Welby: Only a miracle can solve Church’s gay rights row
THE Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Church of England will need a miracle from the Holy Spirit to solve its long-running row over gay rights.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby said the divisions cannot be healed by human hands but only by divine intervention.
His remarks indicate deepening desperation among Anglican leaders over the irreconcilable gap between liberals who demand gay equality within the Church and conservative evangelicals who say that gay sex is sinful.
The archbishop made his unusual and heartfelt reference to the need for a miracle in a paper on the CofE’s attitude to sexuality written with his most senior colleague, the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend John Sentamu.
Their message, to be presented to the Church’s parliament, the General Synod, next month, promised that bishops would prepare a ‘teaching document’ to set out the latest thinking on how to cope with the rift over gay rights.
‘We do not expect the teaching document, or the process of writing it, to achieve reconciliation of all views across the Church of England,’ the archbishops said. ‘Such reconciliation, were it to happen, would be the work of the Holy Spirit, not of human hands or brains.’
In February the Synod rejected Archbishop Welby’s most recent compromise plan designed to end a row that has consumed the Church for 30 years. It would have maintained the CofE’s ban on samesex marriage, but there would have been official prayers for churches to celebrate gay relationships.