The U.S. Episcopal Church Amends the Terms “Husband and Wife” To Find Favor With the LGBT Community

Very soon traditional marriage vows will be outlawed and a thing of the past as the Episcopal Church in the United States leads the way in amending the terms “husband” and “wife” from its marital liturgy compromising the standard of God to find favor with the LGBT community.

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Very soon traditional marriage vows/ceremonies will be outlawed and a thing of the past as the Episcopal Church in the United States leads the way in amending the terms “husband” and “wife” from its marital liturgy compromising the standard of God to find favor with the LGBT community. Phrases related to “procreation” will also be deleted, to not offend those who do not identify as heterosexual despite what the bible they read each Sunday says about homosexuality.
 
According to LifeSite News, the change aims to make the church’s marriage ceremonies more “gay-friendly.” Indeed, Gay and lesbian Episcopalians have been increasingly vocal in their complaints that the language of the current liturgy (the same liturgy that has been in effect for decades) is now considered offensive and exclusionary. Being a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the US Episcopal Church comes under the loose governance of the Church of England, and consequently the Archbishop of Canterbury.
According to the Telegraph, the Church of England’s Secretary General William Nye has been heavily critical of the change to such a sacred text and even threatened to cut ties with the U.S. church if it decides to introduce the new service as standard, and toss out the current wording in its Book of Common Prayer.
 
The drastic change would see the new service replace the phrase “the union of husband and wife” with “the union of two people.”Couples will still be able to opt for the most traditional “husband” and “wife” when making their vows, but this will not be included in the standardized version. In his letter, Nye urged that using the new language as standard would lead to a growing “pressure to dissociate” the Church of England from the U.S. Episcopal church, warning that conservative members would see any such change to marriage liturgy as “completely unacceptable.” Nye warned the Episcopal Church to avoid “irrevocably redefining marriage” through railroading their new liturgical language into Church proceedings.

However, many liberal members of the Church of England have voiced their support for the move, and hit back at Nye for speaking on their behalf.
 
“Thank you for leading the way on this important issue,” a group wrote in an open letter posted online.
 
“We are grateful that you have recognized that not all married couples can have children and that a gender-neutral approach will enable us to become a loving and inclusive Church for all. We still have a few problems to sort out over here with those who keep threatening to leave, but we know that your actions have given great hope to thousands and shown that the Church is not as homophobic as it can sometimes appear.  We therefore want to publicly ‘dissociate’ ourselves from Mr Nye’s initial response and are expecting ‘stringent consequences’ as a result of his actions.”
 
Another liberal faith organization affiliated with the Church of England penned a direct response to Nye following his published letter.
 
“You will be aware that your previously undisclosed letter to The Episcopal Church has been met with anger, frustration and disappointment by many across the Church of England, on whose behalf you presume to speak,” read a letter from OneBodyOneFaith, addressed to Nye.
 
In its “About Us” section, OneBody’s website reads:
 
“OneBodyOneFaith works for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual. transgender and intersex people in the Christian churches. We believe that human sexuality in all its richness is a gift of God gladly to be accepted, enjoyed and honoured as a way both of expressing and growing in love, and that it is entirely compatible with the Christian faith not only to love another person of the same sex, but to express that love fully in a personal sexual relationship.”
 
The head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, has continued to affirm the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. With that being said, Welby made some controversial remarks in a November 2017 interview in which he stated that he was unable to say whether sodomy is sinful or not.
 
“You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to. Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through,” Welby told former Labour Party spin doctor Alastair Campbell in a candid interview at GQ Magazine.
 
“I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to the question,” he added. “I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question. Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.”
 
Welby continued: 
 
“I am also aware – a view deeply held by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition — that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a woman. Or, in various times, a man and several women, if you go back to the Old Testament.  I know that the Church around the world is deeply divided on this in some places, including the Anglicans and other Churches, not just us, and we are — the vast majority of the Church is — deeply against gay sex.”
 
Welby added: “I don’t think it is sinful to say that you disagree with gay sex. But to express that by way of hatred for people is absolutely wrong in the same way as misogyny or racism is wrong.”
 

