Justin Welby, has highlighted the challenge faced by the Anglican church over gay relationships ahead of his enthronement on Thursday, saying he has friends who are in long-term gay relationships of "stunning" success.
The 105th archbishop of
Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican community, who will
become the first holder of the office to be enthroned by a woman at the
afternoon ceremony, has written to Peter Tatchell offering to discuss
his attitude to gay marriage after the veteran campaigner criticised it
in an open letter.
In a pre-enthronement
interview with the BBC, Welby said that while he did not have doubts
about the church's policy in opposing same-sex marriages he remained
"challenged as to how we respond to it".
"You see gay
relationships that are just stunning in the quality of the
relationship," the 57-year-old said, adding that he had "particular
friends where I recognise that and am deeply challenged by it".
Church of England holds very firmly, and continues to hold to the view,
that marriage is a lifelong union of one man to one woman. At the same
time, at the heart of our understanding of what it is to be human, is
the essential dignity of the human being. And so we have to be very
clear about homophobia..."
This line - "while he did not have doubts
about the church's policy in opposing same-sex marriages he remained 'challenged as to how we respond to it'" - is a spectacular exercise in doublethink.
But that's religion for you.
As ever, thanks for nothing!
PS Here's Tatchell's letter.