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Canonical Dissonance

Andrew Goddard writes for Fulcrum:

The recent wedding of Jeremy Pemberton to his partner Laurence Cunnington and the plans of Andrew Cain to marry Stephen Foreshew clearly raise challenging questions for their bishops, the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion. The driving force for those Anglican priests who marry their often long-standing same-sex partners is clearly their love for and commitment to each other and a conviction that God is calling them to solemnise that through marriage vows now that the law permits same-sex marriage. However, given the tensions among Anglicans and particularly in the light of the February House of Bishops pastoral statement, any clergy marrying a partner of the same sex must realise and weigh the fact that in this situation the personal is also inescapably political in the sense of impacting the church’s common life.

What follows is an attempt, drawing on the key authorities the bishops cite, particularly the canons, to try to think myself into their situation and discern what they are and are not saying by marrying. I do it in the hope that I can understand where our differences lie and see whether we can find agreement about the questions and challenges they are, by their decisions, raising for the wider church given its canons.

Read the rest.

Image of wedding bands courtesy morgueFile

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