Sunday, 17 March 2013

Archbishop Justin Welby: interviews and reactions

The BBC Radio 4 programme Sunday includes in today’s episode an interview with Archbishop Justin Welby. The programme can be downloaded from here, and the interview starts at about 26 m, 40 s into the programme.

According to Anglican Mainstream there is also an interview in today’s Sunday Times magazine section. See here.

And, according to Jonathan Petre in today’s Mail on Sunday Archbishop Welby faces boycott by Anglican leaders over plans to allow gay clergy to become bishops.

…According to leaked documents seen by The Mail on Sunday, at least three senior African archbishops have privately urged conservative colleagues to shun the gathering.

In the documents, the Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, said he recommended that ‘we show our commitment to the Anglican Communion by being present for the service at Canterbury Cathedral . . . but do not participate in the “collegial time” being proposed by Archbishop Welby’.

He said the new Archbishop of Canterbury had ‘given us no clear indication of the matters for discussion’ and that primates ‘who have led the way in promoting false teaching’ will be welcomed by Dr Welby.

He said his views were shared by the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, and the Primate of Uganda, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, but sources said the African and Asian archbishops would not make a final decision about attending the meeting until this week….

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 17 March 2013 at 10:31pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

This just goes to show that religion is man-made incorporating men's prejudices and imperfections.

If it were woman-made, it would be far more compassionate and forgiving.

And, of course, if it were God-made, it would be perfect.

Posted by: Andrew Watson on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 12:07am GMT

I thought it was a very weak interview. I am as fearful for the Church of England as I am hopeful for the Catholic Church.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 12:43am GMT

Perhaps now is the time to chat with the bishops from Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria about their support for human rights abuses?

It's quite a problem, when even compromise (celibate only gay clergy) is way past their tolerance.

I wonder if those bishops are open to dialogue about Scripture and its overwhelming call for justice, compassion, and dignity for all people. All of their very own people, and all people.

Posted by: Cynthia on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 3:06am GMT

Not a fan of this man but I don't think the interview was that bad. He's wriggling - that's what people in his position have to do. To a degree the wrigglings are in a positive direction - probably as much as one can expect from an Evangelical of this stripe. Surely appreciably better than 'gay marriage is a machination of the devil' (the new pope).

Posted by: John on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 9:27am GMT

How does Justin Welby's comment about sex outside marriage being wrong and equal marriage proposals being unacceptable square with last week's supposed softening on Civil Partnerships?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 9:44am GMT

It makes me very sad, but I must agree with Craig Nelson

Posted by: Fr John E. Harris-White on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 10:08am GMT

I see that virtueonline is already quoting the odds on whether or not, after they have attended the Enthronement of Archbishop Welby and the party refreshments; their Eminences of Kenya, Nigeria & Uganda will refuse to attend any reconcilation attempts made by Canterbury to bring together the likes of GAFCON and the rest of us in the Communion.

Maybe this will signal that degree of division that could be called 'Schism'. I know which side of the border I will be on if it happens. And it will not be with the murderers of Gay people.


Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 10:23am GMT

Haven't had the chance of listening to the interview but one can already see that Welby is being pressured and humiliated.

The Tory Baucum and Bishop Shannon Johnson reconciliation road show that was played out first at HTB and then at Coventry with Welby in attendance has been stopped.

Conservative forces that specialise in increasing vulgar and offensive attacks on liberals were left complaining that such warm friendships left them looking monstrously evil .......

Anyway Baucum came under pressure and instruction and has backed off, breaking the relationship.

Of course, it is all the fault of we progressives, if we didn't do the evil things and mislead the faithful ... then they would have to be so vicious and abusive .....etc etc

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 3:03pm GMT

Perhaps the Archbishop of Canterbury needs to revert to being Archbishop of CANTERBURY rather than a faux-pope. Then he would be free to do the right things in the name of justice rather than pander to the most reactionary elements of the Anglican "community." But then, that would take courage and entail leadership, as well as some loss of pride-of-place. One can hope, but I remain skeptical in an age of CEO bishops.

Posted by: Nat on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 4:30pm GMT

The ABC said that the church shouldn't "experiment with family." Good Lord. Gay families exist and have existed for a long time. Surely most families have gay members.

It's not about experimenting about something new. It's about extending dignity and justice to a portion of God's beautiful and diverse creation that exists, whose members have been treated poorly by ignorance, fear, and entrenched interests.

Posted by: Cynthia on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 4:33pm GMT

Watch those same African archbishops eventually complain about "lack of dialogue."

Posted by: Counterlight on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 5:29pm GMT

"My understanding of sexual ethics has been that, regardless of whether it's gay or straight, sex outside marriage is wrong."

Welby is making himself hostage to fortune on this one. My memory is that Kate and Wills lived together before their marriage - but as there were no cameras in the bedrooms, we'll never know.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 8:40pm GMT

So the warm words about civil partnerships last week have been negated by the retreat into the old 'no sex outside marriage, no marriage for the gays' mantra which is discredited and irrelvant to the real lives of real people. Even before he is installed, Welby shows that nothing changes and that hopes for change from this quarter are unrealistic.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 10:17pm GMT

Hopeful for the Roman Church?! The new Pope seems humble and with a care for the poor but he has a doubtful record from the time of 'the Generals' and has no respect for the wishes of the people of the Falklands. He also has no time for gay people, for married clergy or for the ordination of women, for which my Roman Catholic friends long.Better a wriggling evangelical than that!

