Lambeth: Why gay mar­riage is ‘great’

The Church of England - - News - By Amaris Cole By Ge­orge Conger

LAMBETH PALACE is rush­ing to deny the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury’s view on same-sex mar­riage has changed, af­ter a gay news­pa­per re­ported the Most Rev Justin Welby said it was ‘great’.

In his first in­ter­view with a gay pub­li­ca­tion, the Arch­bishop said to Pink News it was ‘right and proper’ that same-sex mar­riage came into law, “and that’s great”.

But of­fi­cials at Lambeth soon re­leased a state­ment to stress Justin Welby still af­firms the Church of Eng­land’s of­fi­cial stance on the changes to mar­riage.

The com­ments came days af­ter the Church’s re­port into ho­mo­pho­bic bul­ly­ing was launched, with guide­lines sent to Church of Eng­land schools across the coun­try to tackle the prob­lem.

Pink News urged the Arch­bishop to an­swer whether gay people are ‘fail­ures’ to him.

“No I’m not say­ing that at all, but all people are fail­ures in many dif­fer­ent ways.

“There is no one who is a com­plete suc­cess in their life in which ev­ery­thing is right.

“There­fore the love of Christ is uni­ver­sal for all people ir­re­spec­tive of who they are and the Church has to find a way of ex­press­ing that.”

Last week, the Bishop of Glouces­ter broke ranks in apol­o­gis­ing for the House of Bish­ops’ state­ment on same-sex mar­riage, say­ing it was un­nec­es­sar­ily harsh and the feel­ings of those con­cerned was not given enough re­spect.

In the Pink News in­ter­view, Justin Welby said: “As you know I have said, and got a fair amount of flak for it within parts of the Church, we have to ac­cept, and quite rightly, that the Same-Sex Mar­riage Act is law, and that it’s right and proper, it’s the law of the land, and that’s great.”

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace said: “The Arch­bishop has said nu­mer­ous times that he ac­cepts the right of Par­lia­ment to change the law and that the Church should con­tinue to demon­strate the love of Christ for ev­ery per­son.

“The Arch­bishop voted against the Same-Sex Mar­riage Act in the House of Lords last year.”

They said the ref­er­ence to “great” was in re­la­tion to Par­lia­ment’s abil­ity to change the law. BISHOP GENE Robin­son has an­nounced that he is di­vorc­ing his spouse Mark Andrew.

In a col­umn printed in the Daily Beast on 3 Mary 2014, Bishop Robin­son stated: “Re­cently, my part­ner and hus­band of 25-plus years and I de­cided to get di­vorced. While the de­tails of our sit­u­a­tion will re­main ap­pro­pri­ately pri­vate, I am seek­ing to be as open and hon­est in the midst of this de­ci­sion as I have been in other dra­matic mo­ments of my life—com­ing out in 1986, fall­ing in love, and ac­cept­ing the chal­lenge of be­com­ing Chris­ten­dom’s first openly gay priest to be elected a Bishop in the his­toric suc­ces­sion of bish­ops stretch­ing back to the apos­tles.”

The Epis­co­pal Church’s first “out” gay bishop, in 1986 Bishop Robin­son di­vorced his wife and made pub­lic his sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. His elec­tion as Bishop of New Hamp­shire in 2003 pre­cip­i­tated the crack up of the Angli­can Com­mu­nion, leading to a ma­jor­ity of the Church’s prov­inces to break or qual­ify their re­la­tion­ship with the Epis­co­pal Church.

The bishop noted that there was “at least a small com­fort to me, as a gay rights and mar­riage equal­ity ad­vo­cate, to know that like any mar­riage, gay and les­bian cou­ples are sub­ject to the same com­pli­ca­tions and hard­ships that af­flict mar­riages be­tween het­ero­sex­ual cou­ples. All of us sincerely in­tend, when we take our wed­ding vows, to live up to the ideal of ‘’til death do us part. But not all of us are able to see this through un­til death in­deed parts us.”

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