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
"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."