Church of England dioceses criticize proposed divorce policy

Posted: Friday, June 01, 2001

LONDON (AP) -- Nineteen of the 44 dioceses in the Church of England have objected to a proposal to standardize the policy for divorced persons remarrying in church, the independent Church Times reported.

The church's bishops will discuss the reactions this month.

Only one diocese opposed remarriage in principle, while the others disputed particulars on how permission is to be granted. Two dioceses called the plan unworkable.

The church teaches that marriage is for life and frowns on remarriage while the former spouse is alive, but local priests have been free to conduct such weddings and many do so.

A bishops' panel last year recommended allowing remarriage if ''a reasonable time'' has passed, the divorced persons are honest about the previous marriage's failure, adequate child support is provided and the new relationship did not break up the previous marriage.

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