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“This is why “the church” has lost it’s credibility and effectiveness in the community. The modern day church goes with the flow of the world instead of standing for and implementing an example of holiness as God requires despite who is offended by it. The actions of the Episcopal Church in the United States and it’s supporters is a blatant mockery of Christianity and the message of Christ. There is absolutely no fear of God in today’s church- the true gospel has been watered down, and commercialized and is in the hands of perverts masquerading as church leaders. Those who claim to be true lovers of God should come out of Babylon before it’s too late!” ~ Catherine Sutton/ Winston Salem, NC

Christian Magistrate Fired for Views on Gay Adoption Loses Court Appeal

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 Former Magistrate Richard Page

A Christian magistrate who was fired from his job after he voiced belief that adopted children are better off with hetrosexual couples instead of same-sex couples has lost a court appeal against his former employer.

An employment tribunal in the United Kingdom has ruled that the Kent and Medway National Health Service Trust was justified for refusing to reinstate Richard Page, a 71-year-old non-executive director, after he was suspended for suggesting on national television that children do best when placed with a mom and dad rather than when they are adopted by a same-sex couple.  

The U.K. Christian news outlet Premier reports that Page worked for the NHS for two decades but that all changed after the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) requested that the NHS Trust Development Authority suspend Page over comments made on BBC defending his views on parenting.

Page was accused of being “biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters.” 

The U.K. Christian news outlet Premier reports that Page worked for the NHS for two decades but that all changed after the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) requested that the NHS Trust Development Authority suspend Page over comments made on BBC defending his views on parenting.

Page was accused of being “biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters.”   

According to the news outlet, a three-judge panel at the Croydon Employment Tribunal ruled that Page was removed from his position because he participated in television media appearances to defend his views on parenting. The panel maintained that Page was not removed because of his beliefs on adoption.

“I am very disappointed by this outcome but I am determined to appeal,” Page told Premier. “This case is much bigger than me now; it is about how ordinary folk, just like me, are becoming increasingly fearful to speak out against the homosexual agenda.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which advocates for Page, said the ruling “makes a mockery of the freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and the rule of law.”

“There is no real difference between suppressing dissent and suppressing an expression of dissent. To split hairs in this way makes no sense,” Williams said in a released statement.

“Judgments like this do enormous damage to people’s confidence in the administration of justice.”

As previously reported, Page worked for the courts at Maidstone and Sevenoaks for over 15 years and worked at the NHS Trust for nearly 20.

“My responsibility as a magistrate, as I saw it, was to do what I considered best for 

the child, and my feeling was therefore that it would be better if it was a man and woman who were the adopted parents,” Page told BBC in 2015.

He stepped down from a full-time role at the trust in 2012 but worked in a part-time non-executive role and was removed in March 2016.

The NHS Trust Development Authority ruled that the media appearance that Page gave last year defending his beliefs on adoption and family life “undermined” the confidence of staff. According to the Daily Mail, Page was suspended after complaints from gay and lesbian staff at the trust.

“Simply for holding a perfectly lawful view, a view that many people would hold up and down the country, this gentleman finds himself removed from public office,” Williams told Premier’s Alex Williams in an interview.

Williams explained how Page found himself in this situation.

“For expressing behind closed doors the view that children do best when raised with a mom and dad, [Page] found himself being reported by fellow magistrates for something he had said in a retiring room, which led to him being removed from the bench of the Family Magistrates Court,” Williams said.

“As a result of that publicity, a complaint came in to the NHS Kent Trust from the LGBT group within the NHS Trust complaining about his presence as a non-executive director in the Kent Trust. As a result of that complaint, he was warned and finally removed from his position as a non-executive director.”

Williams argued that what has happened to Page is equivalent to “bullying” and “harassment.”

“It’s a very chilling case and one that is vital to take further and one that is vital to appeal through the system,” she added.

“The freedom to believe, the freedom to express belief is very important and we as Christian believers have to believe that and we won’t stop until justice is done. If we are not getting justice in court, then what we want to do is reveal. We want to show that this is what is happening in Great Britain today and we are hoping and we are praying that many people will get behind Richard Page and the many others like him who are experiencing similar things.”

Written by By Samuel Smith 

Methodist Church Refuses to Hold Any Weddings until Same-Sex Marriage is Allowed

The denomination’s Book of Discipline, which governs the Methodist church, also says that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”  

An Austin church has voted to stop performing wedding ceremonies at the church until the Methodist church starts allowing same-sex weddings.

