Archbishop of Canterbury: It would be inappropriate for me to say if I oppose equal marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed it would be “inappropriate” of him to discuss his opposition to same-sex marriage.

While Archbishop Justin Welby was appearing on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, he was challenged on his previous stance on the issue.

Host Kirsty Young asked: “Let’s talk about same-sex marriage. You yourself have spoken against same-sex marriage. What do you think it is about homosexual relationships that should make them in the Church’s eyes inferior, less equal?”

However, he refused to address his own views, despite openly opposing same-sex marriage when the legislation was passing through Parliament.

He said: “I’m really not going to answer the question very well because we’re now into conversations within the Church, both globally and locally, and I think if I weigh in at this stage it’s inappropriate.”

He added: “It’s something that as you go around the Communion, and having visited all the provinces I’m very aware of this, that is seen by many as an absolutely central understanding of obedience to Christ, in both directions.

“In human terms, it looks impossible, and many people say you shouldn’t bother to try.

“When I listen to people I know that I’m listening to people for whom not just the issue of sexuality but the whole way in which the Church lives and exists and reaches out to people, what it looks like to be a holy church, is something on which they feel passionately and are deeply, deeply, deeply disagreeing.

“If you love them you listen carefully”

The Archbishop told PinkNews back in May that it’s “great” that gay couples in England and Wales can now marry and that it’s “right and proper, it’s the law of the land”.

However, spokespersons later clarifyied that he meant it was right and proper that the law should be respected.