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International News Archive
March 07 -  March 13, 2001


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This page contains news for the period March 07, 2001 through March 13, 2001.



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Wednesday, March 7, 2001

British diocese lifts ban on church remarriages

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 November.

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."



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