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Head of Anglican Church Says Embracing Gay Marriage Could Lead to Murder of African Christians

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, has warned that embracing same-sex marriage could inadvertently lead to the persecution and murder of Christians around in the world, particularly in Africa.

Justin welbyIn an interview with LBC on Friday, Welby said that he'd been warned while on his visit to South Sudan that the Church of England accepting gay marriage could lead to some communities believing having Christians among them could make them gay and reacting by murdering the Christians. As such, he cautioned the church to refrain from making any drastic doctrinal changes, such as allowing members to carry out same-sex marriage ceremonies. 

"What we say here is heard around the world," the Archbishop, who had earlier revealed that the average Church of England worshipper is a sub-Saharan African woman in her 30s, responded.

"Well, why can’t we just do it now? Because, the impact of that on Christians in countries far from here, like South Sudan, like Nigeria and other places, would be absolutely catastrophic, and we have to love them as much as we love the people who are here.

"At the same time, we have to listen incredibly carefully to the LGBT communities here, and listen to what they’re saying, and we have to look at the tradition of the church, and the teaching of the church, and the teaching of scripture, which is definitive in the end, before we come to a conclusion.

Throughout the interview (which you can check out here), Welby appeared to be trying to appease both religious tradiitonalists and those who want the church to recognize LGBT equality. To his credit, Welby recognized the damage that homophobic behavior causes on LGBT individuals, particularly teens.

Back in July, the Church of England introduced a campaign to combat homophobic bullying in schools across the UK.  


Church Sign: 'Some Ppl are Gay. Get Over It, Love GOD'

Chermside

A church sign at the All Saints Anglican Church in Chermside, north of Brisbane, Australia has "overwhelming support from local parishioners" according to the Herald Sun.

Said Pastor Julie Woolner: "I do believe spirituality is far bigger than sexuality,’’ she said. “And I did find most of the parishioners here took a positive view of that sign."


Church of England: Growing Support for Gay Marriage is 'Not a Case for Changing Obedience to God'

WelbyWith marriage equality in the United Kingdom now law, the Church of England has found itself in a bit of a pickle in terms of how to address the UK's changing attitude on homosexuality. While the Church has taken positive steps recently, such as its new campaign to combat homophobic bullying in schools across the country, the official doctrine of classifying homosexuality as sin remains firmly in place.

Justin Welby (pictured right), the Archbishop of Canterbury and senior bishop in the Church of England, says that despite the Church's opposition to marriage equality being 'utterly overwhelmed' by vocal supporters, Christian views on same-sex relations should not change. Pink News reports:

"Addressing over 6,000 people at [a Church of England] conference, he said it would be 'foolish' to ignore the 'revolution' of same-sex marriage coming into law in England and Wales.

"He acknowledged that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, which has now received Royal Assent, had support from all parties, but said that was not enough for Christians to change from their 'obedience to God.'

"Archbishop Welby voted against equal marriage in the House of Lords, and had said he could hear the 'roar of revolution' on listening to debate around the issue.

"The Church of England had opposed the same-sex marriage bill until June, when it said that it accepted that there was a clear majority in Parliament to introduce same-sex marriage and that it would therefore end its opposition to changing the law."

 

 


Church of England Introduces Campaign To Stop Homophobic Bullying In Schools

WelbySome good news out of Great Britain. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured left), has recently announced a campaign to stop homophobic bullying in Church of England schools across the country.

In an address to the Church's General Synod, Welby said that the Church must "accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality," and work to stamp out stereotyping and bullying.

BBC News reports:

"Pretending that nothing has changed is absurd and impossible," the archbishop said in his first presidential address to the synod, meeting at the University of York.

"The majority of the population rightly detests homophobic behavior or anything that looks like it and sometimes they look at us and see what they don't like," he said.

"With nearly a million children educated in our schools we not only must demonstrate a profound commitment to stamp out such stereotyping and bullying but we must also take action.

"We are therefore developing a programme for use in our schools, taking the best advice we can find anywhere, that specifically targets such bullying."

In his address, Welby quoted gay Labour peer Lord Waheed Alli, who told the House of Lords that 97% of gay teenagers in the country report homophobic bullying. He later mentioned the tragic gay teen suicides here in the United States over the years as a direct result of homophobic bullying. "One cannot sit and listen to that sort of reality without being appalled," Welby said. 

While the changes are no doubt a step in the right direction, Weby stressed that the Church was not changing its teachings on gay relationships. Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, said that in light of the archbishop's opposition the gay marriage bill in the House of Lords last month, the new changes should be more scrutinized.

"Of course we will always help an education provider in helping tackle homophobic bullying in schools and there are already several dozen Church of England schools working with Stonewall but a cynic would be tempted to think perhaps that the archbishop is trying to distract attention from his failure engage gay people when they requested it over the issue of marriage."  


Pope Francis Makes First Comments on Marriage, Avoids 'Man and Woman' Definition

Pope Francis met with same-sex marriage opponent Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Friday and discussed  promoting family values "based on marriage" but avoided the divisive language that his predecessors have used, the AP notes:

FrancisIn his remarks to Welby, Francis said he hoped they could collaborate in promoting the sacredness of life "and the stability of families founded on marriage." He noted that Welby had recently spoken out on the issue, a reference to his House of Lords testimony.

Significantly, though, Francis didn't say that marriage should be based on a union between a man and woman, which is how Benedict XVI and John Paul II routinely defined marriage.

Vatican officials said it was a diplomatic attempt to make his point without making a provocative pronouncement. Francis has steered clear of the gay marriage debate as it has recently roiled France and Britain, and in general has refrained from making headline-grabbing comments on hot-button current events.

Did the gay lobby direct him to go easy?


In New Report, Church of England Recommends Blessings for Gay Couples in Civil Partnerships

A new report released yesterday from the Church of England recommended gay couples in civil partnerships be able to receive blessings, the Telegraph reports:

CocksworthThe senior bishop who drafted the missive to priests insisted that it did not amount to a policy u-turn and that an official ban on formal "blessings" for civil partnerships remained in place. But he said it was clear there was a need for committed same-sex couples to be given recognition and “compassionate attention” from the Church, including special prayers.

The paper adds:

The report by the Church’s Faith and Order Commission, chaired by the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, a leading traditionalist, insisted that marriage should remain between a man and a woman and said that gay relationships fell short of God’s “ideal”.

But it also condemned “censorious judgment” and urged priests not to treat the issue of recognising civil partnerships as “simply closed”, urging them to approach the question on a case-by-case basis.

“In pastoral responses a degree of flexibility may be called for in finding ways to express the Church’s teaching practically,” it said.


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