The new Archbishop of Canterbury will today issue a challenge to David Cameron by voicing opposition to gay marriage on the eve of the first parliamentary vote on the controversial new law.
In his first official day as leader of the Church of England, the Rt Rev Justin Welby is expected to say that marriage should remain “between a man and a woman”.
As MPs prepare for the vote on gay marriage tomorrow, Bishop Welby will give his first interviews after being officially confirmed in the post at a ceremony in St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
“If asked, he will say that marriage is between a man and a woman, and always has been,” a source close to Bishop Welby said last night, adding that the Archbishop was expecting to be asked for his views and had prepared his response.
Justin Welby can challenge David Cameron until the cows come home and it won’t make any difference. Challenging the government is easy for an Anglican bishop because no-one in the government cares, is listening or believes it will make a whit of difference. Archbishops of Canterbury have been whining at governments for centuries about one thing or another – to no effect other than to create the illusion that they are busy doing something. What is less easy – and more relevant for the church – is a challenge to the North American bishops who promote homosexual marriage.
Perhaps Welby is just practicing on David Cameron before getting down to the real business of sorting out the likes of Katharine Jefferts-Schori and Fred Hiltz; I’m not particularly optimistic that that is the case, though.