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What the Anglican Church Is Now Saying About Same-Sex Marriage

The Anglican Church affirmed its position on same-sex marriage in a statement this week. (Tony Webster via Flickr)

Anglican Australian and Irish bishops issued official statements clarifying their positions on same-sex marriage last week.

The House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland said the marriage service "remains unchanged and marriage may be solemnized only between a man and woman."

"No liturgy or authorized service is provided therefore for any other situation," the bishops continued in their statement. "It is widely recognized that there is no simple solution for these and other issues of human sexuality; but with compassion, humility and concern, we offer our continued commitment to attentive listening and to respectful discussion."

The statement was presented to the Province's General Synod after an official committee spent some five years discussing how the church would address human sexuality.

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The House of Bishops of the Church of Australia released a similar statement saying that "marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman."

They added that in light of the Church's doctrine, it was "not appropriate for church buildings and halls, and chapels owned by Anglican schools and other Anglican organizations to be used as venues for same-sex marriages."

The bishops also said they will give "further consideration" to the difference between blessing and solemnizing a marriage, and the appropriate content of informal prayer for a same-sex couple.

It said that any doctrinal changes would need to be done through the framework of its constitution and canons.

"Bishops should give leadership in demonstrating trust in this framework as the way to move forward together, recognizing that this will require care, persistence and generosity. The bishops commit to working together to manifest and maintain unity, as we together discern the truth," they said.

The statement comes after Australia legalized gay marriage in 2017. While churches, religious organizations and existing ministers are not required to perform gay wedding ceremonies, ministers who are licensed after the law passed will have to perform same-sex ceremonies.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, all rights reserved.

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