ABC Comments on Same-Sex Marriage in the U.K.

Archbishop of Canterbury claims he’s powerless to bless gay marriages because it would create split in global Anglican Church

  • Most Rev Justin Welby said it was ‘impossible’ for some worshippers in Africa to support homosexuality
  • He said the Church, which has 77 million followers globally, must not take a step that would cut these groups off
  • ‘I do believe passionately that unity is something we have to maintain’, he says

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (pictured in Kent on Friday) has suggested he cannot allow the blessing of gay marriages because it would split the global Anglican Church

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (pictured in Kent on Friday) has suggested he cannot allow the blessing of gay marriages because it would split the global Anglican Church

The Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested that he cannot allow the blessing of gay marriages because it would split the global Anglican Church.

Although sympathetic to calls for the Church to honour same-sex relationships in public, the Most Rev Justin Welby said it was ‘impossible’ for some worshippers in Africa to support homosexuality.

Speaking after the introduction last month of gay marriage in England and Wales by the Government, the Archbishop said that the Church, which has 77 million followers globally, must not take a step that would cut these groups off.

‘I do believe passionately that unity is something we have to maintain,’ he told The Daily Telegraph as the Church embarks on a consultation into the introduction of informal blessing-like services.

‘I may be wrong, but I also believe that to take a step that means that people who desperately need our help – and who we can help – can’t take it, feel in their own culture that it is impossible to be helped by us, is something that we can’t easily do.’

He said the Church must listen to the world’s ‘victims of oppression and poverty’ who ‘find that issue an almost impossible one to deal with’.

He added: ‘How do you hold those two things [in balance] and do what is right and just by all?’

The Archbishop said he visited the scene of a massacre of Christians in South Sudan and had been told by religious leaders that they would not accept the Anglican Church’s help in future if blessings of gay marriage were allowed.

The Archbishop insisted he was not giving into ‘moral blackmail’ but could not easily take a decision that would cause further deep rifts within the Church. But the Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt Rev Alan Wilson, said it was ‘wrong’ to relate gay marriage in the West to ‘warlords and people who practise genocide in central Africa’.

Although sympathetic to calls for the Church to honour same-sex relationships in public, the Most Rev Justin Welby said it was 'impossible' for some worshippers in Africa to support homosexuality

Although sympathetic to calls for the Church to honour same-sex relationships in public, the Most Rev Justin Welby said it was ‘impossible’ for some worshippers in Africa to support homosexuality

________________________________________________________________

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, leads the Easter Service in Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, on 20 April 2014

Picture: The Archbishop of Canterbury giving a Solemn Blessing at Canterbury Cathedral In this article from the Daily Mail in the U.K., we are treated to another re-run of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s equivalence of any Church Blessing of Gay Marriage in England with the murder of Christians in Africa. Despite criticism from many quarters in the U.K. about this assertion that; for the Church of England to add any form of blessing to legal Same-Sex Marriages would cause grave danger to members of the Anglican Church in, for instance, the Sudan; the ABC still insists on making this consequentialism, which seems to lack credibility. Same-Sex Marriage is already happening in the U.K. and there have been no reports of mass murder in Africa as a direct result of that legislation. Homosexuals , including Christians, are being killed in Africa already because of stringent local laws against them in countries like Uganda, Nigeria and Sudan; so what worse plight could face Christians in those countries where homophobia is rife? Instead of tackling the problem of homophobia in former colonial Anglican Churches on the African Continent, it seems that the Church of England is more intent on making an excuse for the sad continuance of homophobia at home. Here, also, is a quote from a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord George Carey, linked in the same article from the mail, comparing his own marriage with with that of the later Sir Winston Churchill, as paradigms of Christian virtue: “My wife and I are fast catching up Winston and Clementine, with nearly 54 years on the clock. We, too, need no convincing that marriage is the absolute heart of human love and the building block of society. In saying this, I am not condemning other forms of family life, but I am firmly convinced that marriage is the best and most stable of all.” Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2608159/The-fact-marriage-treated-shabbily-todays-politicians-says-LORD-CAREY.html#ixzz2zQ85xTxm   On this premise alone, surely Lord Carey might concede that for Same-Sex Couples to enter into a monogamous, faithful, and life-long commitment to one another in Marriage – similar to that of heterosexual couples – rather than evade commitment to the bond of marriage, would be preferable, especially when the concept of marriage seems not to be considered as necessary nowadays for a stable relationship in today’s world by every co-habiting heterosexual couple. Same-Sex Marriage in such circumstances might rather be an encouragement, rather than a discouragement, for similar heterosexual commitment to marriage. Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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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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4 Responses to ABC Comments on Same-Sex Marriage in the U.K.

