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Former Archbishop of Wales says it would be a 'slap in the face' if church does not consider blessing same-sex marriages

by Kelly Valencia

The former Archbishop of Wales, Most Rev John Davies, has said it would be a 'slap in the face' for gay Christian couples if the Church in Wales does not reconsider its stance on blessing same-sex marriages. 

Currently, the Church in Wales does not allow blessing or marrying same-sex couples. 

Speaking to ITV's programme Face to Face, Archbishop John said although a blessing ceremony would not go as far a wedding ceremony, the church's leadership would make a mistake if it failed to make changes to the current policy when they meet in September.

"It's an issue that's been facing the church for a very long time. And it's been facing the church because everybody's understanding of the dynamics of human relationships, human love, human sexuality, human psychology and so on have grown.

"Simply to say that because it's always been so it must never change I think is a slap in the face to an awful lot of people who see something valuable in the church, but to some extent still feel rejected by the church."

Late last year, the Church in Wales' Governing Body drafted a bill proposing to change the Book of Common Prayer to allow clergy to bless couples who had made a legal commitment through marriage or civil parentship. 

At the time, the church's leadership said: "Approval of this rite would be stating that the Church in Wales accepts that the loving and faithful commitment of two persons of the same sex, aspiring to life-long fidelity and mutual comfort, and who have made a commitment in civil partnership or marriage, is worthy of acceptance by the Church by asking God's blessing upon their commitment.

"The Bench believes that, in the fullness of time, the Governing Body will have to consider whether it wishes to consider a change in the Church's teaching concerning marriage."

They also said that no clergy member will be obliged to officiate the blessing if it went against their conscience. 

The governing body is due to meet during the first week of September.  

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