Welsh ‘no’ to gay marriage, for now

The Church in Wales has declined to go forward with calls for creating same-sex marriage rites. In a 6 April 2016 pastoral letter the Welsh bishops said that church-wide consultations on the issue revealed “there was certainly no consensus, and any move to introduce changes in canon law would not meet the required two thirds majority of Governing Body, voting in houses, to enable such changes. Furthermore, any change to the teaching of the Church on Marriage, or the authorisation of any blessing of these unions in the life of the Church, would depend on legislation by bill procedure, which requires such enhanced majorities to take effect.” The debate would continue, the bishops said, but also prepared prayers that a couple may wish to use following the celebration of a same-sex marriage. The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev. Barry Morgan said: We are not ready, as a Church, to take the step of authorising same-sex marriage. There is no point in bringing forward a Bill for it to fail. That I know will be a disappointment to those who voted for change and will be a deep disappointment to same sex couples within the Church in Wales who long for the opportunity to make their vows in one of our churches. We, as bishops, feel that this is the right thing to do at this time. I realise that some people will regard these prayers as too little too late and others will regard them as a step too far. No one is compelled to use them, but they are provided for those who would like to do so. These prayers do not constitute a service of blessing.”


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