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Archbishop of Canterbury Promises LGBT Activists to 'Root Out' Certain People From the Church of England

Archbishop of Canterbury Promises LGBT Activists to 'Root Out' Certain People From the Church of England

By Tyler O'Neil
February 09, 2023

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the head of the Church of England, promised LGBT activists that he would "take action" against clergy and lay members of the church's General Synod who condemn homosexual activity.

The leader of Christian Concern, a group representing a General Synod member whom Welby has threatened to remove, condemned the remarks as "giving a green light for a witch hunt of any Church of England clergy who believe in the traditional view that marriage is between one man and one woman for life."

Welby responded to an LGBT activist who mischaracterized a quote from an African Anglican bishop, pledging to launch a "disciplinary process" against clergy and lay leaders who utter similar words.

"Here's a promise: you send me details of a church that is saying something like that and I will ensure that there is a disciplinary process against the clergy who said that," the archbishop promised. "We'll root 'em out! We'll root them out. Send me the details with that bit of paper and their names at the bottom of it, and I will take action."

He promised to take action against members of the General Synod, as well as members of the clergy. (An elected body, the General Synod considers and approves legislation affecting the Church of England when it comes to worship and the annual budget.)

Welby was responding to Peter Tatchell, who protested at Lambeth Palace on Jan. 23, holding a sign reading "Church ban on LGBT marriage is homophobic discrimination. SHAME!" Tatchell and other protesters faulted Welby for refusing to personally bless same-sex couples. The Church of England does not endorse same-sex marriage, but it recently approved prayers of blessing for same-sex couples, a move that faced harsh criticism from other corners of the global Anglican Communion.

"I care equally for people round the world and not just for people in this country," Welby said. Tatchell confronted him, asking, "Do you?" and challenging him to respond to the archbishop of Uganda, Stephen Kaziimba.

"Did you hear what the archbishop of Uganda said at Christmas?" Tatchell said. "He said it would be better for parents to drown their children than let them be gay."

Yet Kaziimba made no such comment. In his Christmas message (full video here and at the bottom of this article), the archbishop condemned people "who are recruiting children into homosexuality," quoting the words of Jesus in Luke 17:2.

"I want to alert all students, parents, and teachers that there are bad people trying to attract children into homosexuality by promising them money and sponsorship," Kaziimba said. "I urge the government to set up a simple system whereby children can report these people to the relevant authorities who can investigate and take appropriate action."

"To those who are recruiting children into homosexuality, I want to sound a very strong warning to you. These are not my words, but the words of Jesus: 'If anyone causes one of these little ones...to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea,'" he added.

Welby did not contest Tatchell's description of Kaziimba's remarks, but rather said that he had publicly rebuked Kaziimba on exactly that quote. (Welby has condemned Kaziimba's refusal to attend the Lambeth Conference last July, but there appears to be no record of him responding to the Christmas message.)

Welby did not respond to The Daily Signal's request for comment about what kind of comments would lead him to launch such a "disciplinary process" to "root" such people "out" of the Church of England. He did not respond to questions about his alleged condemnation of Kaziimba's remarks.

Yet recent events may shine light on what Welby's promise means. On Feb. 2, a week and a half after Welby's promise on Jan. 23, the archbishop sent a letter to Sam Margrave, a member of the General Synod, demanding that Margrave apologize for Twitter comments and suggesting that Welby might expel him from the synod if he did not. Margrave had made comments opposing the sexualization of children and speaking out against what he described as queer theory.


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