Assault on biblical doctrine of marriage in CofE led by ‘vocal minority’

Calls to endorse same-sex marriage within the Church of England run contrary to the “majority view”, a member of the Archbishops’ Council has said.

In a letter to The Times, Revd Dr Ian Paul said the debate had been driven by “a small and very vocal group” who “do not believe the current doctrine of the Church”.

The Church’s bishops are expected to publish their recommendations on same-sex relationships on Friday, at they will then be debated at February’s General Synod.

Canon law

Revd Paul’s letter came in response to the claim made by fellow Anglican Sir Tony Baldry that only a small “tribe” in the Church of England “believe any same-sex relationship” is “a sin”.

Rather than being a small “tribe”, Revd Paul countered, “they are those who hold to the current doctrine of marriage of the Church of England”.

This view, he said, “has been set out repeatedly by the House of Bishops” and “is articulated in the Canons of the Church of England”.

State intervention

He also warned that “national churches that have changed their doctrine” on marriage are now “accelerating in numerical decline”.

Revd Paul cautioned against Parliament overriding the independence of the Church of England by telling it “what it must believe”.

In so doing, he concluded, the nation “will join that group of countries where the state takes precedence over religious belief and individual conscience”.


Ahead of the bishops’ decision and public statement, Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt wrote to the Bishop of Portsmouth urging him to back same-sex marriage.

In a statement yesterday, bishops indicated that churches will not be allowed to perform same-sex weddings under their recommendations, but may say prayers of blessing for same-sex civil weddings.

Also see:

CofE not sure how to define ‘woman’

Video upholding biblical view of sexual ethics reported to police as a ‘hate crime’

CofE report highlights ‘diversity’ of views on same-sex marriage

Church leaders launch declaration in defence of biblical sexual ethics