First United Methodist Church in Austin voted on Sept. 24 to temporarily stop wedding ceremonies. The congregation voted 93 percent in favor.

Taylor Fuerst, the church’s senior pastor, said he hopes the vote “will have a unifying effect on the congregation.”

“It communicates even more to our city that if you are in the LGBTQ community that you are not tolerated here, but embraced,” he said.

Currently, the Methodist church bans same-sex unions from being performed by pastors or taking place at Methodist churches. The denomination’s Book of Discipline, which governs the Methodist church, also says that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”   Congregations are not required to hold weddings.

“This vote demonstrates that our members are willing to sacrifice a position of privilege in order to stand in solidarity with those who are discriminated against,” said Davis Covin, who was on the Austin church’s discernment team. “I think this also serves as a great example to the children and youth in our church by showing that our members strive for social justice and equality for all God’s children.”

So far, 11 United Methodist churches have agreed to temporarily stop holding wedding ceremonies until the denomination lifts the ban on same-sex weddings.

[written by Amanda Casanova]

Parents Slam Transgender & Push to Remove Gender-Specific Terms [‘Penis, Vagina’] in School Sex Ed

“School taught my son that he could be in a dress next year if he felt like it,” one parent says in a video by the conservative group, urging Australians to vote ‘no’ on gay marriage.

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“Educators and sexuality education programs must … develop ways of talking about bodies and intimacy that shift attention away from the normative association of particular genders with particular anatomies,” the academics argue.  

“Importantly … the language of sperm and eggs can produce dysphoria for some young transgender people. It is entirely possible … to speak about combining the two gametes as resulting in a pregnancy, without referring to egg and sperm per se.”

Riggs has insisted that it is possible to talk about bodily parts and functions without “having to name them in a gendered way.”

“As a parent of children, I know these are difficult conversations to have with children as they involve using words that not everyone is comfortable using,” he said.

“But actually it opens up the possibility for those parents … to say ‘these things can happen’ — STIs, pregnancy — without having to get tripped up with the language.”

Separately there has been a push from some academic circles in Australia for parents to support children who question their gender identity.

The Australian Psychological Society released a guide in August, which also encourages parents to teach primary and secondary schoolchildren to support same-sex marriage.

“Another misconception is that some people worry that children will be harmed in same-sex families, and believe that children do better when they have both a mother and father. This is not true, but also irrelevant to the marriage equality debate,” the guide says, responding to opposition to gay marriage, which is currently being voted on in a postal plebiscite in the country.

The Coalition for Marriage has been warning, however, that some schools are looking to take away the rights of parents.

“School taught my son that he could be in a dress next year if he felt like it,” one parent says in a video by the conservative group, urging Australians to vote ‘no’ on gay marriage.

Another woman shared in the video that “kids in year seven are being asked to role play being in a same-sex relationship.”

Traditional marriage advocates have also warned that “when same-sex marriage passes as law overseas, this type of program becomes widespread and compulsory.”

[written by Stoyan Zaimov]

Diocese refuses to cancel pro-gay priest’s speech despite lay protests

Father Boyle said that what the Church teaches on same-sex attraction and gay “marriage” was the opposite of what God says.

GARDEN GROVE, California, October 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of California Catholics has questioned their diocese’s plan to host a dissident priest to keynote a lay ministry event.

Jesuit Father Greg Boyle is scheduled for a presentation on October 14 at the Diocese of Orange Institute for Pastoral Ministry Diocesan Ministries Celebration.

A priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Father Boyle has publicly dissented from and mocked Church teaching on homosexual “marriage,” women “priests” and worthiness to receive Holy Communion.

The Diocese of Orange expects 1,500 people to attend the daylong “Encounter, Connect, Evangelize” event at which Father Boyle will appear. It is sponsored by the diocese’s Institute for Pastoral Ministry, which trains lay ministers.

Some Catholics decided to draft a petition after expressing their concerns to the diocese and getting insufficient response. Their hope is that Bishop Kevin Vann will reconsider inviting Father Boyle to its event for catechists. Vann has served as bishop since 2012, having been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI.

The local concerned Catholics have been told by various diocesan representatives that the issue was being dealt with, that Father Boyle’s appearance had been scheduled last year, and that his topic would not be gay “marriage” or women’s ordination.

