of gay and lesbian people in the church, and civil society is the 'agenda' in this case ( funny how people always use those sort of terms when they believe something different to you!). In order to get a church which is open and inclusive, I think it extremely unlikely that the Anglican 'Communion' or , indeed, the Church of England will remain as one body, hence a split is likely, ands in my view, ultimatelypreferable. I wish we copuld just sit down and do it with some dignity and decorum, but the push for organisational unity at all costs remains strong.

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 3 June 2005 at 11:16am BST
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