- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Church of England on Monday issued pastoral guidance to its clergy calling for its ministers to affirm the gender identity of its transgender parishioners, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The Anglican Church “welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people, equally with all people, within the body of Christ, and rejoices in the diversity of that body into which all Christians have been baptized by one Spirit,” according to the document approved by the church’s House of Bishops, BBC reported.

While transgender parishioners are not to be re-baptized under their chosen names, they may take part in a liturgical rite where the presiding priest refers to the worshiper by his or her chosen name, the BBC said.

According to the Church of England’s official website, the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith is a rite of affirmation within the worship liturgy whereby a priest lays his or her hands on individual parishioners and addresses them by name, blessing them by saying, “may God renew his life within you that you may confess his name this day and for ever.”

“For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service,” the House of Bishops document said, the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

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