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Archbishop of Canterbury says he won’t share his views on same-sex marriage while in post

by Kelly Valencia

Most Rev Justin Welby has said he won’t be disclosing his stance on same-sex marriage in church any time soon.

Speaking to The Times during his visit to Ukraine, Archbishop Justin said he will keep his views secret as long as he remains in post as he sees his role as a “focus of unity”. 

He said: “I am not sure I will be able to say during my time in this job. I can express my own view as far as I know my own mind — and it doesn’t change.

“But the role of archbishop is to be a focus of unity. That isn’t just convenient or pragmatic. In Christian thinking, that is part of God’s call to church leaders. Therefore I have to be convinced before God that it’s the right moment to do it — and not just politically.”

Archbishop Justin’s comments come as the House of Bishops meets on Monday to discuss what it collectively plans to recommend on same-sex relationships to the next General Synod.

It is all part of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process, an initiative launched in 2017 to encourage churches to discern the Church of England’s direction of travel over issues of gender and sexuality.

In September, the Church of England published its first report with feedback on the LLF process showing a clear consensus for bishops to give clear leadership on the issues discussed.  

So far, several bishops have made public their positions, with the Bishop of Oxford becoming the first most senior bishop to advocate for same-sex marriage in the Church of England.

Some of the other bishops supporting gay marriage in the church are the bishops of Worcester, Reading and Dudley.

But the issue is very divisive. The evangelical wing of the Church of England has also made public its opposition to any changes in the church to accommodate the blessing and marriage of same-sex couples.

The next General Synod will be from 6th -9th February 2023.

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