As many as 10 Anglican bishops are urging the Church of England to rethink a plan to promote transgender-affirmation events in its churches.
The British Christian radio network Premier reported the opposing bishops, led by Bishop of Wakefield Rt. Rev. Tony Robinson, are proposing a conscience clause for those who object.
WND recently reported the Church of England issued advice to churches to hold events similar to baptismal services for people announcing a gender change.
Bishop of Blackburn Rt. Rev. Julian Henderson is backing the move.
“This new guidance provides an opportunity, rooted in scripture, to enable trans people who have ‘come to Christ as the way, the truth and the life,’ to mark their transition in the presence of their church family which is the body of Christ,” he claimed.
However, in a later statement he admitted the guidance was “highly divisive and theologically and pastorally questionable.”
Britain’s Christian Institute said several senior clergy have declared they would refuse to allow such a service.
Bishop of Maidstone Rod Thomas argued the policy will cause conflicts, noting the church does not conduct same-sex weddings.
And Rev. Ian Paul, a member of the archbishop’s council, pointed out the potential harm to individual lives.
“What would it say for the church to ‘celebrate’ gender-identity change to the spouse who feels betrayed, to the children who feel abandoned, to the parent who feels bereaved – and even to those who have undergone transition and now regret the decision?” he said.
The church issued a statement insisting “there is no obligation on the clergy to offer the service.”
However, the London Telegraph reported some priests already are boycotting the plan, “as they believe baptism should be about affirming faith rather than gender identity.”
Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said, “The church should be compassionate and sensitive towards those who experience gender dysphoria, but its fundamental teaching must be based on a revealed truth and objective biology and its relation to social structure.”