Savi Hensman has written for Ekklesia about the recent statement by the House of Bishops of the Church of England.
The article is entitled Addressing sexuality truthfully in the Church of England.
The Church of England is to review its policies on sexuality. As in many other churches, there has been heated debate and deep hurt around this issue in the past. How can this controversial subject be tackled in a way that promotes greater understanding of one another and of God’s purposes?
Returning to the sexuality debate
On 1 July 2011, the Church of England’s House of Bishops issued ‘Civil partnerships and same-sex relationships’. By 2012, it will have reviewed its 2005 pastoral statement on civil partnerships. Until then, no clergy in such relationships will be considered as bishops. In 2013, it will issue a consultation document that examines human sexuality, in particular same-sex relationships, more generally.
Such a review is long overdue – the last major Church of England policy document on the subject, Issues in Human Sexuality, appeared two decades ago; and, even then, many thought it inadequate. (Indeed the main author, John Austin Baker, publicly changed his mind afterwards and eloquently made a theological case for accepting gay and lesbian partnerships.)