In the UK, the parishioner called “Judas” the priest who ceased to serve, after he announced the upcoming wedding with a man.
According to the current rules of the Anglican Church, priests are forbidden to conduct wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples and enter into same-sex marriage. But 78-year-old Philip Clements, a former parish priest in Istria, Kent, plans to marry his partner Florin Marin against the prohibition.
Philip Clements announced that he wants to celebrate a wedding in the UK on April 25 and start a new life in Romania, in the homeland of his husband.
He explained: “Only after stopping the church service, I decided to be myself. It would be unnatural to continue denying my nature”.
In an open letter, published in the newspaper East Kent Mercury, one of the local residents compared the Rev. Clements with Judas.
“There is an interesting parallel that is so noticeable at Easter, look at Judas Iscariot, who was with Jesus for three years during his earthly ministry, but did not understand his teacher at all,” wrote the angry parishioner. “And now look at the former vicar of Istria, who devoted much more time to the ministry of the Church, also didn’t understand the Bible and the Christian teaching, and tried to impose his opinion on the Church about same-sex marriages for the clergy”.
On the website of the same publication, the vicar replied:
“Jesus taught us to love our neighbor and bequeathed: do not judge and you will not be judged, and he did not say a word about same-sex marriages”. Judas did a terrible thing, I never betrayed Jesus, and I will never push others to do it”.
Also, the couple attracted the attention of the press due to the fact that Martin is only 24 years old, and he is half a century younger than his partner. But Martin says that they have a sincere relationship with Philip: “All my friends know that I like men of age – they have more life experience”.
Many of the priests of the Anglican Church have already spoken out against the ban on same-sex marriages, which were hurriedly accepted by Church before the law on the equality of marriage came into force in England and Wales.