Category : –Civil Unions & Partnerships
(Church Times) Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, William Nye, writes a letter which warns TEC (The Episcopal Church) about same-sex marriage rites
Proposals to incorporate marriage rites used by same-sex couples into the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) of the Episcopal Church in the United States will increase pressure in the Church of England to “dissociate” itself, the secretary general of the Archbishops’ Council, William Nye, has warned.
In a letter to the Episcopal Church’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage, which has produced the proposals, Mr Nye writes that, if the rites — written to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples — are incorporated into the BCP as the only marriage rite, “the pressure to dissociate the Church of England from TEC [the Episcopal Church], in all manner of ways, would increase”. Such a move would also be “potentially damaging” to work in the C of E to create a new teaching document on sexuality (News, 30 June), he writes.
He goes on to warn that, if provision is not made for traditionalists in the Episcopal Church, it would be a “serious blow for interfaith relations, negatively impacting Christians around the world especially in areas where they are persecuted minorities, as well as harming the stringent efforts to reinforce moderation in religious expression in countries like ours which are affected by terrorism”. The Episcopal Church’s promulgation of the new liturgies is, he writes, “at the least, unhelpful to those of us seeking to bring the Church of England’s deliberations to a good outcome”.
Southern Baptist chaplain Jerry Scott Squires is fighting a U.S. Army investigator’s charge of unlawful discrimination for refusing to preside over a marriage retreat including same-sex couples.
But Squires followed federal law and Army and Southern Baptist Convention chaplaincy protocol when he rescheduled a Feb. 9 Strong Bonds marriage retreat in order to involve a non-SBC chaplain, thereby accommodating the attendance of a lesbian couple, First Liberty Institute said in an April 17 letter to the Army in Squires’ defense.
“Federal law and Army policy both make clear that chaplains must remain faithful to the tenets of their faith,” First Liberty attorney Michael Berry wrote in the letter. “The failure of a chaplain to do so exposes the chaplain to risk of losing their ecclesiastical endorsement, or worse, violates … federal law and policy…. Squires’ actions here are fully protected by federal law and regulation.”
Squires, who follows the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message in protocol established by the North American Mission Board as an SBC-endorsed chaplain, told First Liberty he was shocked when an Army investigator concluded he should face disciplinary action, which is currently pending.
“I hope the Army sees that I was simply following Army regulations and the tenets of my church,” Squires, a decorated major with more than 25 years of military service, said in a First Liberty press release April 17.
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Rowe is not expected to take up his post at Wellington Cathedral until July. But it would appear that, in the 19 months since he signed the letter, he may have changed his stance.
In a letter to Bishop of Wellington Justin Duckworth after his appointment, he acknowledged concern about the signing of the 2016 letter, and said he was on a “journey and not in a fixed position” on the gay blessing issue.
Duckworth said on Wednesday that Rowe, who has ministered previously in New Zealand, and has a son and daughter-in-law working as priests in Whanganui, was well aware of Wellington Anglicans’ stance on gay blessings, and had taken the job happy and accepting of it.
“I would say he is not fixed in his position, and is trying to work out what he believes and what God is saying … he is trying to work out what he believes.”
Further evidence this week of the continued longevity of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’ law: “Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.”
Officials in a handful of domestic Episcopal Church dioceses which have opted out of the denomination’s same-sex marriage liturgies are warily eying the denomination’s upcoming General Convention and the changes it may bring.
Bishops and deputies will gather this July in Austin, Texas for the triennial governing convention. A multi-year process of revising the church’s Book of Common Prayer, last revised in 1979, is widely expected to begin at this gathering.
Interestingly, the addition of same-sex marriages conducted within the Episcopal Church has not significantly lessened a decline in the overall number of church weddings, which have dropped by 44 percent in the past decade (14,805 marriages in 2006, compared with only 8,343 in 2016, the most recent reporting year).
(BC Catholic) The little-known story about one aspiring Trinity Western University law student who stood up for marriage and his Faith
News about Trinity Western University’s attempts to open a Christian law school, and the ensuing battles in the courts and the media, has spread across the country many times over.
The Law Society of B.C. has opposed the law school because of TWU’s community covenant asking students to abstain from sex outside marriage between a man and a woman.
But few know the story of one aspiring law student from Surrey who agreed to lend his name to the case, even though it could ruin his chances of ever being accepted to law studies.
“Everyone has choices to make on a regular basis on whether or not they will stand up for their faith,” said 29-year-old Brayden Volkenant.
Few know the story of one aspiring law student from Surrey who agreed to lend his name to @TrinityWestern case, even though it could ruin his chances of ever being accepted to law studies. https://t.co/JUO7QcH3Ae #TWULaw @bvolkenant
— The EFC (@TheEFC) April 5, 2018
The Christchurch arm of the Anglican Church has voted to push national leadership to pass a blessing of same-sex marriages.
A special meeting was convened at St Christopher’s church at Avonhead on Saturday, attended by about 250 people.
The purpose was to discuss and vote on what the synod’s position was on same-sex marriage, ahead of a general synod vote in May.
