News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Bishop of Liverpool apologizes for 'offensive' asides in LGBTQ+ rights speech

by Heather Preston
Bishop-Paul-Bayes-thumb_galleryfull.jpg - Banner image

The Bishop of Liverpool has apologized for "causing offense" to those with differing views on same sex marriage, following a speech he gave calling for a 'gender neutral canon' to be brought in - a law for marriage that does not require the couple to be heterosexual. 

Speaking at the Movement of Supportive Anglicans for an Inclusive Church (MoSAIC) annual conference in June, Rt Revd Paul Bayes said the Church of England should recognize marriage between people of the same sex and allow such ceremonies to take place in church.

He spoke strongly on issues of sexuality and also said: "I am glad to be able to speak wholeheartedly for a vision of Christian community that does not stink of oppression or of hypocrisy in the nostrils of the world."

In a public apology posted on Twitter on Tuesday, Bishop Paul said he stood by his position but regretted some "passing remarks" he made during his keynote speech that "have caused offense and distress to my brothers and sisters in Christ". He has requested to have them removed from the published text.

In his original speech Bishop Paul said: "I want to see a gender-neutral marriage canon, such as they have in the Episcopal Church or in the Scottish Episcopal Church, he said. And, as a necessary but not sufficient first step, I want to see conscientious freedom for the Church's ministers and local leaders to honor, recognize, and, yes indeed, to bless same-sex unions, whether civil partnerships or civil marriages.

"I want to see an end to LGBTQ+ people hiding who they are for fear of being exposed to conversion therapy or to being forbidden to minister in churches. I want to see an end to the inquisition of ordinands about their private lives. I want to see all this before I die," he said.

He went on to say he wanted the Church of England to remain as one Church.

"I want to see the conscientious rights of conservative people preserved for them. But I don't want any longer to see the conscientious rights of progressive people, who believe the truth of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York when they ask for a radical NEW Christian inclusion, I don't want to see their consciences ignored and explained away and overridden and indeed criminalized by the power of conservative groups and people."

He added that same-sex love and the blessing of its expression had become his agenda as bishop. 

"Although I never asked for this agenda before I came to Liverpool, I am glad to have inhabited that space now. As I grow older and the arc of my own ministry draws close to its end, I am glad to be able to speak wholeheartedly for a vision of Christian community that does not stink of oppression or of hypocrisy in the nostrils of the world," he said.

Rt Revd Paul Bayes, who intends to retire as the Bishop of Liverpool in February 2022 has increasingly advocated for LGBT inclusivity in the Church in recent years.

The C of E's ruling body, the General Synod, will once again discuss issues of sexuality at an online meeting, in just under one week's time.
 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate