London, England, Jan 31, 2020 / 14:04 pm
The Church of England will not be withdrawing its recent pastoral guidance affirming that sex is reserved for married, heterosexual partners, despite an apology over the statement from two of the ecclesial community's bishops.
The guidance, "Civil Partnerships – for same sex and opposite sex couples. A pastoral statement from the House of Bishops of the Church of England", was issued last month after civil partnerships were first made available to heterosexual couples.
The guidance draws a clear distinction between marriage and civil partnerships, noting that sexual relations are not proper to the latter.
"Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God's purposes for human beings," says the guidance on the issue. "The introduction of same sex marriage, through the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, has not changed the church's teaching on marriage or same sex relationships."