Justin Welby tells African Anglicans he was ‘threatened’ by MPs during gay marriage battle


Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has told Anglican hardliners in Ghana that he was “threatened” by MPs during rows over the Church’s position on same-sex marriage.

The Archbishop made the claim in an address to Anglican leaders in Accra, Ghana on Sunday just days after the Church of England agreed a series of reforms on LGBT+ issues that stop short of embracing same-sex marriage.

Under the proposals greenlit by the General Synod, the Church’s parliament, on Thursday, members of the clergy will be permitted to “bless” same-sex couples who get a civil marriage but will remain banned from performing same-sex weddings.

Dr Welby had told the body he was supportive of attempts to welcome the LGBT+ community but would not personally conduct same-sex blessings due to his obligations to the global Anglican Communion – which is dominated by African churches strongly opposed to LGBT+ rights.

But in a pre-planned speech in Ghana, Dr Welby gave a very different account of events.

He said: “In the last few weeks, as part of our discussions about sexuality and the rules around sexuality in the Church of England, I talked of our interdependence with all Christians, not just Anglicans, particularly those in the Global South with other faith majorities.

“As a result I was summoned twice to Parliament, and threatened with parliamentary action to force same-sex marriage on us, called in England equal marriage. When I speak of the impact that actions by the Church of England will have on those abroad in the Anglican Communion, those concerns are dismissed by many in the General Synod.”

Even though the report calling for relaxed rules on LGBT+ issues and the permitting of blessings was produced by bishops and was welcomed in Westminster by Dr Welby, he claimed in Ghana: “Remember, in the Church of England, Archbishops do not chair the General Synod and do not organise its business and debates.”

Dr Welby complained that the UK is now in a phase of “post-Christianity”, adding: “We are in a completely different culture in the financially rich world to 30 years ago.

“We’ve replaced morality and Christian faith with personal control over our bodies, birth with genetically-designed babies is not far away, and death is something that so many believe we have a right to choose in the way and at the time we want.

Source: Inews