Briefly noted

The (Lutheran) Church of Sweden has agreed to establish a blessing in churches for same-sex couples who have signed a civil partnership agreement. The decision came at an October 27 meeting of the denomination’s Church Assembly. Though Sweden does not permit same-sex marriage, it recognizes civil partnerships, in which couples enjoy many, but not all, of the rights of a civil marriage. Until now same-sex couples who wanted a church blessing needed to celebrate the ceremony outside church buildings. The ceremony will now become a formal part of church regulations that will be rewritten to replace the word “marriage” with “marriage and actions of blessing.” Opponents of the measure argued that it is not consistent with the biblical view of marriage and could jeopardize interchurch links. However, all 13 bishops of the Church of Sweden supported the proposal.


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