Anglican Leader Rejects Homosexual "Marriages"

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LONDON, APR. 9, 2001 ( The spiritual leader of the Anglican Church insists it will not sanction so-called homosexual marriages.

George Carey, archbishop of Canterbury, told the BBC that the church should not "muddy the waters" over the nature of marriage. "Marriage is a relationship between man and a woman," he told the "Breakfast with Frost" program. "I don´t think it actually helps to confuse terms."

He went on: "People can have deep friendship, and call it friendship, but we don´t have to muddy the waters in terms of calling it marriage. So let´s be clear about the language we use."

Carey was asked whether he could ever envisage his post being filled by a woman or by a homosexual.

He said a female archbishop of Canterbury was a possibility, depending on the outcome of the deliberations of a working group examining the issue. But he acknowledged the church was still "grappling" with the homosexuality issue.

Non-practicing homosexuals are allowed in the priesthood, he said, but the church "draws a line at practicing homosexuals because the church has a clear ruling on what kind of lifestyle we require in the ordained ministry."