Approximately every 10 years, Anglican bishops gather in one spot to discuss issues that matter to the Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is the man who convenes this meeting. But this year’s event came with a heap of controversy in part because the Church of England permits same-sex marriage while other churches do not. Some bishops, then, are in same-sex marriages.
Welby had to choose between allowing all spouses to attend the meeting… or just the spouses of opposite-sex couples. He decided to ban the gay spouses in order to prevent a boycott from the more conservative bishops. Because of course he did.
He recently called that decision “painful” but necessary.
“Well over 90 per cent of the Anglican communion are conservative on issues of sexuality. I’ve invited all the bishops, including those in same-sex marriages. And I had to consider… getting as many people as possible there and excluding as few as possible. It’s a lose-lose situation,” he said.
He continued: “I had to take what is a really difficult and painful decision to say, in order for the conference to be as representative as possible and get all the bishops there and not have the risk of some provinces not coming because they felt I was pushing the envelope too far, that I couldn’t ask all the spouses.”
If you want society to make progressive steps forward, there’s a very simple way to do that: Stop catering to bigots. If they don’t come, they don’t come — and their absence will mean a healthier environment for everyone else.
The only people who would be “excluded” by allowing gay spouses would be those who would rather pout than participate. It wouldn’t have been a loss. Yet Welby, by trying to accommodate the most people, decided to throw an already persecuted group of people under a bus. By doing so, he showed that even the more liberal religious leaders are often no allies to the LGBTQ community.
(Screenshot via YouTube)