(Sun. Tele.) Archbishop Rowam Williams says the Church will resist Government moves on gay marriage

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dr Rowan Williams has refused to be drawn on the issue publicly, but has broken his silence to tell MPs he is not prepared for the Coalition to tell the Church how to behave.

He told a private meeting of influential politicians that the Church of England would not bow to public pressure to allow its buildings to be used to conduct same-sex civil partnerships.

The comments are the first time he has spoken since the Coalition unveiled plans to allow religious buildings to be used to conduct homosexual partnership ceremonies.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

Posted February 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. MichaelA wrote:

I can only applaud this. This wil probably be all that is needed to kill the issue of government intervention stone dead. Usually that is all that a bishop needs to do to achieve his ends - make a strong statement.

But if only ++Williams had been prepared to take a similar strong stand for orthodoxy on other issues - the Anglican Communion (and CofE) would not be in the state it is now. Even in this article, ABC reminds us that he supports the entering into of Same Sex relationships by his own clergy - as long as ABC and his clergy continue to endorse apostasy like this, the Church of England will continue its downward spiral.

The British government made a major mistake by choosing Rowan Williams over Michael Nazir-Ali in 2003. Now it needs to revisit that decision, and this time, get it right.

February 27, 9:17 pm | [comment link]
2. MichaelA wrote:

Hit the “send” button too soon - I was going to add, that an alternative to dumping Rowan Williams, is for RW to accept that there is no future for liberalism in the CofE and turn to an enthusiastic support of basic orthodoxy. Its not too late, even now.

February 27, 9:19 pm | [comment link]
3. Teatime2 wrote:

Indeed. And he’s going to have to increasingly take a public stand. Has anyone else read the article about Elton John asking Lady Gaga to be his son’s godmother? Can’t wait to see the C of E’s response to that!

February 27, 9:31 pm | [comment link]
4. Confessor wrote:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, master of nuance, enigma, double-standard, double-mind, double-think, ignores the unbiblical infractions of the Americans and Canadians, but stands his ground (this week, at least) in his own home territory.

February 27, 9:32 pm | [comment link]
5. Via Mead (Rob Kirby) wrote:

Folks, while the ABC is taking a stand on “marriage”, this does not seem to be equated with upholding orthodox teaching on sexuality:

...he said that the Church is welcoming to homosexuals and permits its clergy to enter civil partnerships

Which seems to mean that, even though there exists a thing called marriage that the Church reserves for opposite-gendered couples, there are other “arrangements” that can be entered in to.

February 27, 10:59 pm | [comment link]
6. farstrider+ wrote:

I have to agree with Rob, here. It’s a sad and telling day when we end up celebrating this as a praiseworthy response. Yes, I appreciate the ABC’s saying that the CofE will defend marriage as it is defined by Scripture and Tradition. That’s a good thing. But it’s being done in the context of his insisting that the Church is allowing it’s clergy to enter into civil partnerships with their same sex lovers.

The response to these sad, benighted politicians who threaten that the Church is in danger of falling out of step with society should be, “The real and present danger is that society has already fallen out of step with God. As the Church we exist to remind you of that and to call you to repentance and restoration in his sight.” Now that would be worth celebrating.

February 27, 11:12 pm | [comment link]
7. tjmcmahon wrote:

Dr Rowan Williams has refused to be drawn on the issue publicly, but has broken his silence to tell MPs he is not prepared for the Coalition to tell the Church how to behave.

I will believe it when he says it in public and personally initiates discipline against CoE clergy who perform the ceremonies, or allow their churches to be used for the purpose.

February 27, 11:23 pm | [comment link]
8. deaconjohn25 wrote:

One can only hope this is the beginning of a turnaround in the Anglican Church. God knows Catholics and Evangelicals who are fighting the good fight for the Christian moral tradition need all the help they can get. In fact, the big reason for the success of those who want to destroy Christian morality in society is the collapse of the mainstream Protestant and Reformation Churches in defending traditional Christian moral values.

February 28, 1:31 am | [comment link]
9. MichaelA wrote:

I wish I could disagree with your last sentence deaconjohn, but I can’t… :o(

Our gratitude goes to the RC bishops in England who took a strong public stand on this issue before ABC said anything.

February 28, 2:01 am | [comment link]
10. Intercessor wrote:

I do not believe him. I do not trust him. Neither should anyone else.

February 28, 3:15 am | [comment link]
11. kmh1 wrote:

Rowan Williams and the Church of England sold the pass on this one when they allowed civil partnerships for clergy, while insisting that they are “not marriage” - a bizarre piece of doublethink in dealing with a recently invented legal relationship which conveys all the legal rights and duties of marriage. Now there are 50 or more clergy on the CofE in such partnerships, including the Dean of St Albans, Jeffrey John, and some cathedral canons. Others are just waiting (like Obama on DOMA) for the cultural climate to catch up.
Now the ‘civil partner’ of an Anglican cleric can inherit his/her pension but a single cleric’s mother or sibling couldn’t.
The Church of England could have stoped this through a clergy discipline measure - but it didn’t. Williams was Blair’s Manchurian candidate.

February 28, 3:32 am | [comment link]
12. tjmcmahon wrote:

Yes, I know I am a cynic.  I’ve been an Anglican too long to be otherwise. Look folks, all we have is a liberal MP saying that in his interpretation of what the ABoC said, the ABoC would resist having gay marriages in CoE churches.  And we all know the ABoC well enough now to imagine that what he actually said was along the lines of “the Church of England has not yet reached a consensus on gay marriage or the blessing of same sex relationships, and until such time as a consensus is reached, it would not be appropriate to use CoE sanctuaries for this purpose.”  Which is entirely different from “I will not permit any cleric under my jurisdiction to perform such a service, nor may any building belonging to the Church of England be used for this purpose.  Clerics performing such services without authorization will be subject to loss of license and or inhibition.  No bishop of the Church of England may authorize a marriage or similar ceremony that varies from the traditional understanding that a marriage is between one man and one woman.”
  The Lambeth spokesperson is quoted as saying, “The Church still believes on the basis of Bible and tradition that marriage is between a man and a woman and does not accept that this needs to change.”  I love the word “still” which implies that this belief is out of date and may indeed yet succumb to the Hegelian dialectic indaba of Synod.

February 28, 10:04 am | [comment link]
13. cramner wrote:

Another case of Rowan’s reported speech.
It happens all the time.

February 28, 10:56 am | [comment link]
14. Cennydd13 wrote:

Seeing is believing…..when I actually see it happen, then, and only then, will I believe it!

February 28, 3:47 pm | [comment link]
15. MichaelA wrote:


I stand corrected. I think you are right, and even my limited enthusiasm in #1 was probably misplaced. I should have known.

February 28, 7:25 pm | [comment link]
16. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

“...he(++Williams) said that the Church is welcoming to homosexuals and permits its clergy to enter civil partnerships”.

Which is a tacit admission that the ordination of active gays is now the teaching of the Church of England. 

Or, someone correct me if I’m wrong. 

“Dr Williams was regarded as a liberal when he was appointed as archbishop, but has constantly sacrificed his private beliefs to maintain the unity of the Church”.

And the latter half of this statement is the misrepresentation of the century.  Sarcasm on; the Anglican Communion looks really “united” right now, doesn’t it?!!

February 28, 9:19 pm | [comment link]
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