The Church of England and the Church of Sweden clashed over the issue of whether same-sex couples had the right to religious wedding ceremonies. Two high ranking bishops in the Church of England let Swedish church officials know that by granting wedding rights to gays and lesbians they were engaged in a “fundamental re-definition of the Christian doctrine of marriage and of basic Christian” thinking. The Swedish church is engaged in the process of changing wording in the marriage ceremony so that the words, “man and wife” would now become, “lawfully wedded spouses.” The Church of England has its own internal conflict over the issue of gays and lesbians, so those in positions of power do not intend to allow any church to open the door to gay and lesbian marriages.
There is no question many churches in the western world are attempting to reconcile their fundamental beliefs with the reality of cultural changes which now indicate most people accept the right of same-sex relations and marriage. Perhaps, the more fundamental issue in this conflict is whether church officials or members of the congregation decide what is Christian.