A Christian presence in every community

Sexual ethics

In 2003 the Doctrine Commission published the report Being Human: A Christian understanding of personhood with reference to power, money, sex and time

There have been a number of other debates in the General Synod relating to more general aspects of human sexuality.

For instance, in November 1977, Canon Rhymes moved a private member's motion on sexual ethics about the then recently published Vatican statement on Sexual Ethics. The substantially amended motion which was carried was:

'That this Synod:

  1. feels that the time has come for a new look at the whole Christian theology of sexuality in the light of present theological and psychiatric understanding;
  2. calls upon the BSR to make a preliminary study of the principal issues involved for debate at a subsequent group of sessions of the General Synod.'

This was followed by another debate in July 1978 on a report by the BSR Humanity and Sexuality (GS 369), based largely on a paper prepared by Provost and Mrs Moss and which was seen as a preliminary study. A motion to do further work was lost. In July and November 1979 the General Synod debated a Vatican document on sexual ethics, but no motion was passed. In November 1989 a Private Member's motion in the name of Trevor Stevenson was debated and the following motion was carried:

'That this Synod expressed its support for Members of Parliament engaged in efforts to deal with the problem of decadent attitudes towards women and sexuality that are spreading and growing in our society.'

For further discussion of the use of the Bible in Sexual Ethics and the current debate on sexuality see Some Issues in Human Sexuality (Chapters 1 and 2).

In November 1998 a private member's motion in the name of Preb Horace Harper was debated and the following motion was carried:

'That this Synod commend as something to celebrate the witness of those who fulfil their Christian calling in lifelong celibacy, and honour their vocation.'

 

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