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Read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s excruciating comments about gay sex

'We are – the vast majority of the Church is – deeply against gay sex' says Church of England leader

Read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s excruciating comments about gay sex
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Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury was asked ‘Is gay sex sinful?’ in a new interview – and his fumbling answers make for painful reading.

After failing to give a ‘straight’ answer, the principal leader of the Church of England said: ‘I am copping out because I am struggling with the issue.’

The Archbishop, real name Justin Welby, was interviewed by political figure Alistair Campbell for the November issue of GQ.

Campbell is known for being the former Director of Communications of Britain’s Labour party.

Here’s a brief excerpt of the interview:

AC: Is gay sex sinful?
JW: Do you know, we have done religion, we have done politics, why am I surprised we are on to gay sex?
AC: Because I feel sorry for [Liberal Democrat politician] Tim Farron, who kept being asked the question, so I am asking you.
JW: You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to. Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through.

Campbell then details how the Archbishop pauses with mild embarrassment, before pushing him further, asking: ‘Why can’t you?’

To this, the Archbishop replies: ‘Because I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to that question. I’ll be really honest about that. […] Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.’

‘We are – the vast majority of the Church is – deeply against gay sex’

When Campbell puts it to him that this ‘could be a man and a man and a woman and a woman’, the Archbishop furthermore adds: ‘I know it could be. I’m also aware – a view deeply held by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition – that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a woman.

‘Or, in various times, a man and several women, if you go back to the Old Testament. I know that the Church around the world is deeply divided on this in some places, including the Anglicans and other Churches, not just us, and we are – the vast majority of the Church is – deeply against gay sex.’

The religious figure added that he believes homophobic hatred is a sin.

‘Yes,’ he says, ‘because you are hating individuals. I don’t think it is sinful to say that you disagree with gay sex. But to express that by way of hatred for people is absolutely wrong in the same way as misogyny or racism is wrong.’

Archbishop of Wales comes out in support of same-sex marriage, gay sex in relationships


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