Busola Sodeinde, London, a church commissioner spoke about the impact on the global church and the diaspora here in England, strongly connected with its roots: “There is an arrogance which I recognise, maybe unintended of, one time colonialism which insists that western culture is progressive while dissenting voices in Africa and everywhere else is silenced…I want to address the impending racial injustice, disunity and racial segregation in the church if we were to introduce same sex blessings without further consultation… I am worried that there may be an exodus of diverse communities from our parish churches and of having a profound impact on racial diversity which until now we have tried so hard to encourage.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury replied: “I’m generally torn by this… This isn’t something I take lightly. It’s the most painful thing I’ve ever known…. This isn’t just about listening to the rest of the world. It’s caring. Let’s just be clear on that. It’s about people who’ll die; women who’ll be raped; children who’ll be tortured. So, when we vote, we need to think of that”, then adding at the end: “We must also do right here as part of the church Catholic”.
Last week, the Archbishop met around a dozen MPs in Parliament and it was reported that he said he would rather see the Church of England lose its privileged status as the established church of the country than risk the global church fracturing over disagreements on the issue. Lambeth Palace said the conversation was “more nuanced and complex”.