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Weird Stuff/Unexplained
See other Weird Stuff/Unexplained Articles

Title: Bible Supports Homosexual Partnerships, Says Bishop
Source: UK Telegraph
URL Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai ... /news/2006/05/28/nchurch28.xml
Published: May 28, 2006
Author: Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Post Date: 2006-05-28 21:46:53 by Jhoffa_
Keywords: None
Views: 738
Comments: 4

Bible Supports Homosexual Partnerships, Says Bishop

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones (Filed: 28/05/2006)

One of the country's most senior bishops has reignited the Church of England row over homosexuality by claiming that same-sex partnerships are supported by the Bible.

The Rt Rev Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, said that traditionalists in the Church needed to be "converted" to see that homosexual unions are confirmed by the scriptures.

He reaffirmed his controversial belief that an openly gay man should be allowed to be appointed a bishop.

His remarks have angered traditionalists and are set to rekindle the debate on homosexual "marriages" that has left the Church's House of Bishops deeply divided following the introduction of the Civil Partnerships Act last year.

Bishop Harries said that the Church of England faced a split if the liberal and conservative factions did not come to an agreement on how to be more inclusive towards homosexuals. In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Bishop Harries, who retires this week, expressed his regret that Canon Jeffrey John, now Dean of St Albans, had been forced to withdraw as Bishop of Reading after it emerged that he was in a long-term homosexual -relationship.

His decision to promote Canon John to bishop caused an outcry in 2003. But last night Bishop Harries stood by his action.

"I'd still like him to become a bishop," he said. "He has all the gifts to be a bishop, but there is still a process of discernment going on. For there to be change, evangelicals have to be convinced that a permanent, faithful same-sex partnership is congruous with biblical truth."

America became the first province of the worldwide Anglican Communion to promote an openly gay man to bishop, when Canon Gene Robinson was elected in New Hampshire in 2003, plunging the worldwide Church into a crisis that still engulfs it.

Bishop Harries said: "It's difficult to have gay partnerships fully accepted by the Church, a Church in which evangelicals are a valued part, if they are so strongly opposed to it. There has to be a conversion to a new way to see that gay partnerships are not contrary to biblical truth. They are congruous with the deepest biblical truths, about faithfulness and stability."

The House of Bishops last year issued pastoral advice on the Civil Partnerships Act, allowing clergy to enter into relationships on the condition that they assured their bishop that they would abstain from sex.

However, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, has denounced the guidelines as "unbiblical" and unworkable. The bishop, who is a potential successor to Bishop Harries, said the policy had undermined Church teaching and unity.

Gay clergy have already defied the bishops' statement by saying that they will not give assurances that they will be celibate. A number have registered their partnerships and had the relationship blessed in Church despite guidelines recommending that they not be offered formal services.

Reform, an influential evangelical group that represents more than 1,000 parishes, has written to bishops urging them to reconsider the guidelines.

Its chairman, the Rev David Banting, expressed dismay at Bishop Harries's comments, arguing that the bishop was wrong to want them to be "converted" to his position.

"He thinks that he has the weight of culture and the weight of the majority of the Church in the West behind him, which convinces him that he's right," said Mr Banting.

"Same-sex partnerships are not congruous with the Bible," he said, adding: "Sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage are not blessed by God.

"We need to be pastorally supportive of those who struggle in this area, but we shouldn't be trying to change the teaching of the Church. No amount of calling black white will make black white."

As the House of Bishops prepares to discuss the Anglican homosexual crisis at its meeting next week, liberals in the Church will be encouraged by the comments from so respected a figure.

The Rev Dr Giles Fraser, the chairman of Inclusive Church, a liberal group, said: "His comments will be received with joy by the majority of ordinary churchgoers. It is absolutely clear that the Church needs to have a more welcoming and loving attitude to gays."

Bishop Harries, who was made a life peer last week, said that the Jeffrey John affair had made people think about the issue in way that they never had before.

"I knew that it would be divisive within the diocese of Oxford, but I thought that that could be contained within two years. I hadn't realised the effect on the Anglican Communion and the pressure put on the archbishop as a result of that."

Dr John, 53, is still in a relationship with another cleric, the Rev Grant Holmes, which he says is celibate. Dr John is the author of the controversial book Permanent, Faithful, Stable, which argues for overturning the Church's ban on the ordination of practising homosexual clergy.


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#1. To: All (#0)

There has to be a conversion to a new way to see that gay partnerships are not contrary to biblical truth. They are congruous with the deepest biblical truths, about faithfulness and stability."

No scriptural backing, not even a half hearted explanation.. just another unsubstanciated claim.

I see..

Democracy was getting old anyway...

Jhoffa_  posted on  2006-05-28   21:48:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Jhoffa_ (#1)

Some queer bishop trying to twist things his way.

IronSage  posted on  2006-05-28   22:23:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: IronSage (#2)

That's pretty much the way I see it..

He's long on unqualified statements and short on facts & reference material.

You're being asked to take him at his word alone.. Regardless, I'm sure many will.

Democracy was getting old anyway...

Jhoffa_  posted on  2006-05-28   22:26:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Jhoffa_ (#1)

No scriptural backing

not that i saw - well did you think there would be some? LOL

TLBSHOW  posted on  2006-05-29   11:00:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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