Blatantly Defying God's Word, Pastor Marries Boyfriend

Another Church of England priest chose to marry his boyfriend.
Another Church of England priest chose to marry his boyfriend. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Another Church of England priest has "married" his same-sex partner, in defiance of the church's teaching.

Rev. Paul Collier converted his civil partnership into a "marriage" in June, yet has been allowed to continue his position as a priest of St. Hugh's, in the Diocese of Southwark.

It follows several other Church of England clergy who have entered into same-sex "marriages," some of whom faced no discipline for doing so. 

Guidance bans same-sex "marriage"

A spokesman for the Diocese of Southwark confirmed that Collier had "married" his partner, and said the Bishop of Woolwich had been "in formal contact with him and acted strictly in accordance with the pastoral guidance issued by the House of Bishops in 2014 on these matters."

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The guidance issued by the House of Bishops, in February 2014, said getting married to someone of the same sex would "clearly be at variance with the teaching of the Church of England".

It goes on to say: "It would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the church's teaching in their lives." 

'Unlikely to obtain other positions in CofE'

Rev Paul Collier said: "My personal reading of the situation is I am unlikely to obtain any other positions within the Church of England." He is, however, being allowed to continue officiating in his current position.

"He disciplined the priest in confidence so we don't know what happened and even if we did we couldn't say," the spokesman for the Diocese of Southwark told Christian Today. 

'Ignored biblical teaching'

A number of clergy have entered same-sex marriages despite the church's teaching. Andrew Cain flouted the ban when he 'married' his long-term partner Stephen Foreshew in 2014.

In October 2015 he was elected to the Church of England's governing body, General Synod.

At the time, Christian Concern's Chief Executive Andrea Williams, who is also a member of Synod, issued a press statement, saying:

"Last year, Andrew Cain ignored biblical teaching and the clear instruction of the House of Bishops and entered into a same-sex "marriage."

"Andrew Cain's ongoing activism should no longer be tolerated. His actions are designed to undermine the church and her teaching on marriage. His election to General Synod cannot be allowed to stand and he should be swiftly removed from church leadership." 

Priest resigns to 'marry' partner

In July, a priest in the Diocese of Manchester resigned in order to avoid being disciplined before "marrying" his partner. Rev Clive Larsen, 60, quit his post as parish priest. A "blessing service" to mark the "marriage" was held at the church he had officiated in.

Andrea Williams said that others in defiance of the church's teaching should also resign. 

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