Sex Only for Heterosexual Married Couples COE Affirms

ChurchLeaders | 1/24/2020 | Staff
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Now that heterosexual couples in England can enter into a civil partnership rather than marriage, the Church of England has affirmed its stance that sex should be reserved only for married heterosexual couples. In a document issued this week, the House of Bishops instructs clergy members not to “provide services of blessing” for civil partnerships.

“Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God’s purpose for human beings,” the statement notes. “For Christians, marriage—that is, the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows—remains the proper context for sexual activity.”

Document - People - Partnerships—whether - Opposite-sex - Remain

The document reiterates that people in civil partnerships—whether opposite-sex or same-sex—should remain abstinent. The Church of England bans same-same marriage, which the country legalized in 2013. Clergy are permitted to be in same-sex relationships, as long as they abstain from sex.

The distinction between marriage and civil partnership, according to the bishops, is “the nature of the commitment that members of a couple choose to make to each other.” Civil partnerships come with “ambiguity,” the document notes, and the church affirms “the value of committed, sexually abstinent friendships.” It adds: “There is likely to be a range of circumstances in which people of the same sex or opposite sex choose to register a partnership, including some where there is no intention for the relationship to be expressed through sexual activity.”

Rev - Dr - Malcolm - Brown - Church

The Rev. Dr. Malcolm Brown, the church’s director of mission and public affairs, explains: “Civil partnership is not the same as marriage, which is founded on the taking of solemn public vows and is recognized in the church’s teaching as the only proper context for sexual relationships. So, as with same-sex civil partnerships, there is...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ChurchLeaders
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