The Telegraph’s title of John Bingham’s article is actually even more provocative:
“Welby tells Church refusing gay blessings will be viewed like racism”
An excerpt from Bingham’s article:
The Most Rev Justin Welby acknowledged that many Anglicans would view the idea of special services honouring same-sex relationships as a “betrayal” of its traditions and even “apostasy”.
But he warned that others would see the Church as increasingly “irrelevant” and promoting attitudes “akin to racism” if it does not introduce them….
He insisted that it was not “wishy-washy” to attempt to accommodate people with opposing views and said it was time for a massive “cultural change” in how it approaches disagreement.
The Archbishop’s page has the full text of his Presidential Address to the General Synod, including video:
From Archbishop Welby’s address:
Already I can hear the arguments being pushed back at me, about compromise, about the wishy-washiness of reconciliation, to quote something I read recently. But this sort of love, and the reconciliation between differing groups that it demands and implies, is not comfortable and soft and wishy-washy. Facilitated conversations may be a clumsy phrase, but it has at its heart a search for good disagreement. It is exceptionally hard edged, extraordinarily demanding and likely to lead in parts of the world around us to profound unpopularity or dismissal.
This sort of gracious reconciliation means that we have to create safe space within ourselves to disagree, as we began to do last summer at the Synod in York, and as we need to do over the issues arising out of our discussions on sexuality, not because the outcome is predetermined to be a wishy-washy one, but because the very process is a proclamation of the Gospel of unconditionally loving God who gives Himself for our sin and failure. It is incarnational in the best sense and leads to the need to bear our cross in the way we are commanded.
Let’s bring this down to some basics. We have agreed that we will ordain women as Bishops. At the same time we have agreed that while doing that we want all parts of the church to flourish. If we are to challenge fear we have to find a cultural change in the life of the church, in the way our groups and parties work, sufficient to build love and trust. That will mean different ways of working at every level of the church in practice in the way our meetings are structured, presented and lived out and in every form of appointment. It will, dare I say, mean a lot of careful training and development in our working methods, because the challenge for all institutions today, and us above all, is not merely the making of policy but how we then make things happen.