I visited both Argentina and the Falklands on behalf of the British Council of Churches just after the war ended. I was very moved by the stories of the 'disappeared 'in Argentina and the grief of the mothers and grand mothers of babies forcibly removed and adopted.
On the other hand I was struck by the deep love the Falklanders had for their land and the long ,hard hours they were prepared to labour to wrestle a living from it.They all expressed to me the wish to remain British and years later that has just been confirmed in the referendum.

Posted by: Jean Mayland on Monday, 18 March 2013 at 10:59pm GMT

Why are you surprised? You were all welcoming Justin Welby including Giles Fraser who then withdrew from his Church Times column so as not to speak in perpetual opposition. Theo Hobson recently asked why be a Roman Catholic when you can be and Anglican, and the question I ask is why some of you remain Anglicans.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 at 10:50am GMT

Because, Pluralist, we feel the need to be connected with the ancient Catholic and Apostolic Church, but without the magisterial ethos of the Vatican Curia.
We do believe in God's appointment of hierarchy in the Church - but to consult with all the members, and not seek to dominate but to walk humbly with our God. We do need structures, but they must be amenable to the breath and movement of the Holy Spirit.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 at 9:28pm GMT

All this merely flags up the anxiety and concerns many of us share. I guess the three African Bishops want to be on parade with all the outward show and seemingly no inner disposition to fully participate. It is a shame the Enthronement is not in the context of a Eucharist because nothing much seems to offer hope with all this sense of 'apart from'.

I find a distinct lack of humility and understanding from our ABC and also wonder why he did not change his plans to be in Rome today. I would have thought this would have been a more important prayer journey as far as the big picture is concerned.

None too Catholic and all embracing is it? God help us.

Posted by: Rosie Bates on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 at 10:00pm GMT

I think the Archbishop of Canterbury was right to give his own prayer journey, with its exciting connection to his own new flock, priority over attendance at the Pope's inaugural mass in Rome.

The Church of England was represented by the Archbishop of York, and representation was all that was required.

If the Archbishop of Canterbury prefers his own pastoral work to attendance at a Roman Catholic event where his church was insultingly welcomed as an "ecclesial community" and not as a church, then he has his priorities right, in my opinion.

It is the Roman Catholic church which is less than fully catholic in this context.

Posted by: badman on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 12:02am GMT

From the perspective of same-sex couples there is little difference between Roman Catholicism and the Church of England. Both hierarchal, male-run organizations oppose equality for same-sex couples and insist on imposing religious doctrine on civil marriage. The C of E is only marginally superior to Rome. The Episcopal Church in the United States is far more liberal than the C of E.


Justin Welby wrongly assumes tradition must be right.

The Pluralist is right that nobody should be surprised at how backward Welby is.


Gary Paul Gilbert

Posted by: Gary Paul Gilbert on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 6:59am GMT

Gotta agree with Pluralist and Cary Paul Gilbert:

If you are gay - or just liberal - six of one, half-dozen of the other in the "worldwide" anglican communion. The one real difference, is we have individual national churches with the authority - though not the courage - to withdraw. This is just playing at Rome with Canterbury in the specious role of headship.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 10:45am GMT

"but I remain skeptical in an age of CEO bishops"

CEOs would be much more ruthless and much less accommodating, either way. We'd get a lot less waffle than has been and is being demonstrated by Anglican leadership.

Posted by: dave paisley on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 6:41pm GMT

Justin Welby: 'Sex outside marriage is wrong.'

I was once asked, as a parish priest, by a churchwarden, if I had ever married a couple in church who were already living together? I replied that I had (to my knowledge) NEVER married a couple in church who were not already living together. What kind of parallel universe etc?

Posted by: Stephen Morgan on Thursday, 21 March 2013 at 10:17am GMT

As a gay member of the CofE, civilly partnered and member of my local (deeply rural) PCC I think in England we can look after ourselves perfectly well for now.

What Welby must make his absolute priority in this area - his absolute and number one priority - is speaking out against the violence against gay people in Africa.

But will he?

Posted by: cjcjc on Thursday, 21 March 2013 at 2:07pm GMT

"but I remain skeptical in an age of CEO bishops"

"CEOs would be much more ruthless and much less accommodating, either way. We'd get a lot less waffle than has been and is being demonstrated by Anglican leadership. "

I agree with you completely - what I meant however, was that a CEO is more worried with "corporate" matters that with justice, spiritual leadership, etc. Too many dioceses have "tidy" bishops who are busier climbing the corporate ladder than contemplating the cross.

Posted by: Nat on Thursday, 21 March 2013 at 9:23pm GMT

Surely almost all *diocesan* bishops have already reached the apex of the "corporate ladder" of their "career". The number of translations of diocesan bishops to other sees, including to the two archbishoprics, is in practice very few.

Or was the reference to "tidy" suffragans?

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 21 March 2013 at 10:04pm GMT
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