Archbishop of Wales Is Committed to Traditional Teaching on Sexual Ethics
THE Archbishop of Wales has responded to critics who say his views on homosexuality and sex outside marriage will split the Anglican Church when he becomes Archbishop of Canterbury.
Dr Rowan Williams, who will be enthroned as leader of the world's 70 million Anglicans early next year, affirmed his commitment to the church's traditional teaching on sexual ethics.
Right wing evangelical groups such as the Church Society and Reform have called on Dr Williams to resign over what they regard as his liberal views on homosexuality.
They claim that his apparent acceptance of gay priests - he admits to having ordained a practising homosexual - will create a schism in the church.
In his farewell address as Bishop of Monmouth to the Monmouth Diocesan conference at the weekend Dr Williams paid tribute to the clergy and laity of the diocese where he has served as bishop for ten years before turning to the row that has made his elevation to Archbishop of Canterbury the most hotly debated of modern times.
``I have always been committed to the church's traditional teaching on sex before marriage and adultery,'' said Dr Williams.
But he said the Christian approach to life also informed the way individuals dealt with such ideals and with people who did not share them.
``We may want to be compassionate and realistic with people coming from a setting where these ideals are remote or completely unintelligible,'' he said.
``But the last thing I's want to do is to weaken the challenge and excitement of that traditional view that says we can and should demonstrate God's faithfulness in our bodily lives, and that this is the meaning of Christian marriage. …