Gay vicar ‘wedding’ under fire from UK Christians

June 17th, 2008 - 12:50 am ICT by ANI  

London , June 16 (ANI): When two gay vicars, Rev Peter Cowell and Rev Dr David Lord, became the first gay couple to be married in a church, they didnt know that their entering matrimony would trigger an outrage amongst Christians in UK .

The lavish wedding ceremony at St Bartholomew the Great in central London , had a bishop ordering an inquiry when the two Anglican priests took their vows in front of a packed church on May 31.

But this holy-union is said to have broken Church of England guidelines introduced in 2004 which forbid the clergy from blessing gay partnerships.

According to the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, services like these are unauthorised and he will thus ill refer the matter to archdeacon of London for investigation.

The leadership tried to deny this would happen, but now the truth is out. Our respect for the Church of England will erode unless we see a return to traditional teaching, The Sun quoted the Most Rev Henry Orombi, the Archbishop of Uganda, as saying.

While some gay couples did get religious-type blessings from clergy earlier, but this is the first time a vicar has performed a traditional wedding ceremony. And even though the blessing was not strictly a marriage, critics claim that this ceremony was a wedding in all but name.

Rev Cowell, who serves at one of the Queens churches, had a civil partnership his partner of five years Rev Dr Lord, and this historical ceremony was presided over by parish rector Rev Dr Martin Dudley.

He said: It was not a marriage, it was a blessing. What we did was celebrate and bless a civil partnership. It was an absolutely glorious day.

It was an amazing wedding, very British and official, said one of the 300 guests at the ceremony.

Such debate over homosexual sex relationships has threatened to rip the Church of England apart.

A C of E spokesman said: The House of Bishops affirmed that clergy should not provide services of blessing for those who register a civil partnership.

Rev Benny Hazlehurst, founder of an Anglican group supporting gay rights, said: Weve been making the argument for some time for the acceptance of same sex, loving relationships. Blessing of civil partnerships can only be a good thing in that context.

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