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Church Of England’s Officials Grant Blessings For Same-Sex Marriages

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Church Of England's Officials Grant Blessings For Same-Sex Marriages

(CTN NEWS) – The national assembly of the Church of England decided on Thursday to continue prohibiting same-sex marriages and civil partnerships while allowing priests to officiate over them.

After five years of discussions about the church’s position on sexuality, the bishops put forth the compromise measure.

After two days and eight hours of discussion in London, it was adopted by the church’s General Synod, consisting of bishops, clergy, and laypeople from around the nation.

An apology for the church’s failure to accept LGBTQ individuals were part of the measure. However, it also accepted the idea that a marriage must be between a man and a woman, maintaining the prohibition against priests marrying same-sex couples.

/ AP

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, issued a statement in which she said, “I recognize that what we have recommended as a way forward does not go quite far enough for many but too far for others.”

“As we continue to be steadfast in our commitment to walking together, I pray that what has been agreed upon today will mark a step forward for all of us inside the Church, including LGBTQI+ individuals.”

Gay rights activist and synod member Jayne Ozanne expressed her “sad disappointment” that conservatives had suppressed the church’s discussion of sexuality.

An amendment put forth by Ozanne that would have brought up the subject of marriage equality again later in the year was rejected by the synod earlier this week.

“We send a message to the country that few will grasp by continuing to tell LGB persons that they cannot hope to get married any time soon in their church or that their desire for sexual intimacy is evil,” Ozanne remarked Twitter.

Church Of England, more significantly said it is a message that will continue to damage the LGBT community greatly and endanger the lives of young LGBT+ people.

Since legalizing same-sex unions in England and Wales in 2013, the church hasn’t modified its stance on marriage.

Surveys of public opinion continually reveal that the majority of people in England are in favor of same-sex unions. However, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, claimed that there are still “deep divides” inside the church.

The bill approved on Thursday supports a request from the church’s bishops to permit clergy to bless same-sex relationships after they get married or have a civil partnership recognized. 

However, if a clergyperson doesn’t agree with the blessings, they won’t have to perform them.

After the bishops update their instructions and publish prayers for the clergy to use, the blessings are anticipated to start later this year.

/ AP

Welby stated last month that he would not personally bless same-sex relationships since it is his responsibility to bring together the 85 million Anglican Communion members worldwide.

Welby serves as the spiritual head of the global Anglican church, of which the Church of England is a part.

He nevertheless applauded Thursday’s choice.

Welby and Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York, released a joint statement in which they both acknowledged, “It has been a hard road to get us to this point.”

The Church of England will continue publicly, openly, and happily welcome same-sex couples in church for the first time.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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