Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Lambeth Palace denies Justin Welby said homosexuality is ‘morally wrong’

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s staff have questioned the veracity of quotes ascribed to the Most Rev. Justin Welby in an interview published with the Harare Sunday Mail. On 16 April 2016 Archbishop Welby travelled to Zimbabwe during a break in the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka to meet President Robert Mugabe and to lead worship on the next day. Upon his arrival at the airport, Archbishop Welby spoke to reporters on local and global Anglican issues, including the question of homosexuality. The Daily Mail quoted the archbishop as saying the Anglican position on homosexuality had not changed. “You know it (homosexuality) is morally wrong but legally we cannot condemn those who practice it.” A spokesman for the archbishop said Archbishop Welby had refrained from offering personal opinions on the question of homosexuality and his words had been misquoted. The aide told AI what the archbishop had said was: “Oh, you’ll find plenty about that on my website. Same sex marriage in England is legal.  The Church – the Anglican Communion’s view is that we oppose strongly the criminalisation of same-sex relationships. That’s not about the moral status of the relationships, it’s about the criminalisation. And at our meeting in January of all the Archbishops, we said that then. You’ll find a statement on the website.” The archbishop’s staff also questioned the accuracy of quotations given in response to questions about Zimbabwe’s prosperity gospel preachers. The Daily Mail cited the archbishop as saying: “Preachers should always preach the true Gospel. It is very clear in the Scripture that Christians face problems, but it doesn’t mean God is not there. The Gospel of saying if you come to Jesus you will get everything is heresy; those preachers are actually deceiving people.” However, the archbishop’s staff said that what actually the archbishop said was: “The Bible teaches us in the world you will have troubles, but do not be afraid, he says, for I have overcome the world. Any gospel that tells us somehow God is going to make us all rich and make everything smooth in this world is deceiving people. We live by faith in Jesus Christ who overcomes the world and that is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”  

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