The Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, who was formally announced as successor to Dr Rowan Williams yesterday, insisted that he supported the Church of England’s opposition to same-sex marriage.Seriously? If a church's position on morality is guided by the whims of popular opinion, what is the point? It is no longer an organization rooted in the word of God (i.e., built on a rock), but merely a place to hear the philosophies of men mingled with a few feel good verses from the Bible, and maybe sing some old hymns (i.e., built on sand).
But he promised to reassess his own traditional line on the issue “prayerfully and carefully” and pointedly emphasised his support for civil partnerships.
It comes amid speculation that the Church of England – which fears the introduction of same sex marriage could threaten its position as the established church – might reconsider whether or not to offer formal blessing services for same-sex couples as a compromise.
The Church is due to publish a review of its stance on issues around sexuality next year.
Updated (11/11/2012): An op-ed at the Independent captures what happens to a religion that compromises on its principles:
Whatever Welby's qualities, however, the truth is that he's taking charge of an organisation which doesn't matter to most of the population. Desperate attempts to make the Church of England sound "relevant" can't avoid that fact that most of us never set foot in any of its buildings except as tourists. And we hold a wide range of beliefs that include agnosticism, atheism, other forms of religion and devotion to the Jedi. The Anglican church long ago lost any claim to authority, and its special status is an outrageous anachronism. Disestablishment is long overdue and so is the removal of 26 Anglican bishops from the House of Lords. They're actually just senior officials in an NGO, with no stronger claim to sit in the legislature than the head of Amnesty International or the RSPB.