The tone of the Church of England's House of Bishop's 'Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage' is cold and legalistic, says Savi Hensman. She argues that it is in contrast to the more welcoming attitude of General Synod and that putting it into practice may prove harder than anticipated.
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has agreed to sign a brutally oppressive Anti Homosexuality Bill into law, after pressure within and outside his party. Prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people has grown to dangerous proportions and already some have fled abroad to safety.
An Ekklesia research paper might be useful in helping the Church of England to tackle the controversial issue of sexuality, a general synod member suggested. Synod, meeting from 12-14 February, also discussed women bishops, climate change and safeguarding.
As the Church of England discusses the Pilling report on sexuality, it has come under pressure from certain other Anglican leaders, who claim that accepting the proposals would show a lack of commitment to biblical teaching and global Anglicanism. But the rationale for these claims is flawed.
Some church leaders ignore personal experience and scientific evidence when discussing sexuality, unless these fit in with their existing ideas. They may think this shows their faithfulness to the Bible and so to God. But they are wrong.
A powerful documentary on Channel 4, ‘Hunted’, shows the level of homophobic hatred and violence in Russia. As the Winter Olympics begin in Sochi, the United Nations Secretary-General and writers from many countries have condemned the human rights abuses taking place. Churches should consider their stance.
Nigerian bishops have abandoned Catholic social teaching by backing a new law which severely violates human rights. By supporting the misleadingly-named Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, they have also distanced themselves from Pope Francis, who has called for a more pastoral approach to gays.