The Church of England has made a formal apology for perceived mistreatment of LGBTQ people. The church recently released a report to the General Synod, its national assembly, which will meet in London next month. The report acknowledged the lived experience of some faithful Christians, but deep divisions remain. The Church of England has decided that same-sex couples will be offered a church service with prayers of dedication, thanksgiving, or for God’s blessing after they have a civil wedding or register a civil partnership.
However, in order to maintain unity in the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury will not personally use the new prayers to bless the unions of same-sex couples. This decision has been met with both praise and criticism from members of the Church.
The Church of England has a long and complex history when it comes to LGBTQ rights. Though the apology was welcomed by many, some believe the Church should have gone further in its acceptance of same-sex couples.
The Church of England is not alone in its struggle to reconcile its beliefs with modern views on same-sex relationships. Across the world, other religious institutions are also facing similar issues. In some cases, churches have been able to come to an agreement, while in others, the debate has become increasingly heated.