30 December 2014, The Tablet

Bishop wants gay CofE clergy to be allowed to marry

An Anglican bishop has said gay clergy should be permitted to enter same-sex marriages and urged Christians to pray for those fighting the Church of England’s “serious institutional homophobia”.

“Some gay clergy are now married. In a very few years people will wonder what the fuss was all about,” the Area Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson, said in a Christmas sermon for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community that was recorded for the website Pink News.

“But for now it’s a path that calls for considerable courage and determination. So please spare a thought this Christmas for them.”

Clergy in the Church of England are prohibited from officiating at same-sex marriages or from entering into one. But gay clerics in two dioceses have married their partners since the legislation was introduced in March, and it is understood that the Church of England is currently involved in discussions around the issue.

In the Diocese of London, Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain, of St Mary’s with All Souls in Kilburn, married his partner in June.

Meanwhile in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, Canon Jeremy Pemberton is taking legal action after his permission to officiate in the diocese was revoked following his wedding in April. The diocese was unable to comment on Bishop Wilson’s comments because of the ongoing legal action.

In the video Dr Wilson, who is married and has five children, accused the CofE of “institutional homophobia, inertia and ignorance”.

“Christians believe God is love and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. But, you may say, Churches have a funny way of showing that sometimes,” he said.

Watch Dr Wilson’s video message here

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