ABC Interview: Gay Marriage could mean Murder of Christians

Archbishop: Gay Marriage Could Mean Murder Of Christians

    • Friday 4th April 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told LBC that the Church of England embracing same sex marriage could lead to the persecution and murder of Christians elsewhere in the world.

Reverend Justin Welby made history by being the first Archbishop of Canterbury to take calls from the public in an hour long appearance on LBC.

One of the calls he recieved was from Kes in Charlton, a member of the clergy herself, who urged Reverend Welby to allow members of the church to be left to their own conscience on the subject of gay marriage and carry out ceremonies.

“What we say here is heard around the world,” the Archbishop, who had earlier revealed that the average Church of England worshipper is a sub-Saharan African woman in her 30s, responded.

“Well, why can’t we just do it now? Because, the impact of that on Christians in countries far from here, like South Sudan, like Nigeria and other places, would be absolutely catastrophic, and we have to love them as much as we love the people who are here.

“At the same time, we have to listen incredibly carefully to the LGBT communities here, and listen to what they’re saying, and we have to look at the tradition of the church, and the teaching of the church, and the teaching of scripture, which is definitive in the end, before we come to a conclusion.

“But, we’re not in a position just to suddenly say, okay our position in this country has changed, we are one of the great international groups that there is in this world, we are massively majority not in England.”

The Revered Justin Welby admitted that he had recently visited a grave in Africa of Christians who had been attacked and killed because of something that had happened in America.

However he also admitted that the suffering of gay people, especially teenagers, is of particular concern to him.

“It’s something I wrestle with every day, and often in the middle of the night. I’m incredibly conscious of the position of gay people in this country, how badly they’ve been treated over the years, how badly the church has behaved. And, at the same time I’m incredibly conscious of what I saw in January in the South Sudan in the DRC and other places, you know, it’s not a simple issue,” he continued.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that he had been warned while on his visit to South Sudan that the Church of England accepting gay marriage could lead to some communities believing having Christians among them could make them gay and reacting by murdering the Christians.

“The mass grave had 369 bodies in it and I was standing with the relatives. That burns itself into your soul, as does the suffering of gay people in this country.”

– Watch the Archbishop of Canterbury on LBC in full 


This broadcast interview on LBC shows the Archbishop of Canterbury, ++Justin Welby, defending the stance of the Church of England – against Same-Sex Marriage – as being in defence of African Christians, whom he is afraid would be murdered in African countries, if the Church of England were to agree to Bless Same-Sex Marriages.

I offer no comment on this – except to say that, I think the Church of England has to be responsible for its own polity, rather that the polity of other Churches that are militating against bringing justice to all people in their Churches.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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7 Responses to ABC Interview: Gay Marriage could mean Murder of Christians

  1. murraysmallbone says:

    The comments by the ABC on what he sees as possible outcomes of Same Sex Marriage now being legalised in England are what I would call “A Living in the Grey Shadows” comments.
    Our present ABC just cannot rejoice that a great cultural gear change has occurred for the better The church has just last week-end celebrated “Gaudete Sunday”;how appropriate that the first gay weddings in England were celebrated that week-end.
    One does tire of an ABC wittering on about the sufferings of homosexuals,when it could have been in his capacity to also rejoice,instead of standing on the sidelines and making doom laden comments.
    The church is the Suffering Christ and always will be until He comes again.In the meantime Our Lord would have us celebrate “Gladness”.
    Surely Our Lord would have us come out of the shadows and live life abundantly.Yes, there will be suffering,but that is precisely why we have faith in Christ.Perhaps our ABC could focus on being a bishop rather than some roving U.N. policeman in the same vein of blaming the U.K.’s winter storms because parliament legalised something which the un-loving did not like.

    Jesus mercy. Mary pray

  2. kiwianglo says:

    Thank you, Murray. Gaudete indeed!
    Our Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Polynesia goes through the very same crisis at its General Synod in May this year. The “Ma Whea?” (“Where To?”) Commission has just released its report on the ‘Anglican Taonga’ website here. Only 1 of its possible 10 recommendations will really meet the justice needs of our LGBT community. Section E. (see Thinking Anglicans website).

    Agape, Fr. Ron

  3. davidearle says:

    The argument that a positive change in the policy of the CoE cannot be made because it might have dire negative repercussions in other countries is both paralyzing and patronising.
    Yes I do recognise the dreadful reality of being Christian in parts of Africa. But those realities will continue irrespective of what course the CoE or the American churches take.
    If every policy change has to be weighed against the criteria of “how will this affect the churches in Africa” then nothing would ever change.
    And there is a mighty hubris in the continuing assumption here of the CoE as ‘mother church’ and therefore must still set the global example of civilisation.
    As you say, we need to seek justice first for in our own societies while standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world. Difficult as that is.

    • davidearle says:

      I was just thinking more about this position from the Archbishop and it really pisses me off to be absolutely blunt.
      On the one hand, London is sitting in the dust of the Sub-Sahara. And instead of fretting about ‘what will they think in Africa’ we (the global communion) are so totally and pathetically silent on the climate change. If we want to make a real difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters and Africa and elsewhere, lets face up to our real sin of environmental destruction – not imagined sins of who is sharing whose bed tonight.
      On the other hand, who recognises the thousands of unmarked graves of LBGT suicides. The children of God who were told by our own church that there is no room for them and no love for them unless they were willing to betray who they were. When do these martyrs get heard?

      • kiwianglo says:

        You are absolutely right, David, on this particular issue – of Climate change – which is fundamentally more important to be addressed at this time in our history. Rather than fussing about the ‘problem’ of Gay relationships (which should be fotsred rather than denied), the Church has more important issues to address.

      • murraysmallbone says:

        I was delighted to read davidearle’s comments;right on the button!
        It does seem that our present ABC does have an Empire view of the role of the CofE globally.
        I feel the real truth of the ABC’s assumed moral responsibility for effects on the churches in Africa is in a reality a gripe that the U.K parliament passed the Same Sex Marriage Act;and that fact sticks in his throat.
        The ABC will continue to be seen in an unfavourable light by the LGBT community,if he continues to make protests along current lines as in his recent radio interview;he surely will have enough to do in the CofE without politicking at the global level.
        Assuming a moral responsibility for the wrecked and ended lives of LGBT people here in England would be a more commendable route.
        The Church itself needs a public act of repentance for its role in fuelling homophobia.

        Jesu mercy. Mary pray.

  4. kiwianglo says:

    Thank you, Murray. My thoughts exactly.

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