Archbishop of Canterbury

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The arms of the See of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric in the Church of England, and spiritual head of the Anglican Communion. There have been Archbishops of Canterbury since 597.

Some notable Archbishops of Canterbury

  • In 670, St Theodore of Tarsus prescribed penances for various homosexual acts.
  • St Anselm wrote in passionate terms to male friends, and suppressed the condemnation of homosexuality following the Council of London in 1102.
  • John Whitgift, Archbishop from 1583 to 1604, was noted for his very close friendship with Dr Andrew Perne.
  • Edward White Benson, Archbishop from 1883 to 1896, had a lesbian wife and at least four gay or lesbian children.
  • George Carey's Easter sermon in 1998 was disrupted by Peter Tatchell as a protest against Carey's opposition to gay rights.
  • Rowan Williams, Archbishop from 2002 to 2012, was seen as liberal on gay issues, but found it impossible to appoint a gay man as a bishop because of the controversy that this raised within the Church of England and the world-wide Anglican Communion.
  • Justin Welby, appointed 2012, voted against equal marriage in the House of Lords.

External links