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Breakfast with Frost
Sunday 13 July, 2003 , BBC Breakfast with Frost Interview with George Curry, Chairman, Church Society

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

George Curry, Church Society
Same sex, sexual relationships are always wrong

PETER SISSONS: Now talk of rivalry, conspiracy, even a schism, has overtaken the Church of England in the last few weeks. Not very Christian, perhaps, but it seems nothing less than that the future of the Church is at stake over its attitude towards gay clergy and homosexuality in general.

In a moment I'll be talking to a senior liberal bishop, live from the General Synod in York, but first I'm joined from Newcastle by George Curry, representing the evangelical group The Church Society. Good morning Mr Curry.

GEORGE CURRY: Good morning.

PETER SISSONS: When you saw, or perhaps you didn't see but you may have seen the news bulletins, Peter Tatchell lecturing the Synod yesterday, haranguing the archbishops, what was your reaction?

GEORGE CURRY: Well it's just typical Peter Tatchell isn't it? I mean he's always out for outrageous activities such as that to try and get the message across that he wants to get across. But

PETER SISSONS: (OVERLAPS) But there's - sorry carry on.

GEORGE CURRY: But his message of course is a wrong one. He wants to tell us that if we oppose same sex sexual relationships we're acting in a discriminatory manner. By discriminatory manner at that point, of course, what he means is that we're picking on homosexuals. We love homosexuals, we always will.

We're not afraid of them and we certainly are not those who hate them. We recognise though that the Bible is quite clear about what sexual relationships are acceptable and what are not and we recognise that the Bible tells us that just as adultery is always wrong, so same sex sexual relationships are always wrong. So Peter Tatchell is wrong on that matter and unfortunately, sadly, there are some within the Church who are also wrong on this matter.

PETER SISSONS: But the report this morning that a Church of England working party of bishops, led by the Bishop of Oxford, or including the Bishop of Oxford, will argue that gay sex should be tolerated by the Church. How will that go down with the evangelical wing?

GEORGE CURRY: We understand that that document comes from a group who is chaired by the Bishop of Oxford - you said he was involved, I understand he actually chaired it. We also know that the Bishop of Selby this morning has said that he doesn't think the document says that but the bits that I've heard of it seem to indicate that there is an argument for diversity, i.e.: the two opinions should be held together, one beside each other as it were.

That will be very unhelpful I think. What we want is the bishops to be clear. The job of bishops, the job of all clergy, the job of all Christian leaders, is to teach the truth and to drive away error and we don't want our bishops, on this matter, fudging the issue or arguing for something which is contrary to what the Bible teaches.

PETER SISSONS: The Church has already, though - hasn't it? - reached its compromise on homosexual priests. It's okay as long as they're celibate. Cannon John says he is celibate, so what is the problem?

GEORGE CURRY: No he doesn't say that actually. The whole issue has been confused by a document the bishops, I think very unwisely, produced back in 1991 - Issues in Human Sexuality - which actually argues for a double standard - a standard for the clergy and a standard for the laity. We at the time - quite robustly, I hope graciously - said that that was a totally unacceptable position.

Same sex sexual relationships are always wrong. It doesn't matter who indulges in them, whether it's a clergyman or a lay man. And the problem you see with regard, if you want to come to the personal, which we try to avoid as much as we possibly can, we want to keep to the principles, but you can't have a clergyman as a bishop, as a leader, who has never repented of their immoral lifestyle and who will be teaching, either as a bishop or a clergyman, that a sexual immoral lifestyle is acceptable.

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