Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Leicester will seek amendments to marriage bill

The Church Times has this news article: Gay-marriage Bill passes from the Commons despite rebels which reports on what may happen in the House of Lords:

…Lord Dear, a crossbencher who is expected to lead the opposition to the Bill in the House of Lords, told The Times that he might table a “fatal motion” to kill it off.

On Wednesday, the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, who has led the bishops in the House of Lords on the issue, said: ”We clearly cannot support the Bill because it is contrary to the Church’s historic teaching on the nature of marriage.”

He said, however, that he would want to recognise “that the Government has done a great deal to accommodate some of the Church’s concerns, and to make it clear that individual clergy cannot be proceeded against by anybody”. “Hard work” had been done “to ensure that the Canons of the Church of England will not contravene the civil law of England”.

Bishop Stevens said that he intended to seek more concessions from the Government: further guarantees for teachers in church schools “to teach a traditional view of marriage”, and a “freedom-of-speech amendment to ensure those who argue for a traditional view of marriage are not treated as if they are in contempt of the law or behaving prejudicially”.

The Bill will receive its Second Reading in the House of Lords on 3 June. Bishop Stevens said that the House did not traditionally take a vote at this stage, but that this might happen. Individual bishops would then have to decide how to vote…

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Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

*Sigh* More concessions? Why? This bishop appoints a partnered gay man as the Dean of his cathedral, and then seems hell-bent on tampering with the passing of a Bill that is about CIVIL marriage – no one is going to make any church in Leicestershire host any same-sex marriage. So the Church can sit in its fastness refusing to acknowledge these things quite safely – of what concern is it to the bishop (and his colleagues) if some people want to permit these marriages to take place? What teachers cannot do in any school is deny that according to the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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For whatever reason, if this Bill fails in the House of Lords because of the interference of Bishops in the Church of England, the general public will probably assume (quite rightly in this case) that the C.of E. has commandeered the understanding of what monogamous relationships are all about – while yet discriminating against those who wish to legally commit themselves to marry their loving same-sex partner. With the current failure of many heterosexual marriage, one would think that the Church ought do everything in its power to promote faithful, monogamous relationships – especially among those same-sex couples who happen… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

+Leicester, do you WANT to kill off the CofE? If so, keep it up!

…but for those of us who (if even at a distance) have some warmth of feeling for her, your proposals are tremendously disconcerting. If you sow homophobia in the name of the CofE, you will ultimately reap the utter rejection of the CofE. It’s really just that simple.

J Drever
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J Drever

The bishops had better keep their mouths shut. Do they want to stay in Parliament or not? It is unfortunate that it is the convenor of the lords spiritual who is mooting wrecking amendments – amendments that are hardly likely to fly or win the Church any popularity in the face of an overwhelming majority in the Commons. It would be better if opposition came from individual bishops rather than that the impression be given that they are united in their opposition to the bill. Just as in 1832 and 1911 the lords spiritual salvaged something from the wreckage of… Read more »

Laurence Cunnington
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Laurence Cunnington

“It would be better if opposition came from individual bishops” J. Drever

It will be interesting to see if any of the closeted, gay, married Bishops in the House of Lords will speak against the Bill.

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

I would say that the bishops are honour bound to make amendments after all the fuss they’ve created. I think they’ve taken on too many debating points from NOM/C4M to be honest and so will blather on about teachers and so on. They will struggle to improve on the quadruple lock. They may want there to be teachers teaching the old definition of marriage after the new one has been adopted. It is of course no use – children will find out in any case. It’s not like you can keep it a secret by not teaching it [to be… Read more »

commentator
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commentator

The Bishops of the Church of England permit the marriage of divorced people. This was once clearly against their teaching. This position has been reversed and the House itself provides evidence of this in its own members. How long must we wait for the House to accept the changed understanding of homosexuality and the existence of Christian homosexuals couples who share the vocation to Christian marriage? I avoid the language of ‘rights’, but I am sorely tempted to use it.