*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Putin’s attack on C of E is simply wrong, spokesman says

22 February 2023

Alamy

President Putin delivers his address to Russian leaders on Tuesday

President Putin delivers his address to Russian leaders on Tuesday

PRESIDENT PUTIN’s assertion that Anglicans are planning to introduce “a gender-neutral God” is “simply wrong”, a church spokesman has said.

President Putin made the accusation in a two-hour speech to political and military leaders in Moscow on Tuesday, delivered to mark the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. The Russian leader blamed the West for the war and accused it of moral decadence.

“They distort historical facts, constantly attack our culture, the Russian Orthodox Church, and other traditional religions of our country,” he said.

“Look at what they do with their own peoples: the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversion, and the abuse of children are declared the norm. And priests are forced to bless same-sex marriages. . .

“The Anglican Church plans to consider the idea of a gender-neutral God. What can we say? God forgive them, they know not what they do. Millions of people in the West understand they are being led to a real spiritual catastrophe.”

The remarks were apparently inspired by a short discussion at General Synod earlier this month, where an update was requested from the Liturgical Commission about steps towards developing “more options” for those who wish to speak of God in a non-gendered way.

But the C of E spokesman said that Mr Putin’s claims were “simply wrong” and that there was “nothing new” in Christians’ belief that God was neither male nor female.

“As we have repeatedly said, there are absolutely no plans to consider a gender-neutral God. It is simply wrong to say that the Church of England is considering stopping using any particular terms for God, and there are also absolutely no plans to abolish or substantially revise currently authorised liturgies — and no such changes could be made without extensive legislation.”

In a written answer to the General Synod, the vice-chair of the Liturgical Commission, the Bishop of Lichfield, Dr Michael Ipgrave, said that the discussion on non-gender liturgy had been going on “for several years” between the Liturgical Commission and the Faith and Order Commission, and confirmed that “a new joint project on gendered language” would begin in the spring. “In common with other potential changes to authorised liturgical provision, changing the wording and number of authorised forms of absolution would require a full synodical process for approval,” he said.

Similarly, there has never been a suggestion that clergy should act against their conscience when asked to bless a same-sex couple.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

 

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available

 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)