Dissenting Priest Defies Church of England's Teaching on Marriage, 'Marries' his Homosexual Paramour
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/14/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A practicing homosexual priest has defied the Church of England's ban on homosexual and lesbian clergy marrying by wedding his longtime male homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term homosexual paramour, 51-year-old Laurence Cunnington, this past weekend. A leading member of the church's faithful wing has called for discipline of any clergy seen to be veering from Christian orthodoxy concerning marriage and warned of a "crisis" if the leadership failed to take action.
An Anglican priest has defied the Church of England's insistence that marriage is between one man and one woman by openly dissenting from the Scripture and Christian tradition and wedding his longtime homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed 51-year-old Laurence Cunnington this past weekend.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The couple predict that they will be the first of many homosexual clergy to marry. While campaigners expressed delight that the couple had taken advantage of Britain's newly-introduced gay marriage laws, strong opposition lies ahead from those within the Church who continue to embrace the unbroken teaching of the Christian faith for over two thousand years that marriage exists solely between one man and one woman.
It's expected that many bishops will not recognize or "bless" their new arrangement because it is absolutely contrary to the teaching of the Bible and the Christian Church for over two thousand years. Of course, the very future of the Church is now placed in issue as a result of this rejection of the teaching of the scriptuure and the tradition that marriage is between one man and oone woman.
A father of five, Pemberton is a chaplain at Lincoln hospital and also works in the Church's Southwell and Nottingham diocese. He was formerly married to a woman. Pemberton took a stand against Christian orthodoxy in 2012 when he was a signatory to a letter to The Telegraph from dozens of Anglican clergy warning that if the Church of England refused to permit homosexual and lesbian weddings in its own churches they would advise members of their congregations to marry elsewhere.
An acrimonious disagreement broke out earlier this year within the Church of England after the House of Bishops decided to ban gay clergy from marrying when same-sex marriage became legal last month in the civil law. Anyone defying the ban could face lengthy disciplinary measures within the church.
While this stopgap measure was welcomed by Anglicans faithful to the scripture and the longstanding Christian teaching that marriage is solely between one man and one woman, it infuriated liberals, dissenters and campaigners for the homosexual equivalency movement who seek to change Christian doctrine and Church practice.
There have been growing signs of a changing stance on homosexuality within the church. Bishops agreed that homosexual and lesbian couples who get married will be able to ask for special prayers after the ceremony.
In dissension, the Rev. Preb Rod Thomas, chairman of the Reform evangelical group, said that "There's no doubt that there is pressure within some parts of the church for the Church to change its mind on sexuality.
"If there is not clear discipline then it is the equivalent to saying 'we really didn't mean what we said.' It will precipitate a crisis."
Thomas warned that Christians "who stick by the biblical understanding" of marriage would be unable to accept a "messy compromise." This could potentially lead to a situation similar to the one in the U.S. where a faithful splinter Church emerged from the liberal and compromising Episcopal Church.
Clearly, the entire matter is splitting the Church of England - as it is many other Churches and Christian communities which proceeded from the Protestant Reformation.
The Rev Colin Coward, a friend of Canon Pemberton's and director of the Changing Attitude campaign group, says that "I'm really, really happy for Jeremy and his partner that they are finally able to get married after a long time of being together as a couple.
"I hope the bishops find a way to affirm and bless their relationship rather than taking action against them."
Many faithful Christians within the Church of England and Anglican communion hope that their Church stays faithful to the Bible and the unbroken Christian tradition concerning the nature of marriage and the family and society founded upon it.
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