Magazine article Anglican Journal

Welby: 'We Are Never Just a Local Church'

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Welby: 'We Are Never Just a Local Church'

Article excerpt

After a 12-hour day of back-to-back engagements during his visit to the Anglican Church of Canada, a jet-lagged Justin Welby, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, sat down for a 15-minute interview with the Anglican Journal's Marites Sison late Tuesday evening, April 8. [Here are excerpts]

Q: What have you learned about the Anglican Church of Canada that has been most unexpected?

A: Two things have been unexpected that have been striking. One is the depth of commitment to the truth and reconciliation process, which I didn't realize quite how deep that went into the life of the church. And, also, the commitment of the church to support the Council of the North dioceses...That's all part of the same sense of commitment to those the church has damaged or who are on the edge. The other thing that's struck me has been the commitment to the Five Marks of Mission and that these are very much part of the strategy of the church.

Q: Could you give us a sense of what you talked about with the primate?

A: We talked about the challenge of diversity in the Communion, that we have such breathtaking diversity across the Communion that it's a massive task to even think about how we can relate to each other effectively.

Q: In 2016, the Canadian church's General Synod will be presented with a resolution

changing the marriage canon to allow same-sex marriage. Is this a cause for concern?

A: That's a really tough question. Well, it's got to be a cause for concern because this is a particularly tough issue to deal with...And I hope that two or three things happen: I hope that the church, in its deliberations, is drawing on the wealth of its contribution to the Anglican Communion and the worldwide church, to recognize...the important links. And that, in its deliberations, it is consciously listening to the whole range of issues that are of concern in this issue...We need to be listening to the LGBT voices and to discern what they're really saying...There needs to be listening to Christians from around the world; there needs to be listening to ecumenical partners, to interfaith partners. There needs to be a commitment to being able to disagree in a way that demonstrates that those involved in the discussions love one another as Christ loves us.

Q: In your interview about gay marriage with LBC Radio, were you in fact blaming the death of Christians in parts of Africa on the acceptance of gay marriage in America?

A: I was careful not to be too specific because that would pin down where that happened and that would put the community back at risk I wouldn't use the word "blame"--that's a misuse of words in the context. …

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