Christian Concern: Church should have condemned equal marriage as strongly as Wonga

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Advocacy group Christian Concern have said the national attention on the Church of England’s opposition to payday lenders makes its opposition to same-sex marriage seem “disappointing” in comparison.

This week, Archbishop Justin Welby took a high-profile stance against lending company Wonga, saying he wanted the Church to compete it “out of existence”.

The statement continued to make the headlines, particularly after the Financial Times revealed that the Church indirectly contributed to Wonga through its stake in a venture capital fund, which invested heavily in the payday loans company.

Christian Concern have criticised the Church for not taking a “similarly robust” stance against same-sex marriage.

The Church had opposed the same-sex marriage bill up until June, when it said that it accepted that there was a clear majority in Parliament to introduce same-sex marriage and that it would therefore end its opposition to changing the law.

Archbishop Welby admitted that the Church’s opposition to equal marriage was “utterly overwhelmed” by vocal supporters.

Christian Today writes that this stance was criticised by Christian Concern head Andrea Minichiello Williams.

She said: “We called on Archbishop Welby and the bishops many times, asking them to stand strong for marriage and speak out.

“The news [about Wonga] this week shows the possible impact they could have had on the marriage debate. It’s deeply disappointing that they didn’t take the lead and make similarly robust statements about marriage when it mattered.”

She added: “It’s important that not just David Cameron, but also his advisers, know that there will be a political price to pay for such disregard of those who believe in traditional marriage.”

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