The subsequent castigation came in the form of a letter to the clergy by Archbishop Driver in which he told us what had happened. The priest was told to not do this again.
In his defence said priest had told the Archbishop a number of important things:
- that this was a private occasion,
- that the service was not and did not purport to be a wedding
- that he had (in his discussion with the couple concerned) made it plain that this would not be conducting a wedding.
I feel personally saddened by this. I am on record elsewhere as saying that we should be doing what we can to encourage and strengthen commitment, meaning and love in relationships. I would have thought that a principle way we do this is by saying prayers and encouraging others to join in those prayers.
Would it not be appropriate, for example, for my friend P and I to give thanks to God for our friendship over 35 years and to pray for God's continuing blessing on us? (We are not in a gay relationship...but we are both male)