Four Church of England bishops have said they support same-sex marriages, including for gay clergy. The Church of England’s stated position is that clergy cannot conduct or bless gay marriages.
In an essay, Bishop of Oxford Dr. Steven Croft, said that the Church’s position on same-sex marriages had “caused genuine hurt, disagreement and pain”, and issued a personal apology for the church’s views being “slow to change”.
Dr. Croft, is the senior most bishop in the Church to say that clergy should be able to conduct and bless same-sex marriages and gay clergymen should be allowed to marry their same-sex partners.
Three others, the bishops of Worcester, Dudley and Reading, Dr. John Inge, Martin Gorick and Olivia Graham respectively, said they support Dr. Croft’s views.
In the essay, Together in Love and Faith, said that he needs to “acknowledge the acute pain and distress of LGBTQ people in the life of the Church”. Dr. Croft said that the Church needs to address “what seems to me to be the most pressing question requiring resolution”.
The Bishop said that he had heard from LGBTQ members of the Church about the pain caused by its position on same-sex marriages. The Bishop proposed the way the institution can reconcile with opposing views on the issue within the Church of England.