Archbishop of Canterbury still ‘not convinced’ by arguments for same-sex marriage
The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejected claims that he has personally changed his opinion on same-sex marriage, saying he is still “not convinced” by arguments for it.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show today, the Archbishop Justin Welby said: “The issue over sexuality I’m very loathe to comment on…
“I was very clearly against same-sex marriage when the bill came through, and the position of the church remains unchanged on that.
“We’re at the beginning of a process of shared conversations, and I just want to let those take their course, and not pre-empt the way we are going to emerge from those decisions.”
Pressed on whether his personal opinion had changed, he said: “To be absolutely clear, I have not been convinced by the arguments for same-sex marriage as marriage. I continue to struggle with the issue.
“Pastorally, you meet people, sit across the room with them, talk to them… and your heart goes out to them.”
When asked whether he believes the church’s current position is unstable, he repeated: “We’re in the middle of a prolonged period of disagreement and conversation, and therefore by definition it is unstable.”
His comments are a backwards step from those in May, when the Archbishop told PinkNews that it’s “great” that gay couples in England and Wales can marry, and that it’s “right and proper, it’s the law of the land”.
The Church of England continues to be deeply divided on the issue of allowing gay clergy to marry, with canon Jeremy Pemberton, who flouted a ban to marry his partner, having his license to officiate revoked for doing so.
Pemberton said earlier today: “I think I have been treated inconsistently and don’t think I have been treated fairly in that I have not been put through a disciplinary process.
“Penalties have just been imposed on me by the bishops out of the air and there isn’t any recourse.
“If they really thought I had done something very bad they could have started a procedure against me… but that hasn’t happened.”