Welby ‘would rather see C of E disestablished than split over same-sex marriage
Archbishop is said to have made comment in response to MPs querying church’s approach
The archbishop of Canterbury has said he would rather see the Church of England lose its privileged status as the established church of the country than risk the global church fracturing over disagreements on same-sex marriage, the Guardian has been told.
Justin Welby, who will crown King Charles in a religious ceremony in May, reportedly made the comment at a private meeting with about a dozen MPs at Westminster on Monday.
The MPs raised concerns about the prospect of the C of E offering blessings to same-sex couples who have legally married, but continuing to refuse them a church wedding.
Several MPs broached the question of whether the C of E should retain its status as the established church when it was out of step with the law of the land and with public opinion.
Welby replied that he would rather see the church disestablished than risk losing conservative groups within the global Anglican church, the Guardian has been told by people present.
A spokesperson for the archbishop said they did not recognise the comments attributed to Welby.
Disestablishment of the C of E would be a momentous break in a history stretching to the 16th century, and would lead to the church losing its reserved seats in the House of Lords.
The issue of marriage equality and LGBTQ+ rights has been causing deep and painful divisions within the C of E and the global church for four decades. Since same-sex marriage legislation for England and Wales was passed in 2013, the C of E has continued to refuse to allow same-sex couples to marry in church, and it is exempt under the Equality Act.
Next week the C of E’s legislative body, the General Synod, will consider a recommendation from bishops to allow clergy to bless same-sex civil marriages. Church weddings for same-sex couples will continue to be prohibited.
The bishops’ proposal was intended to be a compromise that would keep progressives and traditionalists from splintering from the church over the issue. But both sides have reacted furiously to the proposal. Progressives say the move would mean gay Christians are still second-class citizens in the church; traditionalists say it is a break with biblical teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.
A number of MPs have threatened parliamentary intervention unless the C of E aligns itself with the law. A cross-party group of about a dozen MPs met at Westminster on Wednesday to discuss possible next steps.
Tony Baldry, formerly the second estates commissioner, who answers questions in parliament on C of E matters, briefed the meeting on past interventions on the issues of female bishops and of divorcees being allowed to marry in church.
Florida Megachurch Pastor Sparks Anger From Congregation After Requiring 'Biblical Sexuality' Pledge
( anti LGBTQ )
Pastor Heath Lambert is giving members of the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville until March 19 to sign, otherwise they will no longer be members. CLICK HERE
I could talk for hours on this, but want to leave it up to you to respond with your views.
Dear Sir: I was a vicar in a small town church for 25 years. I was well respected and knew almost everyone in the community. A few knew I was gay while my Bishop did not. One homophobic women told the Bishop one day and I was basically thrown out of the church, out of my home and job and everything and the Almighty Loving Hand Of God slapped me in the face and offered nothing at all - nothing - as they completely turned their backs on me and I was out.
So much for the loving church then. I had nowhere to live, no money and they even stole, yes stole, my pension.
A local woman offered to rehouse me , knowing the story behind what had happened and as she had a gay brother who died of Aids some years prior, she offered me his apartment which she had kept and always wondered what for - and now she knew. She was appalled at what the church had done in such a cruel and unjust way - when we all know how full the church is with gay men.
I was thrown out with the rubbish. It was as if I didn't ever exist. Any time I tried speaking to my Bishop, my calls were not taken and it really was as if I never existed.
The loving hand of the church is a disgrace when dealing with LGBT within the community and within the church and the double standards offered by bent queer vicars, priests and bishops is just a devilish lie.
John: I am now 82. For over 40 years I volunteered at a certain cathedral ( apologies, I cannot share that with you ) and there was a great team of men and women who ran the huge programme of events required to make it easy for the Clergy.
Eventually the Cathedral replaced the Chief Administrator - a paid position, who looks after the volunteers. She was a woman who was instantly disliked by almost every volunteer for her bossy, arrogant and condescending manner - and this to men and women who had donated decades of free help and who all were devoted to the church and the jobs we all shared with joy. The atmosphere was awful and while many of us complained to the Bishop, he was not interested and just kept saying that the church needed to look to the future - as if that was suppose to mean something to us all, and the fact that EVERYONE was complaining fell of deaf ears. Eventually people started leaving - leaving gaps in the workforce as they were not replaced.
This women one day asked me if I was homosexual and considering I am married with 4 adult children and 3 grandchildren, this shocked me.
I told her my sex life was none of her business and how shocked I was at her comment - and she absolutely screamed at me that it was her business and that she wasn't going to have any queers IN HER CHURCH - as if she was the Almighty or something.
I am a very gentle man - quietly spoken and I don't think I have ever been so riled - ever - and I quit there on the spot as her manner, her condescending attitude, was a disgrace towards those who had given and given and given for free for decades.
Over 15 volunteers, with around 300 years of service between us were allowed to leave without a single word from the Bishop even though we all tried to tell him what was happening and he just dismissed us all and let it continue.
After all the years spent, the slap in the face by the church that offered nothing in support of a volunteer workforce was an absolute disgrace.
I retired and now have nothing at all to do with the church and found your web site some years ago and love what you say and how forward you are concerning the church and sadly, I experienced the uncaring and unloving hand, first hand.
This was all a long time ago now and I have never really accepted what the church did but I did forgive them for their fear and ignorance.
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