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Church of England Synod to Test Special Services to Bless Same-Sex Couples


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The General Synod, the ruling body of the Church of England, has ruled it will soon test special services of prayer and dedication asking for God's blessing on homosexual couples. 

The synod voted Nov. 15 in favor of a motion to bring forward the standalone services based on texts known as Prayers of Love and Faith. (PLF) The PLF is a collection of prayers, readings, and other resources for praying with and for a same-sex couple who love one another and who wish to give thanks for and mark that love in faith before God, the church said. 

The vote for the test program was preceded by hours of emotional debate about the church's responsibilities toward LGBTQ people, Religion News Service (RNS) reported. 

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slider img 2According to the outlet, some synod members argued the testing of standalone services was significant since it might affect the "optics" of the blessings, suggesting that they are weddings in all but name.

Support for the prayers for homosexual couples came from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell at the start of the synod's special session, according to RNS

But getting the prayers to be a permanent part of church doctrine appears to be a tougher task since it will require a two-thirds majority of the entire synod. The present motion only received 52% of the vote, the outlet reported. The vote is also non-binding on the rest of the Anglican Communion

As CBN News reported in January, the Church of England announced it will not allow gay marriages to be performed in its churches, but it will let priests bless same-sex couples who are in civil marriages. The decision followed six years of debate and consultation on the church's position on sexuality.

In the summer of 2022, bishops from Nigeria, Uganda, and Rwanda—which represent an estimated 44 million of the world's 100 million Anglicans, according to the World Christian Database—boycotted the conference to protest the presence of churches with liberal teaching and practice on homosexuality, according to The Wall Street Journal

As CBN News has reported, over the years the Church of England has made several doctrinal changes pitting the escalating global LGBT sexual agenda against the teachings of Biblical morality. It has led to friction between the church's leaders and members.  

The Church of England instituted its "Living in Love and Faith" project in 2020, described as examining identity, sexuality, relationships, and marriage within the centuries-old Anglican institution. 

Unlike the Catholic Church, the Church of England does not exercise authority over other members of the Anglican Communion.  Many Anglican churches in Africa oppose same-sex marriage because it violates scriptures on marriage found in the Bible. 

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of