Church of England: No Blessings for Gay Marriage

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The Church of England will not give its blessings to people in same-sex marriages even after they become legal next month in the United Kingdom.

The Church released a statement of Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage on Feb. 15. A partial portion of the statement reads:

"As members of the Body of Christ we are aware that there will be a range of responses across the Church of England to the introduction of same sex marriage. As bishops we have reflected and prayed together about these developments. As our statement of 27th January indicated, we are not all in agreement about every aspect of the Church's response. However we are all in agreement that the Christian understanding and doctrine of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman remains unchanged."

"...The introduction of same sex marriage in our country is a new reality and has consequences for the life and discipline of the Church of England," the statement continued. "We seek to model a distinctive and generous witness to Jesus Christ in our pastoral guidance to the Church at this time which is set out in the Appendix to this letter."

Church bishops said clergy can offer an informal prayer if a couple asks for it.

The bishops also said people in a gay marriage should not be ordained and that people who are already ordained should not marry someone of the same sex.

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