Updated thursday, twice
The Archbishop of Canterbury opened the new headquarters of the Evangelical Alliance today, and made some interesting remarks while he was there as these reports show.
Andrew Brown in The Guardian Justin Welby gets real on homophobia
…First, he admitted that the church was “deeply and profoundly divided” over the issue [gay marriage]. This is not at all what he said in the House of Lords at the time, when he claimed that all the major denominations opposed the bill. Yet there is very clear polling evidence from the Westminster Faith debates, to show that Christians, even evangelical Christians, are very conflicted about this, and the opinions of the lay members of the church much more resemble the opinions of unbelievers than they do their own leadership.
Second, he used the term “homophobia” in an honest way. There are still some evangelicals who claim it is a made-up term that refers to nothing in particular. Not so Welby. Gay marriage was, he said, an attempt to deal with issues of homophobia. “The church has not been good at dealing with it. We have implicitly and even explicitly supported [homophobia] and that demands repentance.”…
John Bingham in The Telegraph Archbishop urges Christians to ‘repent’ over ‘wicked’ attitude to homosexuality
The Most Rev Justin Welby told an audience of traditional born-again Christians that they must “repent” over the way gay and lesbian people have been treated in the past and said most young people viewed Christians as no better than racists on the issue.
Archbishop Welby, who as a young priest once opposed allowing gay couples to adopt children, said the church now had to face up to what amounted to one of the most rapid changes in public attitudes ever.
While insisting that he did not regret voting against same-sex marriage in the House of Lords, he admitted that his own mind was not yet “clear” on the wider issues which he was continuing to think about….
The Guardian also has this report from the Press Association: Young people think opposition to gay marriage is wicked, says archbishop.
The archbishop of Canterbury has said his stance against gay marriage could be seen as “wicked”. Justin Welby said he stood by his decision to vote against same-sex marriage legislation, but said opposing the move could be seen by some as akin to “racism and other forms of gross and atrocious injustice”…
The Evangelical Alliance itself has reported the event, but does not appear to have heard what the Archbishop said about homophobia: Welby calls on Church to model racial unity.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on the UK Church to re-commit to unity across ethnic divides, 50 years after Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech…
Paul Bignall in The Independent Archbishop of Canterbury: My gay marriage view can be seen as ‘akin to racism’
The Evangelical Alliance has now published this, Official opening with the Archbishop of Canterbury, with links to a video of the Archbishop’s address, and to audio from the official opening (Q&A session starts at 36:55).