This afternoon, the Church of England issued the following statement.
Statement on Nottingham Employment Tribunal
17 June 2015
“The Church of England supports gay men and women who serve as clergy in its parishes, dioceses and institutions. Jeremy Pemberton is one of many who currently serve and receive that support. The Church has no truck with homophobia and supports clergy who are in civil partnerships.
The Church of England’s doctrine on marriage is clear. The Church quite reasonably expects its clergy to honour their commitment to model and live up to the teachings of the Church. Clergy do not have the option of treating the teachings of the church as an a la carte menu and only modelling those with which they personally agree.
The Church is currently involved in a process of shared conversations about a range of issues on sexuality in regions across the country. It is regrettable that this case risks undermining that process by invoking legislation which does not even apply to this situation.”
Thinking Anglicans has further comment on the Nottingham Employment Tribunal here and here.
But the issue remains: was there an employment relationship between the Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham and Canon Pemberton? If the answer is “yes”, then the Tribunal might (or might not) find in Canon Pemberton’s favour. If the answer is “no”, then presumably the issue of constructive unfair dismissal falls away.
It’s a very sad situation which widens the schism between Church, State and the people even further, as there are very strong feelings amongst the public, one way and the other.
Satan must be rubbing his or her cloven hooves together and applauding at the widening dissention and schisms throughout our Christian Church, which is already losing support and all those numerous enemies of Christianity including ISIS must be highly delighted.
I make no judgements one way or t’other, except to express my sadness at the deterioration and impending demise of the Christian Church which, because I’m fearful of what alternatives are likely to fill the vacuum when it eventually vanishes into oblivion, which is on the cards.