Priest marries gay partner

17 April 2014

JEREMY PEMBERTON

Off on honeymoon: Canon Jeremy Pemberton (left) and Laurence Cunnington after their marriage ceremony last month

Off on honeymoon: Canon Jeremy Pemberton (left) and Laurence Cunnington after their marriage ceremony last month

A CHAPLAIN in Lincolnshire has become the first priest in the Church of England to be married to a same-sex partner, in defiance of House of Bishops' guidance.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, the Chaplain at Lincoln County Hospital, on Saturday tweeted a photo of him and his husband, Laurence Cunnington, departing for their honeymoon. He wrote: "Thank you to all well-wishers. Nay-sayers: we can talk another time maybe? Signing off now - my husband gets my time."

The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, said: "I am aware that a member of the clergy who works in the diocese of Lincoln has married a partner of the same sex. The priest concerned wrote to me in advance to explain his intention, and we had a subsequent meeting in which I explained the guidelines of the House of Bishops.

"The Church of England is shortly to enter a process of facilitated discussions about its response to same-sex marriage. I am committed to entering that process in a spirit of honesty and integrity, seeking to discern the spirit of God at work in the Church as we seek to understand the nature of marriage in the future." Canon Pemberton, is an Honorary Canon of Boga, in the Anglican Province of Congo. He is divorced and has five children. He told the Mail on Sunday: "I love this man, and I want to be married to him. That's what I want. It is the same as anyone who wants to get married."

Pastoral guidance issued by the House of Bishops in February ( News, 14 February) states that "it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same-sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the Church's teaching in their lives."

IN LINKING the liberalisation of the Church's policy on same-sex relationships with violence in Africa (News, 11 April) the Archbishop of Canterbury was reminiscent of "the abused wife who blames herself for her abuse, and resolves to try not to do anything to provoke her husband, because she is 'responsible' for her own mistreatment", the Rt Revd Gene Robinson suggested on Sunday.

Writing for the website The Daily Beast, Bishop Robinson, the first openly gay partnered bishop in the Anglican Communion, said that he has been "stunned" by the Archbishop's comments. "Archbishop Welby would have done well to put the blame directly where it belongs - on the murderers themselves - instead of insinuating that, indeed, Anglicans working for LGBT rights elsewhere 'caused' this atrocity."

 

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