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Bishop Michael Curry questions gay bishop spouse ban at Lambeth Conference

Mon 18 Mar 2019
By Alex Williams

Anglican bishops in the United States say they are "aggrieved and distressed" by a ban on the spouses of gay bishops from attending a major Church summit next year.

The Episcopal Church (TEC) said it was "concerned by the use of exclusion as a means of building communion" ahead of the 2020 Lambeth Conference, which is being hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who spoke at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last year, said: "I've got to be honest with you, I don't expect he [Most Rev Justin Welby] will change [his mind].

 

"But I'm willing to say that this House [the TEC's House of Bishops] really would like it to be reconsidered if there is any way that it can be."

Most TEC bishops said they intend to attend the summit, to "further the conversation around the various cultural expressions of marriage" and "reflect our understandings of marriage, as well as our commitment to the dignity of all human beings, including the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons."

 

During a meeting in Hendersonville, North Carolina they also narrowly rejected a resolution calling upon Archbishop Justin to reconsider his stance.

Conservative Anglican bishops had called for a boycott of the 2020 Lambeth Conference over concern an invitation to bishops to invite their spouses would see the partners of gay leaders "received in good standing".

 

The global Anglican body organising the event was forced to clarify its position following "misunderstanding", saying it would be "inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference."

General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon said: "The invitation process has...needed to take account of the Anglican Communion's position on marriage which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman."

 

The Anglican Communion declined to comment on Bishop Michael Curry's statement.

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