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No gay marriage at St Paul’s Cathedral: The Church of England Newspaper, March 23, 2012, p 7. March 28, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Marriage.
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The Dean of St Pauls, David Ison, and the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres

Dr. David Ison has backed away from a pledge to conduct same-sex blessings at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Speaking to the Times following the announcement of his appointment on 6 March 2012, Dr. Ison, the present Dean of Bradford Cathedral, endorsed the concept of gay marriage. “Marriage doesn’t belong to the Church,” he said.

The new dean said he was encouraged that gay people sought the church’s blessing for their partnerships. “As a Christian who is committed to marriage, I would say that for people to take on board, in their relationships, a commitment to lifelong chastity and being together is actually the best pattern for how to flourish if you’re going to be in a relationship… whether you’re gay or straight.

“I’m encouraged that a good number of gay people want to take on the virtues of marriage. For Christian gay people to model that kind of faithfulness, in a culture which, historically, has often been about promiscuity, is a very good thing to do,” he said.

According to the Times, Dr. Ison said he would continue to provide ceremonies to affirm and pray for homosexual couples. “The Bishops’ regulations say you can do things which are pastorally appropriate… Marriage is an institution, but the definitions of that, and how you get into it, and quite what its responsibilities are, have changed over time,” he said.

However, in an interview with the BBC’s Sunday Programme broadcast on 11 March 2012, Dr. Ison stepped back from his earlier remarks about gay blessings at St Paul’s. Asked by interviewer Edward Stourton about his views on the issues surrounding marriage, the dean said that “marriage is something which we have inherited as an institution and its meaning is defined by custom, practice, theology and law.”

“The government is trying to take a bit of a short cut in saying we just have marriage and open it to same sex couples too,” he said, adding that the Church of England was looking at the question of “how we related the church’s teaching and the doctrine of marriage to the need to be able to order, to express and to affirm gay partnerships … we need to make the virtues of marriage available to gay couples,” Dr. Ison said.

Asked if he would be “happy to conduct a gay marriage at St Pauls?” the dean responded that “there isn’t such a thing as gay marriage.”

“What I have done, once, is to pray for a couple who wanted to see Jesus Christ at the centre of their civil partnership. And I would be glad to do that with the bishop’s permission and within the framework of the guidance of the Church of England,” Dr. Ison said.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Anglican Unscripted Oct 31, 2011 November 3, 2011

Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Anglican.TV, CANA, Church of Nigeria.
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Anglican Unscripted examines the tensions between the ACNA and the Church of Nigeria over the new Diocese of the Trinity, unconfirmed reports about the AMiA’s future, the trouble at St Paul’s and the latest on Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bede Parry.

 

Erratum: In this video I stated that Christ Church Plano withdrew from the AMiA over the issue of women’s ordination.  The rector of Christ Church Plano, Canon David Roseberry, kindly wrote to me and stated that this was not the case.  I mentioned Christ Church as an example of the gracious way the AMiA has handled disaffiliation of parishes.  I believe how that episode was resolved speaks highly of the integrity and Christian charity of the AMiA leadership and Canon Roseberry.  I regret I stepped on the story by adding an extraneous statement about why the parish left—and got that bit wrong.  Please excuse the error.

George Conger