Gay marriage: Anglican critics say canon’s same-sex union ‘defies God’
Sunday 13 April 2014
Conservative Anglicans are calling for a senior clergyman who entered into a same-sex marriage to be stripped of his office – warning that the Church of England could split if no action is taken.
Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a hospital chaplain from Southwell, Notts, was married to Laurence Cunnington in a “very joyous, very happy” ceremony in front of family and friends on Saturday.
Liberal Anglicans described the ceremony as “wonderful” and expressed hopes that it would lead to the Church accepting gay marriage.
But conservative Anglicans say a lack of disciplinary action could split the Church.
The House of Bishops issued a statement only last month saying clergy cannot enter same-sex marriages as it undermines traditional teaching. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said last week that accepting gay marriage could be “catastrophic” for Christians in Africa.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern and a member of the General Synod, said it was “extraordinarily disappointing” that a clergyman “would defy the Church’s teaching, but more importantly defy God’s teaching as clearly set out in the Bible”.
“The Church structure should discipline him for openly defying and testing the authority of the leaders of the Church in this way,” she said.
She said the Church could not “procrastinate” on the issue that has caused a serious split in the US and caused a widening divide between liberal Anglicans and more conservative dioceses in Africa.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury should set out a clear stand and the bishops should set out a clear stand – for the good of the people, the good of the Church and the good of the nation – what marriage is: between one man and one woman,” Mrs Williams said.
Reverend Rod Thomas, chairman of the Anglican group Reform, said the marriage was contrary to the guidance issued by the House of Bishops and Canon Pemberton’s bishop should now act. “I think we’re now looking for something that says, if you want to do this, you cannot remain active as a priest,” he said.
Revd Thomas said the issue could split the Church. “If you look at what’s happened in the US, this has the potential to do the same here,” he said.
Canon Pemberton, who works for the Diocese of Lincoln, wrote to its bishop, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, in advance of the wedding to inform him of his plans.
Lambeth Palace referred a request for comment to the Lincoln diocese, to Southwell & Nottinghamshire diocese, and pointed to guidance issued by the House of Bishops.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...