A homosexual priest with the Church of England has sued the denomination for allegedly denying a license to serve in public ministry, also known as permission to officiate (PTO), after he “wed” his partner last year.
Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced father of five, had tied the knot with Laurence Cunnington in April 2014, and afterwards learned that a job offer to serve as a hospital chaplain at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust was being rescinded since he had been refused PTO from a local bishop. Heretofore, he had worked as a chaplain at Lincoln County Hospital and desired additional opportunities.
“All clergy wishing to exercise a public ministry other than in senior appointments or as incumbent must be granted either permission to officiate or a licence by the diocesan bishop,” the denomination’s rules state. “Whether to give a self-supporting cleric permission to officiate or a licence as assistant curate will be, to some extent, a matter of judgement.”