From The Church Times- AS THE first same-sex marriages loom, the C of E House of Bishops has reiterated its ban on blessings for same-sex unions. It also rules out same-sex marriage for clergy, or for anyone seeking to be ordained.
In a statement issued on Saturday (reproduced in full below), the Archbishops of Canterbury and York write: "We seek to model a distinctive and generous witness to Jesus Christ in our pastoral guidance to the Church at this time." In response to the "new reality" of same-sex marriage, the statement appends the results of a discussion in the House of Bishops meeting held last Thursday.
The Bishops' ruling follows the stance it took throughout the Parliamentary debates that led to the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which comes into force in March. No same-sex weddings will be permitted in C of E churches, unless, at some future date, the whole Church opts in.
By the time Bishop Jonathan Ruhumuliza decided to tell the world what was going on in Rwanda, the mass graves of the 1994 genocide were already overflowing.
The Hutu extremist regime that seized power two months earlier had unleashed the notorious militia, the interahamwe, and the army in a systematic attempt to exterminate the country's Tutsi population. The rate of killing was astonishing – 800,000 Tutsis slaughtered in 100 days – as the prime minister and members of his government toured the country egging the murderers on. Even priests were among the killers as churches were turned into killing centres.
But this is not what Ruhumuliza, then a bishop in Rwanda's Anglican church and now a Church of England priest in a Worcestershire village, told the world at the height of the genocide. In letters to foreign churches and a press conference before a tour to Europe and North America, he called the murderous government "peace loving", claimed it was working hard to stop the killings that it was actually organising, and falsely blamed a rebel army for the massacres.