A group within the Church of England has called on the Church’s bishops to match the boldness of Roman Catholic bishops in speaking out against plans to redefine marriage.
Revd Rod Thomas, chairman of Reform, praised Roman Catholic bishops who have spoken in support of marriage, and encouraged their Anglican counterparts to do likewise.
He said: “Many of our bishops support the Bible’s teaching on marriage. Well now we want to hear them say so publicly, loud and clear.”
Revd Thomas described the current situation as “a generation-defining moment”.
He added: “Our churches, our communities and especially our children need us to provide both clarity and compassion in this age of confusion surrounding sexual identity and relationships.”
Revd Thomas, speaking at Reform’s annual conference earlier this week, warned clergy that they need to take “urgent and significant steps” to speak out in support of traditional marriage.
The Westminster Government will begin consulting next year on how, not if, redefining marriage should go ahead. The Scottish Government is currently holding a consultation on whether to redefine marriage.
But Peter Smith, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, has said: “Marriage by its very nature is between a man and a woman and it is the essential foundation of family life.
“The state should uphold this common understanding of marriage rather than attempting to change its meaning.”
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the RC Church in Scotland, has said: “The view of the Church is clear, no government can rewrite human nature; the family and marriage existed before the state and are built on the union between a man and a woman.
“Any attempt to redefine marriage is a direct attack on a foundational building block of society and will be strenuously opposed.”
Mario Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow, has written to every RC parish in the country saying the Scottish Government does not have a mandate to “reconstruct society on ideological grounds”.