Church of England leader quits Archbishops' Council over 'heretical' view on sexuality

A well known evangelical leader of the Church of England has stepped down from an executive committee to protest what she sees as a "heretical" stance on sexuality.

(REUTERS / Gareth Fuller / Pool)The new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks to the congregation during a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral, in Canterbury, southern England March 21, 2013.

Lorna Ashworth quit the Church of England's Archbishop's Council to protest what she said was a "revisionist agenda." Ashworth, who is a known opponent of same-sex marriage and female bishops, said she no longer wanted to be part of the committee's reportedly pretentious discussions, The Telegraph relayed.

"In light of this revisionist agenda and the heretical teaching that comes with it, I am no longer willing to sit around the table, pretending that we, as a governing body of the Church of England, are having legitimate conversations about mission," said Ashworth.

In addition, Ashworth said there were also others who want the Church's bishops to display "biblical leadership." She said she would still support some of those who opted to stay with the Synod, but there were also a few whom she would not.

Ashworth's resignation came a few months after the Church of England's General Synod voted in favor of condemning gay conversion therapy while considering special ceremonies for transgenders. They are currently set to discuss holding special services to accommodate same-sex couples.

Reacting to Ashworth's resignation, the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, expressed sadness over her decision. While he acknowledged that the people who elected her were convinced that she could contribute a lot to the Council, he still believed that the "Church of England will be part of God's renewal of the Christian faith in this nation."

Meanwhile, the Church of England has recently released new advice to 5,000 schools which said children ought to be able to explore gender identity without being bullied or confined to a label. The Church said Christians should not use the Bible's teachings to shame children for who they are, The Independent reported.

Moreover, the Church of England said that schools should make an effort to eradicate bullying on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. It added that it aimed to enable students to accept the differences of all people and embrace their own gender identity.