Church of England Worried about Religious Liberty

With regard to the registration of civil Partnerships in religious premises, William Fittall, Secretary General of the Archbishops Council and General Synod, warned that religious groups must continue to enjoy religious liberty.

The Christian Institute reports that, responding to the Government’s consultation on the issue the Church of England says its current objective is securing religious liberty. William Fittall said that the Church’s “present objective” was to ensure that the proposals “provide unfettered freedom for each religious tradition to resolve these matters in accordance with its own convictions and its own internal procedures of governance. “For most Christian denominations as well as other faith groups the issues involved are set to remain sensitive and, to varying degrees, contested.” The Government’s own consultation document admits that the proposals could lead to litigation against churches that do not opt in. The Christian Institute has submitted its own response to the consultation warning that implementing such a system is likely to result in “legal action against churches who disagree”. The Institute warns: “The plans are not workable and fail to provide adequate safeguards. The Government is risking the religious freedom of many thousands of people by introducing a scheme for which there is so little demand.” The Institute adds: “By creating this situation the Government will effectively have taken sides on a highly controversial issue. “The consultation paper also seems to imply the plans are the ‘first step’ towards redefining marriage, a move which would be deeply unpopular with the public.” Source: