Two Recent Reports on Archbishop Welby’s views, a Tweet and a Radio Interview:
The Archbishop of Canterbury voiced opposition to same-sex couples adopting children and insisted that the Bible is “clear” that gay couples should not have sex, previously unpublished writings show.
Now, I know anyone in public life is not allowed to have been a child or to have grown or changed. I realise that my own archive of parish magazine articles, etc. might be found to contain expressions that might embarrass me now. This is what happens to human beings as they grow up.
The bizarre thing is that anyone thinks this is anything other than story-creation. The Archbishop might or might not hold to views held or expressed in the past. I have no idea, and he can speak for himself. But, the notion that he should now be entirely consistent with what he said or thought or wrote twenty, ten or five years ago is utter nonsense. It simply suggests that he should never have grown up.
What matters is what he thinks now. The journey there might also be interesting. But, the fact that he might have said things or thought things in the past matters little”¦ except, of course, to those looking for contradictions
Good blog (as ever) by Bishop of Bradford, unrequested by me.
Iain Dale: You said once that you’re always averse to the language of exclusion and what we’re called to do is love in the same way as Jesus Christ loves us, how do you reconcile that with the church’s attitude on gay marriage?
Justin Welby: I think that the problem with the gay marriage proposals is that they don’t actually include people equally, it’s called equal marriage, but the proposals in the Bill don’t do that. I think that where there is”¦ I mean I know plenty of gay couples whose relationships are an example to plenty of other people and that’s something that’s very important, I’m not saying that gay relationships are in some way”¦ you know that the love that there is is less than the love there is between straight couples, that would be a completely absurd thing to say. And civil partnership is a pretty”¦ I understand why people want that to be strengthened and made more dignified, somehow more honourable in a good way. It’s not the same as marriage”¦
Iain Dale: But if it could be made to work in a way that’s acceptable to the church you would be open to discussions on that?
Justin Welby: We are always open to discussions, we’ve been open to discussion, we’re discussing at the moment. The historic teaching of the church around the world, and this is where I remember that I’ve got 80 million people round the world who are Anglicans, not just the one million in this country, has been that marriage in the traditional sense is between a man and woman for life. And it’s such a radical change to change that.
I think we need to find ways of affirming the value of the love that is in other relationships without taking away from the value of marriage as an institution.
[Audio by subscription here March 11th]