Hilary White

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Anglican Church of England Will Allow Gay Clergy to “Marry”

Hilary White

LONDON, May 30, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Since earlier this spring, the various member churches of the Worldwide Anglican Communion have been attempting to avoid a schism between two implacably opposed and hostile camps by postponing the decision on the ordination of homosexual clergy to their upcoming June international meetings. Meanwhile, the latest decision of the Anglican Church of England – the Communion’s mother church – has reached what may be the nadir of self-contradiction.

The senior bishops of the Church of England, led by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, have said that clergy can “marry” their boyfriends – and of course, the female clergy, can “marry” their girlfriends – if they promise to refrain from sexual activities with their “spouse.” In a decision that may go down in history as being the first to render Monty Python parodies redundant, Rowan Williams, offered this compromise as a solution to the problem created by a British law that recognizes same-sex unions for purposes of tax and inheritance benefits. The decision is part of the Anglican bishops’ draft Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships. The bishops also agreed to change ecclesiastical law to enable gay partners to occupy vicarages for up to two months after the death of their clergy ‘partners.’

Among the many problems with this decision is the fact that the Church of England, along with all of the Christian world, considers homosexual behavior sinful. Anglicanism officially bars homosexuals from ordination, prohibits any sexual activity outside marriage and acknowledges that the definition of marriage is restricted to the union between one man and one woman for the procreation of children. Another will be enforcement. One bishop said, “We all have clergy in gay partnerships in our dioceses and there is a genuine reluctance on the part of a number of us to make their lives more difficult.”

In what is being called in US conservative editorial circles, the ‘Culture Wars,’ between traditional sexual morality and the new philosophies of sexual libertinism, the Anglican Communion has led the charge to the fence. From the 1931 Lambeth Conference decision to allow the use of contraceptives, to the question of the ordination of open and unrepentant homosexuals to the clergy and episcopate, Anglicanism has attempted to reconcile two mutually exclusive world-views; that of Christianity and that of the post-Christian, secularized, sex-obsessed modern world.

Some bloggers have reacted with astonishment at the bizarre decision. Kathy Shaidle, and Catholic World News columnist, Diogenes have both posted a link to the story with startled, satirical headlines and no further comment: “Anglicans go Completely Mental” and “Mass Suicide: Parodists Draw Swords, Fall on Them.”

With files from TimesOnline.

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