Church of England’s top female cleric would have ‘no problem’ blessing same-sex marriages

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The Dean of York – tipped as potentially being the first female bishop in England – has called the Church of England’s stance over equal marriage “dreadful,” saying she would have no problem blessing same-sex weddings herself.

In an interview with the Radio Times, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull said she has encouraged bishops to relax their attitudes on same-sex marriages, warning it could “cost” the Church of England a great deal.

She said: “The blessing of a gay relationship is not theologically a problem for me personally, but I’m under the discipline of the Church and I keep the rules.

“When people have come to me in the past and said, ‘We’re looking for a way of celebrating our civil partnership, how shall we do it?’, we’ve found ways of doing it.

“I think it is very costly to the Church that women have not been able to be bishops till now – and this is also going to be costly.”

She added that many people in Britain no longer “understand in their hearts” the Church’s position on gay rights.

“I’m getting approached by young people of the same gender planning their marriages.

“They understand in their heads what the Church’s position is, but they no longer understand in their hearts. It’s driving people away and that’s dreadful.”

The first Church of England priest broke ranks to marry his same-sex partner earlier this month.

The hospital chaplain, 58, was the first Church of England priest to defy church teachings to marry under same-sex marriage legislation which came into effect last month.