Catholic Church defends buying bungalow for Cardinal Keith O’Brien

Cardinal O’Brien refused to answer questions Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics ChurchScotlandCatholic ChurchcatholicsRoman Catholic ChurchCardinal Keith O’Briencardinal o’brienCardinal Share on WhatsApp 14 reader comments

A Scottish cardinal who preached against gay relationships but then admitted to “inappropriate behaviour” with male priests is living out retirement in a bungalow paid for by the Catholic Church.

It had previously been thought Cardinal Keith O’Brien was living in a monastery in England for “spiritual renewal and penance” after admitting he had “fallen beneath the standards” expected of him.

But the Daily Record reports he’s actually staying in a

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Married gay canon: Church of England’s punishments are inconsistent and unfair

Canon Jeremy Pemberton has said the church’s treatment is inconsistent and unfair Share on WhatsApp 12 reader comments

The first gay clergy to marry in the UK has said that the Church’s treatment of him is inconsistent and unfair.

Hospital chaplain Jeremy Pemberton married his same-sex partner in April despite the Church banning gay clergy from doing so.

He was later stripped of his Permission to Officiate by the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Richard Inwood, preventing him from taking up another NHS job, but has not had a formal diciplinary procedure..

He told the BBC today: “I think I have been treated inconsistently and don’t think I have been treated fairly in that I have not been put through a disciplinary process.

“Penalties have just been imposed on me by the bishops out of the air and there isn’t any recourse.

“If they really thought I had done something very bad they could have started a procedure against me… but that hasn’t happened.”

“I knew it was going to be controversial but we had planned our wedding several months before the bishop’s pastoral guidance came out.

“In the end we thought to go ahead with what we think is the right thing to do.

“It was a careful, conscientious decision of two people that loved each other and wanted to commit to each other for life.

“We wanted to take up the right that we have now to be married like any other couple.”

Pemberton said earlier this week that he was considering taking up legal action against the Church, after he was subsequently unable to take up another job at the NHS, as he was declined the correct licences.

In addition to Pemberton, London vicar Andrew Cain says he

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Pastor who preaches that ‘being gay is a choice’ opens church in Kent

The church teaches that homosexuality is a choice Share on WhatsApp 6 reader comments

A controversial church movement which denounces homosexuality as a “sinful impulse” has opened in Sevenoaks, Kent.

The Redeemed Christian Church of God, which was founded in Nigeria in 1952, helds its first service in Sevenoaks’ Town Council offices on Sunday, led by pastor Tinuola Adeyemi.

The 47-year-old pastor, who described the church as “happy-clappy” and who is adamant that being gay is “a choice”, said she was surprised at the frosty reception she got when giving out promotional leaflets, the Sevenoaks Chronicle reports.

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UK: United Reform Church fails to pass same-sex marriage

The United Reform Church has failed to pass same-sex marriage Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics GayReligionChurchvoteAssemblyblockpassfailURCUnited Reform Church Share on WhatsApp 10 reader comments

The United Reform Church has failed to become the first mainstream church in the UK to permit same-sex weddings, delaying a decision until next year.

The United Reform Church – which has around 68,000 members in 1500 congregations across the UK – was discussing a proposal in its General Assembly to allow same-sex wedding ceremonies in churches.

According to last year’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, churches must opt in to providing same-sex marriage ceremonies, while the Church of England and the Church of Wales are both legally barred from doing so.

Earlier this week the URC’s 300 delegates discussed the issue and expressed broad support, though a vocal minority strongly opposed to the ceremonies, and insisted the church should not endorse “redefining marriage”.

It a vote had been held on the issue it would likely have passed the Assembly, but the church used rules requiring “full consensus” to block a majority ruling.

In a statement today, the URC said: “A clear majority of members of Assembly expressed the view that local congregations should be permitted to offer same-sex marriage to those who seek that opportunity.

“However, because our decision-making process is based on the seeking of full consensus, Assembly was unable to reach agreement.

“Assembly therefore resolves to pursue this discussion in the most constructive and consultative way that it can, as follows:

“(1) to invite synods and local congregations (a) to reflect on the report of the Facilitation Group, (b) to discuss whether they would wish a future meeting of the Assembly to authorise local church meetings to offer same-sex marriage services, and (c) to report their views to the General Secretary by 31st March 2015.

“(2) to authorise the officers of Assembly to furnish these discussions with appropriate resources, including an offer of the support of facilitators.”

If it had passed same-sex marriage, the United Reform Church would have joined the ranks of the Quakers and the Unitarian Church, who have already approved same-sex marriage.

During the discussion, Reverend Fiona Bennett of the Augustine United Church in Edinburgh, had said: “I am asking for grace. By allowing churches to opt in, we create space for diversity to hold our unity.”

However, David Thompson – a former moderator of the URC General Assembly – urged for the church to take time to develop a way of proceeding, claiming that the “fullest attempts” should be made to “discover the mind of other councils and churches likely to be affected.”

A transgender delegate said: “If we draw distinctions between same sex and opposite sex marriages we risk outing people, judging people on their genitalia rather than their hearts, souls and minds.

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US: Kentucky Baptist church to host same-sex wedding

Highland Baptist Church will host a same-sex wedding Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

A Kentucky Baptist church has made plans to host its first same-sex wedding, despite the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has announced that same-sex couple David Bannister Jr and Steven Carr, 29 and 25, will marry in the church next May.

The Southern Baptist Convention – the largest Baptist convention in the US – is militantly opposed to same-sex marriage ceremonies, but Highland broke away from the group nearly 20 years ago.

Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down this week, but a stay was granted, putting it back in place pending appeal.

It is possible that the case will have resolved by the May 2015 date for the wedding, but if not, the marriage could be unrecognised.

Sam Marcosson, a law professor at the University of Louisville, said the move “may influence the debate” on the issue.

Pastor Joe Phelps (no relation) said: “It takes courage to step out into the unknown. It’s taking us courage to be one of the first churches to do this.

“There are a very small number in the church who are upset, and to their credit, they have stayed with the church through all of this.”

He added that when he arrived at the church in 1997, it operated a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy regarding homosexuality.

He said: “Inch by inch, it sort of begins to dawn on us. Over time, we’ve come to the realization that led us to today.”

The church appointed its first gay minister, Reverend Maurice “Bojangles” Blanchard, in 2012.

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Priest calls on Church of England to marry gay couples

The Church of England remains opposed to equal marriage Share on WhatsApp 2 reader comments

A priest in Worcester has questioned why the Church of England opposes same-sex marriage and says “nothing short of equality is equality.”

Reverend Canon David Rogers, associate priest for the parish of St Martin with St Peter, believes civil partnerships lack “the rich tradition of marriage”.

Writing in a parish magazine, the Ludlow Advertiser reports Canon Rogers said: “For a while I questioned whether gay marriage was the right thing. Was marriage a uniquely heterosexual institution, and was something different needed for gays? But what do you call the

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