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Church of England Apologizes for Saying Only Married Heterosexuals Should Have Sex


ABOVE: Conservative commentator Todd Starnes appeared on the Friday afternoon edition of CBN's Newswatch to talk about the recent apology by archbishops of Canterbury and York after the Church of England announced biblical guidelines for sexuality which said only heterosexual married couples should have sex. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel.  For a programming schedule, click here.

The archbishops of Canterbury and York have apologized after the Church of England (CofE) recently announced biblical guidelines for sexuality that said only heterosexual married couples should have sex.

The Belfast Telegraph reports pastoral guidance was issued to CofE clergy last week after a change in UK law that allows straight couples to get married in a civil ceremony instead of a traditional marriage ceremony usually officiated by a parish priest or pastor.

The church's statement released last week said: 

    "With opposite sex civil partnerships, and with those for same-sex couples, the church's teaching on sexual ethics remains unchanged.

    For Christians, marriage, that is the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows, remains the proper context for sexual activity.

    In its approach to civil partnerships the Church seeks to uphold that standard, to affirm the value of committed, sexually abstinent friendships and to minister sensitively and pastorally to those Christians who conscientiously decide to order their lives differently."

The House of Bishops also released a pastoral statement, adding, "Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God's purposes for human beings."

The archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu apologized for issuing the guidance. 

"We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologize and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardized trust," Welby and Sentamu said in a statement.

"We are very sorry and recognize the division and hurt this has caused," they said. 

As society's views have become more liberal, the church has struggled with how it addresses LGBT rights.

The Telegraph reports the CofE is conducting a "major study" on human sexuality which is to be published later this year.

Welby and Sentamu said they were committed to the study called Living in Love and Faith.

The CofE allows clergy to be in homosexual civil partnerships if they are sexually abstinent.

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