He has acknowledged with honour the sometimes "stunning" strength and love and monogamous nature of some gay relationships, but cannot, or will not, question the traditional Church teaching on the subject, presumably as it relates to gay marriage and gay clergy. He welcomed the idea of and predicted there would be a female archbishop one day, but would not anticipate or discuss the possibility of a more liberal attitude to homosexuality prevailing in the Church. I find that interesting.
Justin Welby is in so many ways proving already to be a thoughtful and open-minded head of the Anglican communion, and it may be that his reticence was because his leadership is worldwide, incorporating some national churches for which homosexuality in any form is abhorrent and which would oppose bitterly any softening of approach. There are many hardliners in the UK too. The way he expressed himself, however, indicated a struggle between his Christian beliefs and his human discernment as a compassionate man, rather than political correctness from a religious leader.
I am more of an observer of the Church than an active participant, though I like to attend my small, personal village church services occasionally. I have noticed here and elsewhere how fervently, for some, the teachings of the Bible (as commonly understood) are binding arbiters for human attitude and followed without question, which is why inequities to do with the treatment of women in the Church, for example, or prejudice against gay relationships have been perpetuated for so long.
Is the Archbishop, like so many, wedded to the Bible? And is it time for the truth of the Bible to be questioned?
Claire Montanaro is a spiritual teacher, channel and blogger with special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition. Loves nature and wildlife. Author of “Spiritual Wisdom”.