Unless one is homophobic it is difficult not to be touched by such a story but the Rev. Margaret Marquardt who conducted the ceremony said in her homily that it amounted to "an act of healing for gay and lesbian people throughout the Anglican church"! In another report here she is quoted as saying said that it was an affirmation of "God's presence" in the couple's relationship, making one wonder if she was familiar with the Bible or simply chose passages to re-interpret Holy Scripture according to her will, now common practice in liberal Anglicanism.
The item in the report which I find most illuminating is the advice given by a female 'expert' which so baffled the Review Group that it is included as a separate Prologue "Living with holiness and desire". As Pilling remarks in his Forward, "One of our advisers, [the Rev Dr] Jessica Martin, challenged us to think about human sexuality more widely than most of our evidence was leading us to do. We asked her to write a paper which now forms the prologue to the report. We wanted to give others a chance to read it and reflect on it and we feared that, if we tried to integrate it into the main body of the report, much would be lost."
After her opening statement "Desire begins and ends with God", implying that its all His fault, the Rev Dr waffles on page after page implicating St Augustine of Hippo in the process before her aim is made apparent in the final sentence: "In Christ all things may be made new, every failure may be made the occasion of a generous forgiveness", or to put it another way as Pilling does, to demonstrate the unconditional acceptance and love of God in Christ for all people, ergo, same-sex blessings!
The Rev Sharon Ferguson, Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) welcomed the Pilling recommendations as "a small step of the Church of England towards greater inclusion but urges them to continue this work to enable the church to witness effectively to God’s love for all", echoing the Prologue message, God loves us, so what the hell!
Speaking on behalf of the Inclusive Church we have another female cleric, the Very Rev’d Dianna Gwilliams, Dean of Guildford Cathedral and Chair of Inclusive Church who says: "We hope that this will enable all Christians to find ways of celebrating the covenantal love between people which reflects the love of God for all people."
The House of Bishops has become incapable of coming to any conclusion without using women to do their thinking for them but only women who represent the old Eve. Women in the image of Mary, the new Eve, who gave us the Church in the Body of Christ have no say. Accordingly, even when it is absolutely clear that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others and that Christ deliberately chose men, not women, to be his Apostles, they work their way around these awkward facts by spinning a yarn about inequality which, if true, must have been what Christ intended. But He saw no inequality, only difference.
The process which gave us women deacons and priests, soon to be women bishops, is being repeated. Not quite as grand as Charles and Camilla but gay couples will be able to get married in a Registry Office before their grand Church service which will appear to be a marriage ceremony. That is a very small step from an actual marriage ceremony, just as women claimed it was only a few words separating deacons from priests.