Super User

Super User

LONDON (AP) — The Church of England said Wednesday it will allow blessings for same-sex, civil marriages for the first time but same-sex couples still will not be allowed to marry in its churches.

The decision followed five years of debate and consultation on the church's position on sexuality. It is expected to be outlined in a report to the church's national assembly, the General Synod, which meets in London next month.

Under the proposals, the Church of England's stance that the sacrament of matrimony is restricted to unions between one man and one woman will not change.

However, same-sex couples would be able to have a church service with prayers of dedication, thanksgiving or for God's blessing after they have a civil wedding or register a civil partnership.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in England and Wales since 2013, but the church did not change its teaching when the law changed

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, acknowledged that the proposals “will appear to go too far for some and not nearly far enough for others.”

“This response reflects the diversity of views in the Church of England on questions of sexuality, relationships and marriage. I rejoice in that diversity and I welcome this way of reflecting it in the life of our church,” Welby said.

“I hope it can offer a way for the Church of England, publicly and unequivocally, to say to all Christians and especially LGBTQI+ people, that you are welcome and a valued and precious part of the body of Christ,” he added.

The church said bishops plan to issue a formal apology to LGBTQ people on Friday for the “rejection, exclusion and hostility” they have felt from within the church.

It said it would issue pastoral guidance to its ministers and congregations and urge them to welcome same-sex couples “unreservedly and joyfully.”

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell apologised for “the way LGBTQI+ people and those they love have been treated by the church which, most of all, ought to recognise everyone as precious and created in the image of God.”

“We are deeply sorry and ashamed and want to take this opportunity to begin again in the spirit of repentance which our faith teaches us,” he said. “This is not the end of that journey, but we have reached a milestone, and I hope that these prayers of love and faith can provide a way for us all to celebrate and affirm same-sex relationships.”

Cottrell said the proposals will not be “what everyone wants,” but further changes will require a legislative overhaul and there was currently no majority supporting such change.

Jayne Ozanne, a prominent campaigner for LGBTQ people in the church, said the bishops' decision was “utterly despicable.”

“I cannot believe that five years of pain and trauma has got us here. We have had countless apologies over the years but no action to stop the harmful discrimination,” she tweeted.

The General Synod is expected to discuss the proposals in detail during its February 6 to February 9 meeting.

Wednesday, 18 January 2023 14:54

Sheryl Lee Ralph continues to reel 'em in

AT the 28th annual Critics Choice Awards held Sunday night at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in California, Jamaican actress Sheryl Lee Ralph was named Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in ABC's Abbott Elementary.

DIRECTOR of sales and marketing at National Baking Company Craig Hendrickson said his company's $10-million sponsorship of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls forms a huge part of the business's commitment to nation-building and the development of sports in Jamaica.

Wednesday, 18 January 2023 14:40

National Health Fund urged to step up its game

MINISTER of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton says that the National Health Fund (NHF) will have to reinvent itself in 2023 or lose its relevance after a while.

MANCHESTER, Jamaica — Authoritative sources are confirming that there is a major investigation into suspected fraud at Knox Community College.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has reacted to the alleged fraud that is unravelling at investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), by expressing “shock” and “anger” at the development which he also described as “evil”.

Attorney-at-law Tamika Harris, who is representing Jean-An Panton, the ex-employee of Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), the investment firm now at the centre of a massive fraud investigation, is livid that a document with sensitive information about her client was released to the public.

The Opposition People's National Party is expressing concern about the apparent failure of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to provide adequate regulatory oversight of companies operating in the non-deposit taking financial services industry.

The legal team for retired sprint king Usain Bolt has given Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), a company holding investments for the eight-time Olympic champion, 10 days to return his missing funds or face criminal and civil action.

Former Commissioner of Police Lucius Thomas has died.