Wednesday, March 7, 2001
British diocese lifts ban on church
A story reported by Zenit News Agency from London, stated
that the ban on divorced people marrying in church has been lifted for the first time in
an Anglican diocese.
Right Reverend Peter Forster bishop of Chester, announced the
change Monday after the Diocesan Synod voted 132-5 on Friday for a motion stating
that "there are circumstances in which divorced people might be remarried in
church in the lifetime of their former spouse."
The Chester vote, which covers Cheshire and areas of
Greater Manchester, is part of a national program to test opinion, and the other 43
dioceses are expected to follow suit. Each diocese will vote on the issue this year,
and the findings reported to the House of Bishops will go to the General Synod in
Other dioceses have voted in favor of the change, but are
waiting for the General Synod´s vote before changing official policy. Currently, no
dioceses have voted against it.
Although there are clergy in every diocese who allow
divorcees to marry in their churches, Anglican Church teaches that marriage is
"lifelong." The bishop of Chester said: "I agree with the need
for reform because at the heart of the Christian faith is a belief in forgiveness and
the possibility of new beginnings." He said he would tell his clergy to be
"properly cautious" and avoid "scandal."