The Anglican Church is in great turmoil at the moment over how to deal with same-sex marriage. How does the head of the church, Justin Welby, fit into this? I saw an outrageous claim on Twitter.
This seems rather surprising that Welby would discipline Anglican clergy for opposing same-sex activity. And that is because he never said that.
In the article attached to that tweet, there is this comment:
“This is a highly inappropriate and sinister comment from the archbishop of Canterbury. He is giving a green light for a witch hunt of any Church of England clergy who believe in the traditional view that marriage is between one man and one woman for life.”
That quote was not from a high ranking member of the Anglican Church but Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concerns, an evangelical advocacy organization.
But ultimately, it is not about Williams’s interpretation but what Welby actual said. Thankfully we have the actual words.
“Here’s a promise: you send me details of a church that is saying something like that and I will ensure that there is a disciplinary process against the clergy who said that.”
The question is: what is the “that” which the Archbishop is referring to? Is it affirmation of traditional marriage and rejection of same-sex marriage? Not at all. We have the video for full context.
The reference is something that the Archbishop of Africa said: “He said it would be better for parents to drown their children than let them be gay.” This is part of an aggressive campaign arguing that LGBTQ+ people are actively trying to recruit children.
Whether or not you believe such “recruitment” is taking place, the context of Welby’s harsh comment concerns those who think children are better off dead than gay not about clergy supporting traditional marriage over same-sex marriage.
I think Welby is justified in condemning comments by the Archbishop of Uganda and in disciplining those who make such hateful comments.
But Welby himself does not plan to do same-sex blessings for the sake of the unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion. This suggests that he is not going to punish the significant portion of the clergy that supports traditional marriage.
These claims are just another example of fear-mongering that does not care about the truth.
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