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A line in the sand for Canterbury's authority

A wedding-like church service took place in London on the 31st May 2008 for two male priests. The priests exchanged rings and vows in a service at one of London's oldest churches marked by a fanfare of trumpets and capped by a shower of confetti, reported The Sunday Telegraph. The ceremony took place at St. Bartholomew the Great. The Rev. Peter Cowell and the Rev. David Lord walked up the aisle in morning suits to the tune of Mendelssohn’s ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ and, after exchanging rings, took part in communion, the paper said.

While not technically a marriage, the ceremony’s liturgy, including the introductory "Dearly beloved..." closely matched the wording used for weddings. The Order of Service reveals how closely it resembled a traditional wedding ceremony, familiar to many within the Church of Ireland.

Once again we witness the liberal-revisionist agenda being blatantly promoted. Reform Ireland supports fully the press release by Reform in England stating that this is a ‘line in the sand’ moment for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s authority and for the Church of England collectively. Reform Ireland believes that the timing of this ‘ceremony’ was a deliberate act of provocation towards those attending GAFCON and a challenge to the Episcopal authorities to ‘dare to discipline’ those who have decided to go against the teaching of the church on Christian marriage and to promote the acceptance and blessing of same-sex relationship within the Christian church.

Reform Ireland draws attention to the members of the Church of Ireland that a similar agenda is being promoted within the Church of Ireland. At General Synod 2008 Changing Attitude was afforded an exhibition space to promote the full acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual lifestyles and relationships within the Church of Ireland. We draw this to the wider church’s attention, not to be alarmist, but to waken people up to the fact that there are those, both lay and ordained (amongst various orders of clergy), who are actively working to undermine the biblical teaching on human sexuality and to impose the liberal-revisionist agenda of accepting and blessing of lifestyles which the bible clearly teaches as sinful. The Bishop of Cork, in his recent synodical address, alluded to the fact that within the House of Bishops different views on this issue exist – from outright acceptance of the LGBT lifestyle to those who would hold to the biblical and traditional teaching of the Christian church. Reform Ireland are concerned that those who in their consecration vows promised to uphold the biblical teaching of the church are abandoning the biblical teaching on human sexuality and teaching that which is contrary to the plain Word of God.

Reform Ireland encourages church members, clergy and Select Vestries to pray for and write to their diocesan bishops expressing their concern over these latest developments and especially the acceptance of the liberal-revisionist agenda on human sexuality.

15th June 2008

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