  1. murraysmallbone says:

    I for one now tune out when Justin Welby speaks, and pray even harder for LGBT persons and all persons flung to the margins,sadly by the Church.
    His use of the word”impossible” has a caustic hardness to it.
    As to the Bishops’ authority being challenged by the recent marriage of Canon Pemberton; it is not the first time the Bishops’ authority has been challenged. Tractarians in the 19th century constantly irritated bishops, especially when Priests began celebrating Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.Our Lord is always at the door, but it us who must open it..Joyfully the Tractarians and successors enriched peoples’ lives and enriched the Church.
    In all of this debate,;It occurs to me that homophobia in all its guises is actually a form of theft and robbery,perhaps even more heinous than theft of material things.If by thought ,word or deed we deny another of their wholeness of selfhood, we act against God himself as a betrayal of Life itself.It is mindful to remember harbouring ill-will to others in whatever form is harmful to the soul.If we put barriers within ourselves, we hinder the reception of grace and are unable to nurture our Life in Christ.
    Judas is in all of us,if we turn not to God’s Mercy.

    Jesu Mercy. Mary pray

    • kiwianglo says:

      You’ll be interested to know, Murray, that we in far-off New Zealand have been celebrating the adoration of Christ at Evensong and Benediction on a weekly basis for a long time now. It is still my privilege, in old age, to regularly preside at this occasion of pure devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday Evenings at St. Michael and All Angels in Christchurch. His presence is perpetually with us in the Reserved Sacrament of His Body and Blood – restored again after the Easter Vigil. “Praised, Blessed and Hallowed be Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar”.

  2. davidearle says:

    There are people in the Anglican church who I find it impossible to agree with. For example those who claim that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. But I still respect them and sit beside them in faith. I certainly wouldn’t want this to be an issue that would end up dividing the church. I wouldn’t want them to leave the church and I would not leave the church because of them. We are happy to agree to disagree.
    So somehow, we can live with radically different ideas about scripture but not cope with agreeing to differ on what is an acceptable life-long relationship.
    How can we have so much grace on a core concept of our faith and so little on this matter.

    • kiwianglo says:

      David, there are quite a number of people in ACANZP who are in agreement with your position.(including me) – agreeing to disagree on certain matters of Scriptural interpretation, but not wanting to withdraw from the fellowship of the Church.

      Dissidence and schism arises when irritated members of the Sola Scriptura school of theology decide that their beliefs and ‘ours’ are totally incompatible, requiring them to separate out on a radical self-cleansing’ exercise – which they see as necessary for them to be able to proclaim their exercise of moral superiority.

      What some of us see as matters of adiaphora – like Same-Sex Blessings and the Ordination of Women – they seem to regard as basic to their understanding of Scripture, as incontestable, imperative, and touching upon salvation and redemption.

      I, personally, see the Gospel of OLJC as permanently welcoming of sinners who can acknowledge their need of God’s grace to survive – a sort of ethos which someone once eloquently described as “One sinner showing another sinner where to find Bread”. But also, I see hermeneutical intransigence as a failure to recognise the need of social and cultural interpretation of a body of writing given to suit a specific context and situation.

      However, in the midst of own internecine strife I still find the Easter Greeting to be more than encouraging:
      “Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is Risen indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia!”

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