The Church of England is making a historic move by acknowledging and apologizing for the adverse treatment that the LGBTQI+ community has received in the church. '

The report includes sample prayers, known as Prayers of Love and Faith, which couples can use in churches during crucial moments in their relationships, such as civil unions or partnerships.

The church is also replacing the 1991 statement "Issues in Human Sexuality" with new pastoral guidance to assist in the discernment of vocation for clergy. This guidance cites 1 John 4:16 and emphasizes that God's love is at the center of everything and that living in love means living in God.

Church of England Approves Same-Sex Couple Blessings

According to a report in Christianity Daily, While the church's teachings on Holy Matrimony remain unchanged and same-sex couples cannot get married in a church of England church, the proposal does offer the option for a voluntary service of dedication, thanksgiving, or God's blessing for the couple following a civil partnership or marriage.

Thursday, the Church of England made the significant decision by allowing priests to bless same-sex marriages and civil partnerships while maintaining the ban on church weddings for these couples. According to ABC News, the measure, which came after five years of discussions on the church's stance on sexuality, was approved by the General Synod after a two-day meeting in London that consisted of eight hours of debate.

The measure also included an apology for the church's past failure to welcome LGBTQ individuals. However, it upheld the doctrine that marriage is between one man and a woman, preventing priests from performing same-sex marriages.

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, acknowledged that the proposal was not enough for some. Still, too much for others, and they expressed hope that the agreement would represent a step forward for all church members, including the LGBTQI+ community.

However, gay rights campaigner Jayne Ozanne expressed disappointment that conservatives had hindered the church's discussions on sexuality and that an amendment she proposed on marriage equality was rejected earlier in the week.

Also Read: Church of England Debates Adoption of Gender-Neutral Language for Referring to God 

The Church of England Faces Potential Consequences of Blessing Same-Sex Marriages

In a statement released by The Chruch of England, the members voted to "lament and repent" for the dangers that LGBTQI+ people have experienced in the church and the failure of the church to welcome them. The Synod's comments will now guide the bishops as they refine draft texts known as Prayers of Love and Faith and create a new pastoral guidance for the church on the issues of sexuality and marriage in the coming months.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, expressed their commitment to respecting the conscience of those who disagree with the change and ensuring unity within the church. The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who led the debate, expressed hope that the agreement would represent a step forward for everyone within the church.

In an article in NPR, Busola Sodeinde, a church commissioner from London with roots in Nigeria, has expressed concern over the potential consequences of the Church of England's recent decision to bless same-sex marriages.

Sodeinde believes this move could result in "racial injustice, disunity and racial segregation" among the church's parishes and warns of a possible departure of churches in Asia and Africa, where attitudes towards same-sex unions may differ significantly from those in the UK. In light of these concerns, Sodeinde has called upon the church's leaders to educate themselves on the attitudes in these regions in preparation for a potential vote on the issue in the coming summer.

Related Article: Controversy in the Church of England: Gay Couples Denied Marriage But Offered "God's Blessing" In a New Move