UK: Divorced Forward in Faith Bishop Given Permission to Remarry
The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby have given the divorced chairman of Forward in Faith (UK), the Rt. Rev. Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham, permission to remarry.
Bishop Baker wrote to his clergy informing them that he has been given permission following his divorce from his wife and that he intends to marry in the spring of next year. "The marriage will be a private civil ceremony, and this will be followed by a Mass (That's high-church Anglican talk for 'looks Catholic but is not really Catholic'.) celebrated by the Bishop of London, with prayers of dedication and thanksgiving" at the Guild Church of St Dunstan-in-the-West.
(A)s the "flying bishop" for traditionalist clergy in the Diocese of London, his proposed second marriage has raised concerns from traditionalist clergy, who tell "Anglican Ink" that it they are at a loss to understand how a bishop dedicated to provide pastoral support for traditionalists can adopt a stance at odds with the position of most traditionalists -- and at odds with the public position taken by Forward in Faith on divorce and remarriage.
The national secretary of Forward in Faith at that time, the Rev. Geoffrey Kirk said its members believe that Scripture is clear in stating that divorce and remarriage are not permissible for Christians. He told the Sunday Telegraph, "The doctrine of matrimony is closely associated with ecclesiology and so it would seem utterly unacceptable that divorce and remarriage be part of the regimen of those who are called to represent and effect the unity of the Church.
Fr. Kirk, who has since joined the Anglican Ordinariate (!), stated, "Either Jesus said what he did about divorce and marriage or he didn't. If you allow yourself not to take notice of this can you then allow yourself to take notice of anything else he taught?"