Comments: Guildford diocese: interim guidelines about prayers after same-sex marriage

One wonders how that diocese's senior priest regards this advice.

Posted by Dan BD at Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 10:15am GMT

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...

On the same line, gay marriage is coming, and the church is going to start looking more and more stupid, as it struggles with this one.

The argument that same-sex marriage is not "Christian marriage" is not really helpful. The marriage between two Muslims is clearly not "Christian" marriage, but the church would still recognise its validity. To try and maintain a distinction will soon (with in two or three years) become as difficult and unacceptable as trying to claim that mixed-race couples are not really married.

The argument that some married people should remain celibate, while others don't have to, will likewise be seen as bizarre at best, and downright wrong by most people.

Church leadership, and people in the pews, need to stand up to the vocal minority who have made this issue THE test of orthodoxy. Otherwise the church will continue to wither away, perceived as a weird anachronistic sect.

Posted by Iain Baxter at Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 12:40pm GMT

'But this does not imply a grudging or negative view of the couple'

Really ? It comes across to me as both negative and grudging.


The church of england have no idea who they are treating in this fashion - and miss out on so much !

However, it can't be all bad, I suppose, if being attacked by Andrew Goddard.

Posted by Laurie Roberts at Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 12:41pm GMT

There is one subservient body making law that disagrees with the main body making law. It doesn't work. A marriage is a marriage. If the subservient body disagrees, it should stop making law - it should be disestablished and remove itself from the House of Lords.

Posted by Pluralist at Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 3:56pm GMT

"In agreeing to a request for pastoral prayer, the clergy person concerned will need to make the Church’s position clear in terms of its teaching about marriage, as the Church has historically understood marriage. But this does not imply a grudging or negative view of the couple: the clergy person should respect the positive values of fidelity expressed in the vows the couple have made in a Civil Marriage, even if the Church believes this is, in reality, a distinct and different relationship from Christian Marriage as traditionally understood."

So if a gay couple goes for a blessing, the priest is required to tell them that their marriage isn't a Real Marriage and that they're living a life of sin. Why on earth would anyone seek that kind of "blessing"?

It brings to mind the words of Jesus about asking for fish or eggs and instead getting snakes and scorpions.

Posted by dr.primrose at Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 8:13pm GMT

Adrian makes Iain's oft repeated point very elegantly.

Andrew Goddard's analysis and comment grows less coherent.
Why does he say nothing about converting CPs to marriage by post? Clearly the govt is wanting to assert that CPs are to all intents and purposes marriage.

These people have lost more than the argument.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 8:30pm GMT

The fact that the Church of England is still the Established Church (in some important senses) and that bishops sit in the House of Lords does not mean that its practice HAS to conform in every way with every law passed by Parliament. For example, when changes have been made in the past relating to divorce law, this has not prevented the Church of England from having its own rules regarding those allowed to marry in church. (Some have argued, of course, that changes in law allowed a priest to solemnise marriage of divorced persons despite church rules.) This is just a small comment from a liberal Anglican who,on what he thinks are important grounds,does not agree with the instituting of "gay marriage" - something that has not been legislated for in his own country -the Commonwealth of Australia. I do not accept that holding such a view ipso facto makes one homophobic or (as if this mattered) "behind the times".

Posted by John Bunyan at Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 8:40pm GMT

In part answer to John Bunyan's comment here:

One important point about the traditional view of marriage, was that it should be 'open to procreation' (a biblical view?)

The fact is that, nowadays, a heterosexual couple can be married in Church without this prospect being a reality. It is still considered 'a marriage'.

On these grounds alone, and the fact that marriage has always been considered to be undertaken with the prospect of a life-long loving relationship, what should prevent a same-sex, monogamnously- linked couple from being married?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at 11:38pm GMT

"gay marriage is coming, and the church is going to start looking more and more stupid"

"Going to start" looking, IainB? {face-palm}

Lord, reform Your Church!

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 20 November 2013 at 5:44am GMT
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