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Gay Priest Marries in Church Of England

Damian Thompson of the Telegraphremarks on the news that a gay Anglican priest has legally married his same-sex partner, in defiance of C of E policy. Excerpt:

That will be an interesting case. Mr Cain is the Vicar of St Mary with All Souls in Kilburn and St James in West Hampstead and known to parishioners as “Father Andrew” – ie, he’s an Anglo-Catholic. North London is full of High Church priests with same-sex partners. If only a few of them defy their bishop and get married, then the Diocese of London faces a public relations as well as a legal nightmare.

From an Alinskyite point of view, this is exactly what gay C of E priests should do. The establishment is impotent; nobody will stop them. Thompson:

To be clear: it is now perfectly legal for Church of England clergy to marry their gay partners. It’s only illegal for the established Church to stage any same-sex wedding services itself. But if your bishop turns a blind eye you can have the next best thing. A lesbian priest can marry her partner at the register office, then find an accommodating vicar who’ll bless the couple in church.

Does anybody believe for a moment that this status quo will last for more than two shakes of a lamb’s tail? If you are a gay Anglican priest (or layman) who believes same-sex marriage is morally licit — as a majority of Englishmen do these days — what is to prevent you from challenging the collapsing authority of the Church you serve and doing what you think is right? To be clear, I don’t think this should happen, but trying to see it from the point of view of these priests and their supporters, it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t force the issue.  I mean, like Christianity itself in Britain, the Church of England is dying, according to its own research, and according to the retired Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, who said it is “on the brink of extinction.” What’s one more thing? It’s not like the C of E, like its US counterpart the Episcopal Church, cares what their (booming) sister churches in Africa and elsewhere in the global Anglican Communion think.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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