He was asked by a member of the audience who is to be civilly partnered what anniversary he thought she would get to before the Church would bless their relationship. In a thoughtful and considered response he said this issue, along with the safeguarding of children, were the two issues that he “lay awake at night thinking about and have the least capacity to find a good way forward.”
He said: “I am constantly consumed with horror at the way we have treated LGBTI people and constantly consumed with an urge to find a way of changing that in the right way but I don’t know what that is yet.
“We have to find a way to love and embrace everyone who loves Jesus Christ without exception and without hesitation. But that includes those who feel same-sex relationships are deeply, deeply wrong, or live in societies that do.
“The inclusion of LGBTI people in the church is essential. We cannot pretend that inclusion from the point of view of someone from a same-sex relationship that falls short of the blessing of the Church is going to feel like inclusion. We’re conning ourselves if we think we can do less than that and it will feel like inclusion. But when you do that, if you do that, it will feel like exclusion to other people.”
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