Fulcrum response to the House of Bishops Pastoral Statement on same-sex marriages

Fulcrum is grateful to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the House of Bishops for their careful pastoral letter and statement. It is appropriate that the House of Bishops should uphold the present doctrine of the Church in advance of the facilitated conversations on which assurances have been given that they have no pre determined outcome. They are simply sworn to do that by their office. Any other outcome would have been prejudicial to those conversations taking place. We recognise that their statement is not universally welcomed, but hope that it may create space in which the conversations can begin and end in Christ.

We are also aware that any statement they made was sadly likely to be challenged legally, which will be a costly thing in mission, pastoral emotion, money, and reputation of the whole body of Christ. We hope that others will join with us in praying that our focus for mission as the Church of England may go forward without such distraction; but in doing that we also recognise those of the LGBTI community who will experience most sharply the Bishops' call for restraint.

4 thoughts on “Fulcrum response to the House of Bishops Pastoral Statement on same-sex marriages”

  1. Is this not an area where we must learn to disagree well? The Bishops seem to have reversed decades of unwritten rules which have led to the C of E having many partnered LGBT clergy within it’s ranks. Now in the midst of an important debate some clergy are being told they cannot do something which is both legal and an expression of love and fidelity. Can’t we see how absurd this looks to any still taking any notice of us? I say this not as a supporter of gay marriage but as the brother in Christ of others who do.

  2. Dear Fulcrum, how good to have the opportunity to comment on the statement from the house of bishops, re same sex marriage. I feel it’s imperative the church takes on board the injustice and plain weirdness of this statement. as a dear friend has suffered so much rejection and exclusion from her family following a commitment to a same sex relationship, I am aware that this bullying and abuse is replicated up & down the UK, and that the church could make a difference here, simply by giving witness to the God give and God inspired love same sex couples show each other. How bizarre too, are the comments on marriage in this statement, as a heterosexual woman who’s been married for 20 years I just don’t recognise my understanding of marriage in the statement. I found the comments weird, manipulative, out of touch and patronising. The last 20 years have been an exciting discovery of God’s gifts and the wisdom needed to try to build a real life marriage. So come on folks, we’re hear to build the Kingdom of God with the words we use, to show people God will engage with us when we seek him, and that one way to share God’s loving kindness to your partner and friends, is within a marriage

  3. “Nine”? Why “nine”? I assume this was an unfortunate typo for “none”. In any case, it is simply not true that “any change in teaching must precede a change in practice”. The church has a long history of being (mis)guided in doctrine by the practices of Christians, just as practices are often (mis)guided by doctrine. Doctrine and practice interpenetrate each other, however much neater we might prefer it to be. I pray, rather, that the way forward is marked more by grace than by neatness.

  4. Yes, any change in teaching must precede a change in practice. Let us hope that nine of the clergy will enter a same sex marriage prior to approval. I feel that disobedience is more likely than legal challenge.

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