Search This Blog

Monday, 16 June 2008

Gay priest in wedding row resigns

It's emerged that one of the priests who held a marriage ceremony at St Bartholomew the Great Church in the City of London last month has now resigned, according to today's Guardian.

"The Rev Dr David Lord, a New Zealander who tied the knot with English clergyman Peter Cowell on May 31, 'felt it appropriate to lay down his clergy licence', according to a statement released through the Anglican Church in New Zealand," the paper says.

As you'll see from our story yesterday (linked to above), there been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the ceremony, coming, as you would expect, from the wailing and gnashing end of the Christian spectrum, especially those who wail and gnash in Africa.

And the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has said that "services of public blessings for civil partnerships were not authorised in the Church of England or the diocese of London and has asked the Archdeacon of London, Peter Delaney, to investigate", according to the paper.

The priest who led the service, the Rev. Martin Dudley, tells the paper, "I am surprised and disappointed by the fuss. It was a joyful, godly occasion. Why turn it into a controversy? It was not a rally or a demonstration. Nor is it the first time there have been prayers, hymns or readings following a civil partnership. It may be that this ceremony had rather more knobs on. It may also be the only one we know about."

The story continues:

Liberals reacted with disappointment to the news of Lord's resignation. The Rev. Dr Giles Fraser, vicar of Putney and president of Inclusive Church, a campaign group working for equal rights for gay Christians, said: "This is disgraceful. It's amazing this church cannot celebrate what little love there is in this world. It was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives and they have been turned into outcasts."

Others said they hoped the event would help the church modernise. The Rev. Richard Kirker, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said: "I hope it nudges the church into the 21st century. There are so many gay clergy in civil partnerships, whose integrity leads them to wanting to have their relationships affirmed by their faith."

Meanwhile, Ruth Gledhill in The Times tells us that the Anglican Church "has been plunged into fresh turmoil" over the service, and that the paper has learned that up to 500 Anglo-Catholic priests are ready to resign after failing to secure the concessions that they had sought over women bishops. Read the full story here.

No comments: