Liberals and Progressives Come Out as Lawbreakers
Following the publication of the Bishops’ proposals in response to Living in Love and Faith, some liberal clergy have begun to speak as if doctrine and practice have already been changed, and that current church discipline no longer applies.
Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, the Rector of Liverpool Parish Church, spoke to the Liverpool Echo about having conducted same-sex blessings in his parish. “From our point of view, it is very clear that marriage between same-sex couples should be treated on the basis and the same equality between opposite-sex couples. We see no difference,” he explained. “The Church of England has maintained a difference, which we reject, but we can’t marry couples as that is a legal process.
“The Church of England announced last week that we can do same-sex blessings. Like many other churches, we have done them before. While the Church was issuing complicated statements about what that exactly means, we say that if you come for us for a blessing after your marriage, we will bless that marriage whether you’re gay or you’re straight.”
Former Communards musician and TV personality, Revd Richard Coles acknowledge that his civil partnership had not been not celibate, as required by the bishops. He was challenged about this on Twitter by Dr Ian Paul: “In previous respectful exchanges you assured me that, as a point of principle, you were living in obedience to your vows. You now tell us that you were lying. It’s tricky.”
“Yes, lying,” conceded Mr Coles. “Because when it is not safe to tell the truth you lie.”
Dr Paul replied, “No but it’s perfectly safe to say ‘I don’t believe this so out of integrity I am leaving.'”