The Church of England began offering blessings to same-sex couples on Sunday. This is related to the compromise decision made in February this year, which maintained the doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, but agreed to provide blessings for same-sex couples.
The attitude towards relationships between same-sex couples has strongly divided the Church for years England. An important factor is also the fact that any permission to perform church weddings for such couples would cause a split in the Anglican Communion and more conservative churches, especially in African countries, would no longer recognize the primacy of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In February, during the synod of the Church of England, a compromise proposal was reached, agreeing only to the blessings of such couples, without changing the doctrine on the definition of marriage. The proposal attracted opposition from both conservatives, who believe it goes too far, and liberals, who say it is insufficient, but ultimately all three houses of the synod – bishops, clergy and laity – voted in support of the proposal. According to the adopted decision, same-sex couples after getting married or entering into a registered partnership could go to Anglican churches for services, including prayers of consecration, thanks and blessings. Last Tuesday, the synod’s house of bishops approved this decision and the text of the blessing and indicated that blessings can be given starting this Sunday.
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