News from Europe

Church of England maintains sex guidance, despite apologizing for it

After the issuance of the decree many have objected against the CofE for being exclusive with its teaching on sexuality.


Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York John Sentamu have apologized after the Church of England issued a statement declaring that only heterosexual married couples should have sex and that sex in gay or straight civil partnerships “falls short of God’s purpose for human beings.”

The pastoral guidance was issued to clergy after a recent change in UK law allowed straight couples to tie the knot in a civil ceremony instead of a traditional marriage following a lengthy legal battle.

The archbishops said in a statement on Thursday: “We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologise and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardised trust, according to Belfast Telegraph.

Although the Church of England acknowledges that “many of the provisions in the legislation on civil partnerships are, however, similar to, or identical with, those in marriage law,”

the nature of the commitment in a civil partnership is different than that of a marriage.

Church of England: Sex is reserved for married heterosexual couples

The two archbishops added that the Church of England’s College of Bishops is continuing its study on human sexuality, which they said “is intended to help us all to build bridges that will enable the difficult conversations that are necessary as, together, we discern the way forward for the Church of England”.

After the issuance of the decree many have objected against the CofE for being exclusive with its teaching on sexuality: “More importantly this statement has significantly damaged the mission of the Church and it has broken the trust of those it seeks to serve… it seems our trust has been misplaced and we feel badly let down.

Among the signatories include: the Ven Canon Peter Leonard,  Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight and chair of the pressure group, One Body One Faith, Christina Baron, a member of the General Synod and chair of the Human Sexuality Group on General Synod, the Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain, chaplain to Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford and the Founder of the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England, as well as Jayne Ozanne is a prominent gay evangelical and member of General Synod, according to The Telegraph.

As Catholic News Agency reported, the College of Bishops, however, voted against a proposal to withraw the guidance.

Photo is courtesy of Unsplash.



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