Canterbury Archbishop: Christians Must Overcome Gay 'Disgust'
But forget about same-sex marriage: Rowan Williams
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 27, 2012 12:05 AM CDT
Updated Jun 27, 2012 12:30 AM CDT
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, arrives at Saint Paul's Cathedral during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in London earlier this month.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A surprise champion has stepped up to call for improved attitudes about homosexuality—a short time after he blasted the British government for considering legalizing same-sex marriages. Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury has admonished Christians for their failure to overcome their "disgust" of homosexuality. The Church of England is in a "tangle" over the issue of homosexuality, the archbishop admitted in his most frank comments to date on the issue, reports the Telegraph. "What's frustrating is that we still have Christian people whose feelings about it are so strong, and sometimes so embarrassed and ashamed and disgusted, that that just sends out a message of unwelcome, of lack of understanding, of lack of patience," Archbishop Rowan Williams told a group of teenagers at an event at his official residence.

Williams, who's stepping down from his post at the end of the year, added: "We're used to being alongside people who are gay; many of our friends may be—indeed we may be—wrestling with that issue ourselves, and the church is scratching its head and trying to work out where it is on all that." He also pointed to divisive attitudes in his church about appointing female bishops, which he said gives the impression that sex is "the only thing the church is interested in." The apparent support for gay acceptance came just weeks after the church and Williams sternly warned the government not to legalize same-sex marriage because it would "alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history," according to a church statement. Many believed Williams would strongly support gay rights as head of the Anglicans, but he has turned out to be generally more interested in preserving unity within the church than in fighting for controversial positions, notes the Guardian.