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Why Anyone Thought the Church of England Would Go Another Way is a Mystery

They didn’t:

Church of England priests will be permitted to bless the civil marriages of same-sex couples in a profound shift in the church’s stance on homosexuality after a historic vote by its governing body.

The first blessings for gay couples could happen this summer. Individual churches will be encouraged to state clearly whether they will offer blessings to avoid confusion and disappointment.

After an impassioned debate lasting more than eight hours, the C of E’s national assembly, the General Synod, voted by 250 votes to 181 to back a proposal by bishops intended to end years of painful divisions and disagreement over sexuality.

This has been coming for a long time, certainly for the last two decades since this website/blog has been covering the issue. Too many important people and institutions wanted this: Welby, the government, etc. North American experience should have been instructive. But some held out for hope, in part because of the Church of England’s central position in the Anglican Communion.

Now it is done. And now we have Lenin’s favourite question: what is to be done? Will the Global South and GAFCON finally get together and take command of the Anglican Communion? Will they give the Episcopal Church the boot along with the Church of England and others? Will GAFCON’s institutions in the UK/Europe rise to the challenge? it took most of the first decade of this millennium, from Gene Robinson’s ordination to the formation of the ACNA, for the North Americans to come up with an alternative. It’s unlikely that the more complex situation in the UK and Europe, to say nothing of that of the Global South/GAFCON, will move faster.

But move it must. After years of declarations a swelling words, it’s time for hard decisions and action. That’s not easy in the part of Christianity that invented the “Anglican Fudge,” but, as Our Lord put it, the hour has come.


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