Archbishop warns over gay marriage

Hillingdon Times: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby joins LBC presenter James O'Brien to host his first live radio phone-in at their studios in central London Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby joins LBC presenter James O'Brien to host his first live radio phone-in at their studios in central London

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the Church of England accepting gay marriage could be "absolutely catastrophic" for Christians in countries where homosexuality is illegal.

Speaking on his first live phone-in on LBC radio, the Most Rev Justin Welby said he recently visited the grave of 369 bodies in South Sudan where it was believed "i f we leave a Christian community here we will all be made to become homosexual and so we will kill all the Christians".

Asked by one caller about whether the Church of England would accept gay marriage after it was allowed in law, he said: "The impact of that on Christians in countries far from here, like South Sudan, like Pakistan, Nigeria and other places would be absolutely catastrophic and we have to love them as much as the people who are here.

"I've stood by a graveside in Africa of a group of Christians who'd been attacked because of something that had happened far, far away in America. And they were attacked by other people because of that.

"That burns itself into your soul, as does the suffering of gay people in this country," he added.

He told listeners the subject was "really not a simple issue", adding: "It's something that I wrestle with every day and often in the middle of the night."

Questioned about poverty in the UK, the Archbishop said the fact that so many people have had to turn to food banks was also something that weighs heavily on his mind.

Lauding the "amazing" work done by volunteers in running them up and down the country, he added that they did so out of "their own generous hearts".

Asked by host James O'Brien if he would like to see policies enacted by the Government to mean they did not need to, Archbishop Welby said: "I wouldn't like to see the sense of personal responsibility for generosity stopped, but I do want to live in a country where the economy works in a way that means food banks are really not necessary."

The Archbishop also tackled the topic of rising energy bills, describing it as a "moral issue".

He told listeners: "I'm very conscious that this is something that is of huge importance for many poorer people especially. Because meeting the energy bills isn't a choice. Of course it's a moral issue. How much you charge for essentials is always a moral issue, it doesn't matter who it is."

Archbishop Welby may have felt his hour of questioning did not get off to the best start, with Ann Widdecombe as his second caller. The former Tory MP herself suggested his " heart has just sunk" on hearing her voice.

Ms Widdecombe said she left the Church of England in 1993 in part because it "never seems to know what it thinks about anything".

"One of the reasons I left was because of the sorts of answers that you've just given," she told him following a call about homosexuality.

"What I want is a church that serves what is right - regardless of whether it is popular or not - serves what is wrong, and gives us a very straightforward teaching. One can choose to accept or reject that, but at least there is a straightforward authoritative teaching."

After asking him to say whether the Church does or does not approve of homosexuality, the Archbishop told her drily: "How unsurprised I am by that question, I can't imagine."

"I just said the Church is quite clear that sex outside marriage is wrong, and marriage has been understood as a man and woman. That seems to be a fairly clear statement.

"I'm not going to pull my punches on that. I think I'm right, you think I'm wrong. We differ."

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:52pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Bartholomew HuckleBerry says...

All gay marriages are sham and sinful.
All gay marriages are sham and sinful. Bartholomew HuckleBerry
  • Score: -1

7:59pm Fri 4 Apr 14

jolllyboy says...

I dont have a prob with gays or lesbians , I have them in my family but I see no reason why civil partnerships cannot be put on equal footing legally as a marriage and keep marriage in the usual sense for hetersexual couples. It is too much to expect thousands of years tradition to be changed so quickly.
I dont have a prob with gays or lesbians , I have them in my family but I see no reason why civil partnerships cannot be put on equal footing legally as a marriage and keep marriage in the usual sense for hetersexual couples. It is too much to expect thousands of years tradition to be changed so quickly. jolllyboy
  • Score: 4

9:41pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Rickoe says...

Marriage has never been exclusively between one man and one woman. In many cultures, men took multiple wives. In some cultures, they still do. In the UK, for example, while it may not be legal to be married to more than one person at the same time, men and women get around that by engaging in serial monogamy, with all the heart break and destruction that brings to adults and children alike.

Further, in western Christian countries like Australia, girls of twelve were being married off quite legally to men many times their age until the start of WW2. Same thing in the USA. A girl of twelve is not a woman, especially back in the 20s.

In fact, males and females have been promised by their families in wedlock to each other from a very tender age down through history. The marriage contract predates Christianity, and Judaism and Islam, by many centuries. The marriage contract has always been about the distribution of property between families.
Marriage has never been exclusively between one man and one woman. In many cultures, men took multiple wives. In some cultures, they still do. In the UK, for example, while it may not be legal to be married to more than one person at the same time, men and women get around that by engaging in serial monogamy, with all the heart break and destruction that brings to adults and children alike. Further, in western Christian countries like Australia, girls of twelve were being married off quite legally to men many times their age until the start of WW2. Same thing in the USA. A girl of twelve is not a woman, especially back in the 20s. In fact, males and females have been promised by their families in wedlock to each other from a very tender age down through history. The marriage contract predates Christianity, and Judaism and Islam, by many centuries. The marriage contract has always been about the distribution of property between families. Rickoe
  • Score: 0

10:20pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Gogledd says...

In some ancient non Christian communities being gay is not a sin. Its considered that this is how it is with some people Christianity and other religions came up with the idea of SIN. While I accept as we all do that if we were all gay then the human race will die out...but we live on a planet where cruelty and mans inhumanity to both men and women is on the rise and where we see people commit despicable acts all in the name of God, its horrible!! the world would be a better place without religion and people should learn to live and let be and tolerate each other.
In some ancient non Christian communities being gay is not a sin. Its considered that this is how it is with some people Christianity and other religions came up with the idea of SIN. While I accept as we all do that if we were all gay then the human race will die out...but we live on a planet where cruelty and mans inhumanity to both men and women is on the rise and where we see people commit despicable acts all in the name of God, its horrible!! the world would be a better place without religion and people should learn to live and let be and tolerate each other. Gogledd
  • Score: 0

12:16am Sat 5 Apr 14

collos25 says...

I do not have a problem with gay people I do have a problem with men who wear dresses and believe in fairy stories,
I do not have a problem with gay people I do have a problem with men who wear dresses and believe in fairy stories, collos25
  • Score: -2
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree