The Church of England announced that it is going to begin a formal “discernment and decision-making” process “about a way forward for the church” in regards to its teachings on sex, sexuality and marriage.
Church leaders are aiming to come to a conclusion on the long-debated issues by 2022.
The announcement came with the launch of the “Living in Love and Faith” resources, which more than 40 people, led by the Bishop of Coventry Christopher Cocksworth, worked on for three years to help people participate in honest discussions, listen to life stories and understand each other’s views. Part of the resources include a 480-page book that is “thought to be the most extensive work in this area by any faith group in the world.”
In the foreword of the book, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell acknowledged and apologized for the “huge damage and hurt” the church body has caused to LGBT people “where talk of truth, holiness and discipleship has been wielded harshly.”
“The supreme and unique beauty of the person of Jesus of Nazareth is found not only in that he is the Truth, but also that his truth abounds in grace and love,” they wrote as they called for repentance.
As part of the decision-making process, the bishops plan to present proposals before the Church of England’s General Synod in 2022.
“Most pressing among our differences are questions around same-sex relationships, and we recognise that here decisions in several interconnected areas need to be made with some urgency,” the book says.
Cocksworth stated that whether the bishops would recommend a synod vote on allowing same-sex marriages within the church body for the first time is “only one question among many” that they would consider.
He also said some within the church body feel that its “doctrine of marriage is ripe for development.”
The Rt. Rev. Julian Henderson, bishop of Blackburn and president of the Church of England Evangelical Council, responded to the new resources and said they will look closely at them to see if they align with Scripture.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar