The head of the Anglican Church in Wales says those Christians who support marriage equality must be patient as the church routes its way forward, according to the BBC.
Archbishop Barry Morgan said in an address to the church’s governing body today that the church is far from having a single opinion on the issue, but he suggested that the denomination may evolve and eventually embrace marriage equality.
“Some people have changed their minds, for example, on women's ministry and same-sex relationships when they have experienced the ministry of a woman priest in the one case, or discovered their own son or daughter to be gay in the other,” he said. He also noted that Jesus “had nothing to say about same-sex relationships.”
Morgan said he hopes discussions will be “charitable” and asked if the church might “eventually adopt the same approach as far as same-sex relationships are concerned, as we have done about remarriage after divorce, or is gay marriage in a different category from the remarriage of divorced people? Whatever our viewpoints, I hope that our discussions can be charitable.”
The archbishop urged patience from all sides.
“Much as some people may want to [bless same-sex marriages], the rule is the same as was the case over the remarriage of divorced people — we need to wait for the church, as a whole, to decide the matter — and we are beginning that process at this governing body,” he said.
Same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales earlier this year, but Anglican churches are prohibited from celebrating such unions. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who heads the worldwide Anglican Communion, opposes marriage equality.
The Anglican Church, with 77 million members globally, is grappling with several gender-related issues. As reported in The Advocate, a Church of England priest defied church authorities by marrying his partner, and the Church of Wales is formulating guidelines for ordaining women as bishops.
Follow Michael O’Loughlin on Twitter at @mikeoloughlin.