Marriage and/or Holy Matrimony?
On 6 July 2023, In a guest post, HH Peter Collier KC looked critically at the controversy between the treatment of the institution of Holy Matrimony and the institution of civil marriage as distinct realities. He concluded:
“The [marriage] contracts have some similarities but there are significant differences, and one of them, in our current understanding, is that the Church of England’s marriage contract can only be between a man and a woman. Whether we choose to refer to that as “Holy Matrimony” or simply as “marriage according to the law, rights and ceremonies of the Church of England” really does not matter. Parliament has recognised that there is a difference, the confusion comes as bishops and judges said would happen when we call different things by the same name.”
Following its deliberations on same-sex marriage in 2017, the Scottish Episcopal Church revised its Canon 31, which now reads:
“In the light of the fact that there are differing understandings of the nature of marriage in this Church, no cleric of this Church shall be obliged to conduct any marriage against their conscience. Any marriage which is to be conducted by a cleric shall be…