LONDON — The Church of England’s governing body will debate adopting fresh commitments on homosexuality and same-sex couples when it meets later this month, it said on Friday, acknowledging that there remained “profound disagreement” on the matter.
The Church of England — central to the Anglican Communion of 85 million believers across the world — does not allow same-sex marriage, standing by its teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.
However, the centuries-old institution has been wrestling with ways to make people in the LGBTQ community feel more inclusive in its churches, and it has apologized for the “hostile and homophobic response” some had faced.
The Synod, which consists of bishops, clergy and lay members, last November narrowly voted to back special services to bless same-sex couples on a trial basis, although Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby — spiritual leader of the Anglican church — abstained from that vote.
“Synod has set a clear direction for us to move forward, but there remains profound disagreement across the Church,” Martyn Snow, the Bishop of Leicester, said in a statement ahead of the Synod meeting on Feb. 23-27 in London.
“As we move to implement what has been decided, we must also find ways to unify and reconcile these disagreements, mindful particularly of the narrow majorities in key votes,” said Snow, who has produced a paper on the new proposals.
The Synod is also due to discuss racial justice and the response of Church Commissioners — who manage the church’s 10.3-billion-pound investment portfolio — to its research into historic transatlantic slavery during the assembly.
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