Retired cleric labeled a betrayer over marrying a man


A retired vicar was branded a ‘Judas’ by a local parishioner after he announced planning a wedding with his male partner. Under current Church of England rules, clergymen are banned from performing same-sex marriages or entering them, but Rev Philip Clements goes beyond this rule because he is already retired. The gay vicar revealed previously that he is planning to start a new life in his husband’s native Romania, after getting married in the UK on April 25 because after the retirement he can finally start his life from an empty sheet without trying to hide from himself. In a letter to the East Kent Mercury, one local compared Rev Clements to Judas. He said: “[There is an] interesting parallel, rather appropriately, leading up to Easter, between Judas Iscariot, who was with Jesus for the three years of his earthly ministry and yet misunderstood him so much. We now have the ex-vicar of Eastry, who has spent even more time in Christian service without understanding the Bible or Christianity, now trying to force the Church into his views about marrying gay clergy. I cannot see why the Church should also take any notice of him, especially as he can these days get a (secular) civil ceremony.Jesus taught us to love our neighbours and not to judge. Jesus never once commented on this particular topic. Judas did a terrible thing. I’ve never betrayed Jesus and I would never encourage people to do that.” He added: “I know that evangelical fundamentalists will say that this sort of thing… I think the Church needs to move on to understand life for many in the 21st century. My friends have accepted it and have sent us messages of support and good wishes for our new life in Romania. Those who feel negative about it, we haven’t heard from them.”


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