Lib­er­als to dis­cuss fu­ture of mar­riage

The Church of England - - NEWS -

THE PRE­SID­ING Bishop and Pres­i­dent of the House of Deputies of the Epis­co­pal Church have named 12 peo­ple to serve on the Church’s Task Force on the Study of Mar­riage.

In a state­ment re­leased on 14 Fe­bru­ary, Bishop Katharine Jef­ferts Schori said the group would help the Church chart its way for­ward as it seeks to find a the­o­log­i­cal ra­tio­nale for the changes in­tro­duced last year.

At the July 2012 Gen­eral Con­ven­tion the Epis­co­pal Church au­tho­rised tem­po­rary pro­vi­sional rites for bless­ing same-sex unions and au­tho­rised a study group to ex­am­ine the doc­trine of mar­riage.

The Pre­sid­ing Bishop ex­plained: “The the­ol­ogy of mar­riage has evolved over time, with bi­b­li­cal ex­am­ples in­clud­ing polygamy, con­cu­bi­nage, and other forms of re­la­tion­ship no longer sanc­tioned in The Epis­co­pal Church.

“We no longer ex­pect that one part­ner prom­ise to obey the other, that par­ents give away their chil­dren to be mar­ried, or that child­bear­ing is the chief pur­pose of mar­riage. This task force is charged not only to take the pulse of our cur­rent the­o­log­i­cal un­der­stand­ing of the mean­ing of mar­riage, but to as­sist the faith­ful in con­ver­sa­tion and dis­cern­ment about mar­riage, in par­tic­u­lar what the Church might hold up as ‘holy ex­am­ple’ of the love be­tween Christ and his Church.”

While the Epis­co­pal Church has never sanc­tioned polygamy and con­cu­bi­nage, in the 20th cen­tury it mod­i­fied its prac­tices on di­vorce and re­mar­riage. The aims of mar­riage as or­dered in the 1662 Book of Com­mon Prayer: pro­cre­ation, rem­edy for sin, and mu­tual care, have been re­ordered in suc­ces­sive Amer­i­can prayer books and are cur­rently given as mu­tual joy, mu­tual care and the pro­cre­ation of chil­dren.

Pres­i­dent Gay Jen­nings ob­served: “The Epis­co­pal Church’s the­ol­ogy and prac­tice of mar­riage has changed sig­nif­i­cantly over the cen­turies, and we need to un­der­stand more clearly what we as a Church mean when we use that word.”

The 12-mem­ber task force, whose mem­bers are drawn from the Church’s lib­eral wing, are to de­liver their report to the 2015 meet­ing of Gen­eral Con­ven­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.