Rowan on Gay Stuff

He’s in Cambridge (booooo) now so the Cambridge (booooo) student newspaper Tab have interviewed him (can you tell I’m an Oxford man?)

Rowan WilliamsOn the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage, do you consider your own views and those of the church as being out of touch with the views of your students at Cambridge, and do you think that’s a problem?

I think it is quite a problem. This is the one area where there is the deepest sense of the church being out of step with what the rest of the culture take for granted. I think it’s quite difficult for some people outside of the church to recognise that there is something in the matter of several thousand years of assumption, reflection and ethical practice here which isn’t likely to be overturned in a moment. But, all that being said, I think the church has to put its hands up and say our attitude towards gay people has at times been appallingly violent. Even now it can be unconsciously patronising and demeaning, and that really doesn’t help. We have to face the fact that we’ve deeply failed a lot of gay and lesbian people, not only historically but more recently as well. I think that there is a very strong, again theological, case for thinking again about our attitudes towards homosexuality: but I’m a bit hesitant about whether marriage is the right category to talk about same sex relation, and I think there is a debate we haven’t quite had about that. But in a sense that’s water under the bridge, the decision has been taken, things move on. Looking back over my time as Archbishop I think that’s what most people will remember about the last ten years: ‘oh, he was that bloke who was so bogged down in issues about sexuality’.

Bit of a bone for everyone there really. A nod to catholicity, an acknowledgement (correctly) that we have failed GLB people in the church (whether that means not blessing relationships OR not providing the appropriate pastoral support frameworks to enable people to live celibate lives), a nod to changing the Church of England’s stance on the issue and finally a drawing back from the use of “marriage” to describe gay unions.

Watch various people takes the bits of this they like and ignore the bits they don’t….

Update

Oh look, case in point.