11 Feb 2023
Sir, I have no doubt that General Synod’s decision to allow blessings to same-sex couples will delight many (report, Feb 9). It will concern others, including me, who believe that marriage can be a true sacramental rite only between a man and a woman in a lifelong union of love. It is obvious that the next step can only be the acceptance of same-sex marriages.
Thus the Church of England will be out of step with the majority of the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches united with Constantinople, and the many Orthodox Churches of the Middle East. More seriously, it will be out of step with the book that has influenced our Church more than anything else: the Bible. Of that book Archbishop Frederick Temple once wrote: “I, who have read the Bible regularly for nearly 70 years, always feel that if my conscience differs from the Bible I must pause. It may be that my conscience wants enlightenment. It may be that I do not rightly interpret the Bible. But I do not feel the same with any other book.”
There is little doubt in my mind that the step General Synod has taken is a shift away from the foundational roots of the scriptures. I urge the bishops to think again about their proposals before they return in July.
The Right Rev Lord Carey of Clifton
Archbishop of Canterbury 1991-2002, House of Lords