UK bishop criticizes ‘harsh’ Church treatment of gays

UK bishop criticizes ‘harsh’ Church treatment of gays

The Bishop of Gloucester has addressed the Church’s treatment of LGBT people, apologizing for shunning them and asking the Church to be more accepting of them.


During his speech, Right Revd Michael Perham asked for ‘gracious restraint’ from the Church after offending so many LGBT Christians with their stance on same-sex marriage, the Gloucestershire Echo reports.


‘We are where we are. Same-sex marriage is here, here to stay’ he said. ‘It will fast become part of the fabric of our society.


‘The weekend of the first such marriages I wanted to rejoice with those who were rejoicing, recognising what a wonderful moment it was for them, and to weep with those who wept, recognising how for them a deeply held belief about marriage was being undermined.


‘The House of Bishops’ January statement, when the first same-sex marriages were taking place did recognise that there needed to be room for conscience, that some gay or lesbian Christians would enter such a marriage and that the Church would continue to honour and accept them as members of the body of Christ.


What it also said was that it could not extend that freedom to its authorised ministers or allow those who had contracted such a marriage to become one of its authorised ministers.


‘There were those who, taking a more conservative position, felt that the statement went too far in its accommodation to same-sex marriage.


‘But there were rather more who felt the statement struck an unnecessarily harsh and negative tone.


‘The House of Bishops, producing a statement under some pressure, underestimated how uncompromising and hurtful the statement felt to some.


‘The tone was harsh – there was not much sense of welcome to all as children of God.

‘I am sorry for that and for the hurt I know it has engendered.


‘I have tried to have pastoral conversations and correspondence with a number of people most affected by the statement.


‘My own view is that what is needed in the Church at present is gracious restraint. ‘We need a cool and calm period in which to explore the issues.


‘My hope and prayer is that the conversations, when they come, will be theological, respectful and compassionate, always remembering that every man and woman, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is made in the image of a God who loves all he has made and knows it to be good.”


Source: Gay Star News