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Welby tells Synod that the world out there has changed

Welby tells Synod that the world out there has changed

In his first presidential address to General Synod, the Archbishop of Canterbury told the church to recognize that that the “cultural and political ground” in Britain is “changing”, and to “accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality, and we have not fully heard it”.

Church Times:

Speaking on the first day of the Synod meeting in York, on Friday evening, Archbishop Welby said that he was “not proposing new policy”, but spoke of the “notable hostility” to the Church’s current position.

“Anyone who listened, as I did, to much of the Same-sex Marriage Bill second reading debate in the House of Lords could not fail to be struck by the overwhelming change of cultural hinterland; predictable attitudes were no longer there,” he said. ( News, 7 June)

“The opposition to the Bill – which included me and many other bishops – was utterly overwhelmed, with amongst the largest attendance in the House, and participation in a debate, and majority since 1945.

“There was notable hostility to the view of the churches. I am not proposing new policy, but what I feel then and feel now, is that some of what was said by those supporting the Bill was uncomfortably close to the bone.”

He said that “97 per cent of gay teenagers in the UK report homophobic bullying; and that in the USA, suicide as the result of such bullying, is the principle cause of death of gay adolescents.

“One cannot sit and listen to that sort of reality without being appalled.

“We may or may not like it, but we must accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality and we have not fully heard it.

“The majority of the population rightly rejects homophobic behaviour or anything that looks like it. Sometimes they look at us and they see what they don’t like. I don’t like saying that, I’ve resisted that thought, but in that debate I heard it, and I could not walk away from it.”

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John Bennett

It looks like Canterbury’s wobbly stool is righting itself as reason emerges in the discourse. But why the long preface? Can’t Welby just dispense with all the backpedaling and get to the real work here — fully welcoming LGBT persons into the sacramental life of the church?

janinsanfran

Weak tea. But on the road. Curious — and scary — how institutional commitments can abstract any of us from lived reality.

Jan Adams

Paul Martin

I see this as, perhaps, stage 1 in a process which may lead to a change in viewpoint. At very least, he is willing to live with disagreement, interested in dealing with it somehow. He also seems to acknowledge a serious downside to some who agree with his own point of view.

This may not be all that we would like to see, but he is certainly way ahead of the Roman Catholic church.

GrandmèreMimi

The money quote:

“I am not proposing new policy, but what I feel then and feel now, is that some of what was said by those supporting the Bill was uncomfortably close to the bone.”

Close to the bone, but not close enough to change policy. How is Justin Welby not ashamed to speak such mincing words? How is such a statement a step forward toward reconciliation with LGTB persons?

June Butler

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