Damian Thompson, at the Daily Telegraph, thinks so:
The C of E is tiptoeing towards gay marriage
The Archbishop of Canterbury ran up the white flag on gay marriage this week and almost no one noticed. The Most Rev Justin Welby told the Evangelical Alliance – an umbrella group for born-again Christians – that “we should be really, really repentant” for having supported homophobia in the past. That call for repentance made the headlines – but it wasn’t the real story. Continue reading
The Church of England needs to acknowledge the revolution in attitudes to sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury said as he warned ignoring issues like gay marriage would be “foolish”.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby said there had been a “revolution” in attitudes to homosexuality and the economy, particularly among young people.
Speaking to more than 6,000 people at a conference, Archbishop Welby said the passing of the Same Sex Marriage Act had been “crushing” for the church, but was something it needed to listen and respond to.
“I spoke against it and voted against it but I listened and I heard the roar of revolution,” said the Archbishop, as he described listening to the debate on The Same Sex Marriage Act.
“It came not merely from those one would expect but from every side of the house, Conservatives, Liberals and Labour, of every age and sex.
“Those of us against the act were utterly crushed in the voting again, and again, and again.
“There were more people who turned out to vote than the House of Lords than experienced in World War Two.
“But, let me be equally clear, an overwhelming change which effects the opinions of the majority of people, especially our young people, is a revolution we must pay attention too.
full report at Telegraph.
The Prime Minister may have wimped out of the debate in the House of Commons this afternoon, but it is his fault, or achievement, that gay marriage will almost certainly reach the statute book before the election. In making this happen, I don’t think he will inflict permanent damage on his party, in which the division of opinion is mainly along generational lines and will shift with time. For the Church of England, however, tonight’s overwhelming vote was a disaster: it will be forbidden by law to conduct same-sex weddings that many of its clergy would like to see written into their prayer books. The House of Bishops’ already wobbly consensus on this issue will fall apart once some prelates start turning a blind eye to gay church wedding ceremonies disguised as “blessings”. The legislation will set diocese against diocese and parish against parish; the “lock” banning gay weddings in the C of E will not survive changes to the demography of congregations, in which age will count for more than churchmanship. Many young Anglican evangelicals either support gay marriage or are lukewarm in their opposition to it – as the new Archbishop of Canterbury is no doubt well aware. Yet, even far into the future, there will be a solid rump of Anglicans fervently opposed to homosexual marriage on theological grounds. If you thought the battle over women priests and bishops was nasty, wait until this one begins.
via Damian Thompson
– Telegraph Blogs.