15 Jan 2016

The Anglican Church’s issues with sexuality

Canterbury – sparkling in cloudless, lucid, winter skies.

“You should film that,” says a passing local. “That” turns out to be a stone-carved image of a woman with a notable penis in the centre of the main entrance arch to Canterbury Cathedral.

Allegedly it was because the stone mason wasn’t paid enough, so chiselled his revenge forever on the HQ of the world Anglican communion. Allegedly…

So it is that even in its own backyard the Anglican Church has issues with sexuality.


Today is billed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as a success, a compromise of sorts to begin ending the church’s 39 years of bitter squabbling over whether gay marriage is right or wrong.

Critics on both sides say it’s wishy washy and won’t hold as any kind of deal.

Liberals outraged, accusing the church of siding with what they would see as African homophobic bishops to try and prevent a split.

Giles Fraser, a liberal priest in London and canon in Ghana, said he was “thoroughly ashamed to be an Anglican”.

The African bishops – the Ugandan walked out – saying ominously this is the beginning of their intention to oust liberal churches from Anglicanism.

The Africans have campaigned for years to have sanctions imposed on the US Episcopal Church, which accepts same-sex marriage. Now they’ve got it.

That church is effectively banned from decision making in Anglicanism for three years, with the Global Anglican Future Conference, representing conservatives, warning that “this action must not be seen as an end, but as a beginning”.

Canterbury thinks it may, hopes it may, have seen off a schism. The Africans are sending rather different signals. So too are liberals across Europe and the US.

Canterbury wants to talk poverty, global warming, exclusion… but this issue keeps making the headlines.

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4 reader comments

  1. Susan Stead says:

    I was appalled that the TV interviewer on 7pm news regarding homosexuality did not give Andrea Williams the opportunity to speak. The woman defending lesbians and homosexuals interrupted constantly, and so did the interviewer when Andrea Williams tried to speak.
    Surely the job of an interviewer is to give both parties the opportunity to speak.

  2. Elson Kalima says:

    LGTB should not call themselves christians. Real christians follow the Bible and there is no such a thing called LGTB. If at all is there, all who practice this are called sinners in the Bible. The only remedy is to repent. Don’t call them LGTB christians, coz that is an abomination in the eyes of the creator. Please don’t mix this with love. God loves sinners and will save if they stop that which is evil in the eyes of God.

    1. Andrew Dundas says:

      Hello Elson Kalima,
      Christ asks us to love and care for one another. He added that those of us who are without sin may cast the first stone … But none of us is free of all sin.
      You may not care for those who are gay or lesbian, but they are those whom we are supposed to care for.
      We all pray that our sins will be forgiven. Those prayers also teach us to forgive others’ weaknesses too. Isn’t that true?

  3. anon says:

    the truth will set us free, this is a general comment about Faith, the spirit of Christ is surely a gentle quiet spirit,

    ‘Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

    re the exclusion of women in the past from Christian service, none of this has a basis as far as I can see in the Bible?

    the position re people not marrying is surely that if this happens it can enhance spirituality but not if it drives people to distraction trying to impose this?

    Teachings on Marriage
    …7Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that. 8But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.…

    personally when the ‘volume’ goes up this may not always be a good thing?

    except that Christians should be outraged by lot of what is happening in this World,

    didn’t the Archbishop express his frustration that the real issues were not been looked at?

    no one should be outside a Church, so none of this should happen, also if people are been persecuted in African countries because of anything this is not Christian, and with enough will these things can be stopped, with enough will ?

    re living by the Commandments, Jesus came to fulfil the law not replace it, hence all this new age stuff is completely wrong, the African Church is absolutely right to stick by core teaching

    for me the issues of people being gay or not have never fortunately been something that I felt as a Christian I had to speak out about, which is probably just as well as I do feel that I should fight for so many other issues !!

    as do your excellent journalists at Channel 4 News

    thank you for all you do

    God Bless

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