Wednesday, 20 February 2013
United Reformed Church memo on Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill
Dr Augur Pearce appeared before the scrutiny committee last week, and his written memorandum on behalf of the United Reformed Church has now been published.
Memorandum submitted by the United Reformed Church (MB 05) MARRIAGE (SAME-SEX COUPLES) BILL
His remarks concerning Clause 2 of the bill are particularly interesting.
The transcript of his oral evidence is back here (scroll down, he was one of the last two witnesses in that session).
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 at 4:05pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
The URC sounds so reasonable. Making provisions for local decisions so that people can follow their conscience either way.
That's what our bishop has done with Same Sex Blessings in TEC in our diocese. It really is a very good way to go. Better than the tyranny of one group over another. However, it is worth saying that the national church supports SSB's. It's really important that the national body not support hate and discrimination. Bishops respond at the local level. That can be a mixed bag, but I like our bishops solution.
The EHRC made the same point about clause 2. They are pointing out that the bill currently protects a religious body, so that its ministers cannot disobey it and perform marriages against its wishes, but in the opposite direction it prevents religions from enforcing their doctrine on their ministers.
I am afraid Burrowes, Loughton and their ilk only think of religious freedom and integrity in one direction however.
"10. The URC has been conducting a wide-ranging discussion of views on the wider topic of same-sex relationships for nearly twenty years. In that time it has come to recognise the wide diversity of sincerely held views on the topic within its own membership. One powerful reason why it has made no official statement on the matter is to avoid the possibility of a split within the Church."
- Item from URC Submission to the UK Government -
Now here's what I call a valid call to Ecclesial Unity - based on authentic Diversity - something quite different from the frantic desire to impose uniformity, which seems to so impede the workings of the Anglican Communion at large.
It would appear, from this submission, that the URC is happy to countenance that the subject of Same-Sex Relationships may not be a faith-breaking topic of theological speculation. It recognises, also, implicitly, that Same-Sex Marriage might just not be the 'End of Marriage As We Know It' - which seems to be the predominating fear of some folk in the Church of England
Agree with you entirely, Father Ron. Agree with you even more so when you substitute 'women's orders' for 'the subject of same-sex relationships'.
OK, I can't resist---
"Dr Augur Pearce appeared before the scrutiny committee last week..."
Dr Augur Pearce?! Did offer any sharp, penetrating insights? Did he drill down and/or get to the entrails of the matter?
Oh, Brits and their straight-out-of-Dickens names... ;-p