MPs Will Ignore 'Deluded' Church Over Gay Marriage, Says MP

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Tony Baldry said the church was 'deluded'
Tony Baldry said the church was 'deluded'

The Church of England has been warned it is is "deluding itself" if it thinks MPs will listen to its views on gay marriage now that it has voted against ordaining female bishops.

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, Tory Tony Baldry, who speaks for the church commissioners in parliament, said the Church now looked more like a "sect" than a true national body.

"I suspect that every right hon. and hon. Member has recently had representations from Church members on same-sex marriage," he said.

"If the Church of England thinks that Parliament will listen to it with considerable attention on moral issues such as same-sex marriage and so on when the Church of England seems to be so out of step on other issues of concern to Parliament, it is simply deluding itself."

Criticising the vote against women, Baldry said the Church risked irrelevance. "As a consequence of the decision by the General Synod, the Church of England no longer looks like a national Church; it simply looks like a sect, like any other sect.

He added: "If it wishes to be a national Church that reflects the nation, it has to reflect the values of the nation."

Baldry has previously spoken against gay marriage, arguing marriage "is a union between one man and one woman".

The Church of England has been a vocal opponent of government plans to introduce gay marriage, despite the plans enjoying the support of the majority of MPs.

On Friday it was reported that David Cameron planned to fast-track the legislation in order to put the controversy behind him.
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