The general vote will be participated in by regional synods including the Christchurch diocese following a 2016 report prepared to pave the way for same-sex marriage within the church.
Same sex couples may be able to have their marriages blessed in New Zealand Anglican churches under a divisive new proposal being debated by Canterbury diocese members.
Christchurch Anglicans are meeting on Saturday to discuss whether to allow same sex blessings in a debate that could split the church. A final decision on whether to adopt the proposal will be voted on by the national Anglican Synod, the church’s governing body, at a meeting in New Plymouth in May.
The proposal would allow each Anglican bishop to decide if same sex blessings were allowed in their diocese. In 2014, the New Zealand Anglican church defined marriage as being “between a man and a woman.” The decision meant same sex couples could not marry in Anglican churches. The new proposal would allow only for blessing ceremonies for same sex couples who were married elsewhere.
The proposal would also give each diocese’s bishop and clergy immunity from complaint if they refused to conduct blessings of same sex couples.
[Republican state Sen. Greg] Albritton says he’s a traditionalist who believes marriage should be between one man and one woman. But he says since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, Alabama’s system hasn’t worked.
“I disagree with that opinion. However, they make the law,” says Albritton. “I’m trying to accommodate that and trying to find a way that we can accommodate as many people and hurt no one.”
But not everyone agrees that the legislation does no harm.
“I just think it cheapens the value of the most sacred relationship in the world,” says Republican Phil Williams, the lone senator to vote against the bill.
“When you take marriage and you reduce it to a mere contract, it’s almost like you’re just doing nothing more than recording the deed to your property at the courthouse,” he says. “You’re just taking the contract down there and the probate judge is just the clerk.”
The country’s Protestant churches already offer gay couples at least a blessing ceremony, if not a full church marriage, and even the main association for lay Catholics supports allowing blessings. While Pope Francis has ruled out approving gay marriage, he raised expectations of some kind of reform early in his papacy by famously asking “who am I to judge?” about gay people.
“Even though ‘marriage for all’ clearly differs from the church’s understanding of marriage, it is now a political reality,” Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, the deputy chairman of the German Bishops Conference, said earlier this month.
“We have to ask ourselves how we should deal with people who tie this knot. Some of them are active in the church. So how are we going to accompany them with pastoral care and in the liturgy?” Bode asked. “We could think about giving them a blessing.”
The European Union must compel EU countries that have not yet legalised same-sex marriage to recognise gay weddings held in other nations, a landmark legal statement from the EU’s highest court has recommended.
The European Court of Justice’s advocate general said in an official legal opinion on Thursday morning that there had been “evolution” in the societies of EU countries, and that the idea that “the term marriage means a union between two persons of the opposite sex can no longer be followed”.
If the advocate general’s recommendation is followed by the ECJ, EU citizens will be allowed to bring in their same-sex spouses from non-EU countries to live with them in any EU member states under free movement rules – a right some countries only recognise for opposite-sex marriages.
Five hundred years ago, Christianity was split in two by the Protestant Reformation. Today, Christians are divided again. But this time, it’s not the authority of the pope or the nature of worship in question, it’s sex. What’s moral, what’s not; what the Bible says, what it doesn’t say. What does it mean to be a Christian in the midst of a culture war? Two sides, with dueling manifestos. This hour, On Point: sex and the future of Christianity. –Tom Gjelten
(ABC) In Australia Same-sex marriage signed into law by Governor-General, first weddings to happen from January 9
Same-sex couples who have already married overseas will have their relationships recognised in Australia from midnight tonight.
After the drama and excitement of the same-sex marriage bill passing the House of Representatives chamber yesterday, the Governor-General signed off on it this morning.
Attorney-General George Brandis said couples had to give a month’s notice of their intention to marry, so the first same-sex weddings will be able to happen from January 9.
Senator Brandis said he became quite emotional when the bill passed and the public galleries erupted with cheers and singing.
Most strikingly, a disproportionate share of religious freedom cases are brought by non-Christian minorities. The proportion of religious-freedom cases brought by Hindus was five times their share of the population in the six states under 10th Circuit jurisdiction. The factor was 10 for Native Americans and 17 for Muslims. The most underrepresented group? Christians, who were involved in only one-fourth as many cases as their share of the population.
That means that religious freedom protections remain especially important for non-Christian minorities. But it also raises a question: Why is there so much hand-wringing about a handful of religious-liberty cases brought by Christians?
This is because the political left applies a double standard. If religious liberty is invoked by a favored minority, it is legitimate. But if it is invoked by a Christian with traditional moral views, it is seen as an excuse for hate. Progressives engage in culture-war bullying when religious liberty would stand in the way of their social views. One of the Colorado state commissioners in Masterpiece Cakeshop called the Christian baker’s religious-freedom claim “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use—to use their religion to hurt others.”
But if religious liberty means anything, it means the right to live according to your beliefs when most people think you are wrong.
So when Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, stands before the Supreme Court Tuesday, he may have some unlikely allies rooting for him: non-Christian religious minorities.