LifeSiteNews inquired with the diocese regarding Father Boyle’s appearance and received the same statement issued to the concerned local Catholics.

In the statement, the diocese admitted that Father Boyle’s comments were “indeed disturbing,” but downplayed his remarks. It said in part:

We understand that there is concern about video footage in which he appears to contradict Church teaching on women’s ordination and same-sex marriage. While this is indeed disturbing, Rev. Boyle will not be speaking on these topics. In fact, he has frequently participated in events in Orange County to promote the good work of his ministry and to inspire others in their ministries.

Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J. is a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is in good standing. He has dedicated his life to advancing the mission of Christ in our troubled world.

Father Boyle is renowned for his work with incarcerated and gang-involved individuals. 

LifeSiteNews also contacted the Los Angeles archdiocese to confirm that Father Boyle is a priest in good standing and to inquire whether it had a response to his troubling comments on gay “marriage” and women’s ordination but did not hear back.

In a 2010 interview during the debate on California’s Proposition 8 referendum banning same-sex “marriage” he criticized the U.S. Bishops’ opposition to homosexual “marriage.” He also described opposition to gay “marriage” as “demonizing people.” Father Boyle said that what the Church teaches on same-sex attraction and gay “marriage” was the opposite of what God says.

The priest stated in the interview that the Church’s teaching on women’s ordination was “shameful, “nonsense” and not “honest.” Father Boyle said those opposed to women’s ordination were “frightened that women will be ordained.”

He also mocked Church teaching on reception of the Eucharist for individuals married outside the Church in the television interview.

One of the concerned local Catholics speaking anonymously with LifeSiteNews expressed dismay that Father Boyle’s dissent from Church teaching didn’t seem to bother the diocese.

“Why do we continue to bestow these honors, awards and these high-profile platforms to folks that ridicule Church teaching?” he asked. “Why do we give them more influence and followers?”

“Innocent Catholics go in thinking these priests are going to act like priests,” he continued. “They don’t know what they actually stand for.”

Another concerned local Catholic said that even if the diocese had to scramble to secure another speaker, “it’s better than the conflict of having this guy come in and speak.”

“It’s bringing scandal to the diocese,” Ernie Alonzo told LifeSiteNews.

Alonzo questioned why a priest would make the statements he has about Church teaching on homosexuality and women’s ordination. He also questioned the rationalization that Father Boyle’s ministry work excuses his public dissent from Church teaching.

“Is he telling them (in his ministry) it’s OK to be in same-sex relationships?” Alonzo asked. “If he’s minimizing this, he’s doing grave harm. But are you going to put that (his work with gangs) above the souls?”

“There are so many good speakers,” Elsa Salcedo queried. “Why him?”

Salcedo has been a catechist for several years and used to attend the Diocese of Orange’s Diocesan Ministries Celebration. From her perspective, it’s very concerning that Father Boyle will be presenting to the large assembly of diocesan catechists.

“When you have a keynote speaker, and especially a priest, you take for granted that the priest believes in the teaching of the Catholic Church,” she told LifeSiteNews.

“That this Father Boyle doesn’t believe the Church’s teaching (on marriage and ordination) just blows me away,” Salcedo added. “You think of the idea of a faithful priest; it’s an oxymoron. I didn’t think that was even possible.”

It also begs the question of whether he is influencing those he ministers to in gangs this way, she said.

“The charity work itself can’t lead your soul to peril, but what is he teaching them?” asked Salcedo.

There is a real danger that Father Boyle’s dissent could lead unsuspecting Catholics at the catechetical event astray, she said.

“What if I start following him or buy his book?” Salcedo asked. “What if I do that, and I either know someone who’s same-sex attracted or maybe I am myself? What if I trust what he says? What if it’s someone who’s not strong in their faith?”

“I rely on a priest who’s had Holy Orders,” she stated further. “I’m sure he’s had to say that somewhere, that you believe in the Church’s teaching. That’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

The anonymous Catholic gentleman from the group said respectfully speaking up in a situation such as this is a duty for Catholics.

He recalled that Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen said it’s the laity’s mission to help priests be priests, bishops be bishops and religious be religious, and cited Canon Law 212, which says the faithful not only have the right but the duty to show concern in these matters.

“Sharing these concerns,” he told LifeSiteNews, “we’re doing this out of love for the Church and out of love for our bishop.”

[written by Lisa Bourne]