Andrew Brown of The Guardian writes:
A second priest has defied the Church of England’s official line to marry his same sex partner. On Saturday, the Rev Andrew Cain, vicar of St James church in West Hampstead, London, posted on Facebook pictures of his wedding to Stephen Foreshew.
The wedding took place as the first priest to marry his partner, Canon Jeremy Pemberton, confirmed that he had been stripped of the permission to work as a priest in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.
…. Pemberton, a former missionary, lives in one diocese but works in another, Lincoln, where he is employed as a hospital chaplain by the NHS. No hospital trust could legally sack him for his marriage. Nor does he require the permission of the bishop of Lincoln to hold the job. He is also employed as a “lay clerk” or professional singer in Southwell Minster [cathedral] but his employment there is also protected by laws against discrimination. Despite the measures taken by the church, he can still work as a priest in Lincoln and as a church singer in Nottingham.
Savitri Hensman comments at Ekklesia “Punishing married gay clergy is Church of England own goal”
In early 2014 the College of Bishops (which includes suffragan and
other assistant as well as diocesan bishops) declared, “We are united in welcoming and affirming the presence and ministry within the Church of gay and lesbian people, both lay and ordained. We are united in acknowledging the need for the Church to repent for the homophobic attitudes it has sometimes failed to rebuke and affirming the need to
stand firmly against homophobia wherever and whenever it is to be found.”
However many LGBT people are feeling far from welcomed and affirmed. What is more, there has been no attempt by the bishops even to advise clergy in England on how to avoid promoting homophobia, for instance by praising overseas church leaders who push for LGBT people to be imprisoned.
The highly selective use of church teaching as an excuse to punish LGBT clergy who marry, which heterosexual clergy are free to do, is scandalising many in England and undermining attempts to share the good news of God’s transforming love. After this own goal, it is time for radical change
Colin Coward discusses the issue at Changing Attitude:
Jonathan Petre’s report says Bishop Richard Inwood removed Jeremy’s ‘Permission to Officiate’. The diocesan See is vacant at the moment and Richard Inwood, an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the diocese, is acting for the diocesan. Richard Inwood wrote and asked Jeremy to return his licence (in effect asking him to resign) shortly after interviewing him and after consulting John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, whose instructions Richard Inwood has followed.
Jeremy also holds a licence in the Diocese of Lincoln where he is at present a hospital chaplain and this has not been revoked. Following an interview with the Bishop of Lincoln Jeremy was given a slap on the wrist for getting married, a note being put on his file and his name sent to Lambeth Palace.
The Diocese of Southwell said it was a private matter. This is not a private matter. The action taken by Richard Inwood and John Sentamu has huge implications for lesbian and gay clergy in the Church of England, for any lesbian or gay person exploring a vocation and for every lesbian and gay ordinand. It has implications for the friends and families of these people and those whom they are already serving in parishes and chaplaincies or seek to serve in the future.