Minority of bishops voted for the Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage

The Church Times Review of 2014 published on January 2, 2015 revealed that 22 bishops abstained when the House of Bishops voted on the statement of Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage at the meeting on February 13, 2014. The Pastoral Guidance was issued on 15 February 2014. One bishop voted against the statement bringing the total who did not vote in favour to 23.

There are 53 voting members of the House of Bishops. The General Synod members booklet lists 7 vacancies for January 2014. At least one bishop, Southwark, was absent from the meeting. That makes the maximum yes vote for the Pastoral Guidance 22.

Abstentions are not hidden no votes. Nevertheless a majority of bishops present failed to actively support the Pastoral Guidance.

There is a very fragile basis of support for the Pastoral Guidance in the House. There is also good reason for the deep frustration felt by many supporters of Changing Attitude as well as the widespread despair felt by others in the Church at the failure of those bishops we know to be supportive to commit themselves at moments like this.


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