ANGLICANS are "like one of those families that, rather than
having their arguments in private, hissing at each other and
sulking, goes out in the garden and shouts", the Archbishop of
Canterbury said on Wednesday. "It's not always a good thing. I
think it often is a good thing, because it's transparent and
The Archbishop was speaking to ABC Australia's Religion and
Ethics Report during his visit to the Province this week.
Asked about divisions within the Communion - the previous
Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, was an active member of
GAFCON - he said that there remained "a sense of unity". In each of
the 29 Provinces he had, as Archbishop, visited to date, he had
found that the link to Canterbury had been "something that people
treasure and value to a huge degree".
He concluded: "We may split apart; we may walk separately; we
may walk togther. I believe that Christ is calling us to walk
together, and that's what I am working on."
On Wednesday, the Archbishop preached at the service of
inauguration for the Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Philip Freier, as
Primate of Australia, at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne.
The Church of England was swimming against a cultural "rip
tide", and associated with "what is often seen as nasty, bad,
judgemental, condemning", Archbishop Welby said.
In this tide, "autonomy and existential self-invention tear
through all assumptions about everything from the proper conduct of
government to the nature of human sexuality, taking with it the
ethics of our collective life."
The Church was "laden with our systems of governance, our
assumptions about how we act, our sins of the past, especially in
the treatment of children and vulnerable adults".
Despite the good work of the Church on the ground, "the TV
public image of the Church is, wrongly, at best of quarrelsome
idiots, and often of concealing villains."
The Church must seek "positive holiness and liberation", he
said, which "sets us free from the sins of defensive
inward-looking, competitive argument". It must confess its faults,
"especially the abuse of power that lies behind the abuse of
children and vulnerable adults", and seek "liberty to be diverse
and yet full of love for one another".
During his one-day visit to Australia, the Archbishop said that
decisions about any changes were best made by the Communion as a
whole, not in one place; and that included the next Lambeth
Conference, "whenever that might be".
"There is nothing magic about the number eight," he said,
meaning that the next Lambeth Conference was not necessarily to be
held in 2018, the year when it would be held according to the
Supporting Dr Freier's call to the Australian government to
offer asylum to Christians from northern Iraq who were facing
either forced conversion or death, Archbishop Welby said that what
was happening in Iraq was "off the scale of human horror".
The persecution in northern Iraq and Syria was "especially
savage", he said, but it was also part of a "rising and
increasingly serious persecution of Christians and other groups in