Dr. Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, is leaving his post with a bang. In his final address before his planned retirement in early 2017, he declared to his fellow leading Anglicans that sex in a gay or lesbian relationship is perfectly “proper.”
Citing numerous Biblical passages that contradicted each other, he insisted that there was no “one settled understanding of what the Bible says” on sexuality, and that opinions have shifted over time on how to best carry out the will of God. He pointed out that churches had changed positions on issues such as slavery before, and that “It absolutely will not do to quote texts from parts of the Bible in a simplistic way without reference to their contexts.”
The best way to interpret the Bible, he concluded, was to be “consistent with the main thrust of the ministry of Jesus, who went out of His way to minister to those who were excluded, marginalised, and abandoned by his society because they were regarded as impure and unholy by the religious leaders of his day, either because of their gender, age, morality or sexuality.”
Some branches of Anglicanism are stepping around the tricky issue of homosexuality by pushing celibacy. The Bishop of Grantham, the Rt. Rev Nicholas Chamberlain, recently came out as gay and in a same-sex relationship, with the disclaimer that he was celibate.
However, Dr. Morgan is rejecting even this traditional aspect, arguing that people flourish “when a couple make a lifelong commitment within which sex properly belongs.” This claim, he added, has no line of exclusion based on sexual orientation. [Telegraph]