Justin Welby ‘affirms validity’ of 1998 statement that gay sex is a sin | Justin Welby

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Church, has tried to appease conservative bishops by “confirming the validity” of a 1998 statement that gay sex is a sin.

But as a balancing gesture, he also indicated that he would not seek the authority to punish churches – including those in Scotland, Wales and the US – that allow same-sex marriage.

In a letter to more than 650 bishops attending the once-decade Lambeth conference just two hours before a potentially rancorous discussion about sexuality, Welby said the 1998 resolution, known as Lambeth 1.10, was “without question.”

Campaigners for LGBT+ equality within the church reacted to Welby’s attempt to reconcile polarized views with anger. Jayne Ozanne said: “I feel deeply angry and frustrated that saving a man-made institution has once again been prioritized over protecting the lives of LGBT+ people.

“Let us be clear that Lambeth 1.10 encourages ‘conversion therapy’ and denies the God-given love between two individuals. It is a stick that many of us have been beaten with and will continue to suffer around the world.”

Welby’s letter was issued as conservative church leaders from the south of the world called on bishops at the Canterbury conference to reaffirm the 1998 statement, despite a decision by the organizers to drop the vote in favor of “supportive applause.” “.

Lambeth 1.10 rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with scripture” and “enforces fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman in a lifelong union”. Same-sex unions should not be legitimized or blessed.

The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches, which claims to represent 75% of Anglicans worldwide, said 1.10 “explicitly applies the clear and historical teachings of Scripture to matters of sexual morality.”

Justin Badi, the Archbishop of South Sudan, said: “We live in a time of great spiritual confusion and moral change. The Church of Jesus Christ cannot afford to lose its berths in Scripture and drift with the world.

“Based on the need to establish a clear doctrine on marriage and sexuality at this decisive moment for the Anglican Communion, this conference should reaffirm the biblical teaching of Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10.”

Badi said he was sure a majority of the bishops attending the conference would support his call.

He said that all Anglican bishops should “preach the good news of Jesus Christ … If we don’t respect the scriptures, we say God is wrong.” Bishops in same-sex relationships or who supported same-sex marriage had “distanced themselves from the way of God.”

The issue of sexuality — or human dignity in conference parlance — has been most controversial in the 12-day meeting, which has been postponed twice as of 2018. England as the Church of England. worldwide church for decades.

Anglican churches in Scotland, Wales, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico perform or bless same-sex marriages. The most determined opposition has come from churches in sub-Saharan Africa, with the archbishops of Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda boycotting this year’s Lambeth conference.

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