Interview: Ian Paul – Church of England “trying to square a circle”

Dec 2, 2023

Rev Dr Ian Paul offers crucial insights following November’s Synod, reaffirming the Church of England’s doctrine that marriage remains defined as a union between one man and one woman. For a nuanced understanding of what took place, the half-hour interview is accessible on our YouTube channel here.

Ian asks, “Do we have confidence in the teaching of Jesus?” and firmly states the impossibility of detaching doctrinal adherence from pastoral care. He critiques efforts to align the Church’s timeless doctrine with contemporary views as “trying to square a circle”.

Highlighting a longstanding issue, Ian notes that the Church has “turned a blind eye” to behaviours misaligned with its teachings. He stresses that “unity” should resonate with doctrine over institution, and that Bishops advocating prayers of blessings for same-sex unions are inadvertently fostering schism.

Concluding with a legal perspective, Ian underscores that any move by the Bishops that is “indicative of a departure from the doctrine of the Church” is bound to fail. He contends that the Church remains at the same juncture as in 2017, when the Church’s ‘Living in Love and Faith’ process began, and anticipates that the proposed changes will not withstand legal scrutiny.

C4M urges the Church of England to preserve its core teachings on marriage, reclaiming its role as a guiding force for the nation on this issue, rather than contributing to its devaluation.