In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the Archbishop of York says:
“Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.” “I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can’t just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are.”
“… I don’t want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way.
“It’s almost like somebody telling you that the Church, whose job is to worship God [will be] an arm of the Armed Forces. They must take arms and fight. You’re completely changing tradition.”
Dr John Sentamu wouldn’t be an ordained member of the Church of England and Archbishop of York if, in different ways, both church and state hadn’t radically redefined very clear social structures and changed centuries-old tradition and history.
He later says: “The Church has always stood out – Jesus actually was the odd man out. I’d rather stick with Jesus than be popular because it looks odd.”
Exactly, dear Archbishop, that’s what the Church is called to do – stand out – because that’s what Jesus revealed about God. Whichever group in society is the present ‘odd man out’, that’s the group the Church is called to stand with and campaign for. It’s taking the Church of England and the Anglican Communion for ever to discover that Jesus stands with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people against archbishops and bishops and Church authorities, powers and traditions.
Dr Sentamu said that: “If you genuinely would like the registration of civil partnerships to happen in a more general way, most people will say they can see the drift. But if you begin to call those ‘marriage’, you’re trying to change the English language.”
No, there is no attempt to change the English language, and a lawyer ought to know better and use language more carefully. For the Church, it is the theology of marriage that will be changed and expanded. For the government, it will be the legal definition of civil marriage.
Dr Sentamu says:
“That does not mean you diminish, condemn, criticise, patronise any same-sex relationships because that is not what the debate is about.
Dear John, that is exactly what the Church does and you do. You act to diminish the place of LGB&T people in your own diocese. Thank goodness other members of your senior staff have the courage to stand against you. You have no idea of the effect your stance and the stance of the bishops in general have on LGB&T Anglicans. Our relationships are constantly diminished, criticised and patronised by bishops’ attitudes and langauge. Yet again you reveal in an embarrassingly public way that you really do not understand us.