THE Church is sometimes guilty of sending out a message of
"unwelcome" and "lack of patience" to gay people, the Archbishop
of Canterbury said last Saturday.
Addressing teenagers at Lambeth Palace, Dr Williams said that
the Church was "scratching its head and trying to work out where it
is . . . and what to think about" same-sex marriage and
"What's frustrating is that we still have Christian people whose
feelings about it are so strong, and sometimes so embarrassed and
ashamed and disgusted, that that just sends out a message of
unwelcome, of lack of understanding, of lack of patience. So,
whatever we think about it, we need, as a Church, to be tackling
what we feel about it."
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, sought to reassure
supporters of same-sex marriage of his party's support last week,
in the face of "heated debate" over the proposals.
In a video recording, posted on the website of the Out 4
Marriage campaign, Mr Clegg said that the introduction of same-sex
marriage was "not a matter of 'if' any more".
The Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson, this week criticised a
response by church officials to the Government's consultation on
same-sex marriage, which closed on 14 June (News, 15
Dr Wilson told The Sunday Telegraph that the
submission, which argues that to permit same-sex marriage would
"dilute" marriage for everybody, was "narrow and legalistic. . .
The statement doesn't speak for me at all. There is a groundswell
of opinion that says, 'This does not speak for us.'"
Writing on his blog on 13 June, the Bishop of Grantham, the Rt
Revd Tim Ellis, said that bishops who had defended the submission
in the media "have not spoken for me or the way in which I
understand this thorny matter and, I suspect, they do not speak for
a sizeable minority or even majority within the life of the
Seventy-five per cent of the 646 respondents to a Church
Times online poll said that the official submission did not
reflect their views on same-sex marriage.
A petition on the website www. change.org, objecting to the
views in the response paper, has attracted nearly 3500