A first since the 2015 synod opening the possibility of blessing same-sex couples.
The United Protestant Church of France (EPUdF) celebrated this Saturday the blessing at the Protestant temple of Maguelone in Montpellier (Hérault) of the first marriage of lesbian pastors, we learned on Monday.
"We're going there little by little, there is an important symbolic dimension," Pastor Jean-François Breyne, who chaired this first blessing on Saturday, told AFP.
"There is a reality (on the question of homosexual marriage in the Protestant Church) which is in fact progressing quite rapidly", continues the pastor, delighted with "the impact" of this celebration for his "two young colleagues" .
"We celebrated it like a banal wedding"
Emeline Daudé and Agnès Kauffmann are the first lesbian pastors to have said “yes” since the United Protestant Church of France decided to expand its possibilities for liturgical accompaniment, as reported by the newspaper Le
"We celebrated it like a banal wedding, it is a step taken for the church", testifies Agnès to AFP.
"LGBT people need to see other engaged LGBT people, including in the world of religions", adds Emeline.
The two women, 31 and 33 respectively, are currently “proposers” at the start of their careers to become pastors.
"It remains a sensitive subject"
Adopted during a vote of the delegates of the national synod in Sète (Hérault) in May 2015, the possibility of blessing gay or lesbian couples, aroused opposition within the EPUdF.
“There were parishes and a few reluctant colleagues” to authorize this blessing, recalls Jean-François Breyne.
"It remains a sensitive subject," confirms Daniel Cassou, pastor and communication manager for the EPUdF.
"It took two years of maturation, maturation, dialogue, for an agreement to emerge to agree to give this authorization," he continues.
However, the 2015 synod's decision leaves a freedom of discernment, specifying that this blessing is "neither a right nor an obligation" and that it "is not imposed on any parish or pastor".
Concerning marriage, Protestant theology does not recognize a sacrament (only baptism and the Lord's Supper are recognized as such) but celebrates a blessing granted after a civil ceremony for heterosexual or homosexual people.
After the Popular Evangelical Mission, the EPUdF is the second Protestant Church in France to practice this “liturgical gesture”.
According to Daniel Cassou, around thirty Protestant churches around the world have given their authorization to bless same-sex couples.
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