The Archbishop of Canterbury has denied reports that he has changed his personal opinion of same sex marriages.
Justin Welby, the head of the Church of England, told the Andrew Marr Show that he was “loathe to comment” on the issue of sexuality, but that he was still unconvinced by the arguments for gay marriage.
He had previously voted against the legislation in the House of Lords last year, expressing fears that it would weaken family and society, and reiterated his opposition at the weekend.
“I was very clearly against same-sex marriage when the bill came through, and the position of the church remains unchanged on that,” he told the news and current affairs programme.
“We’re at the beginning of a process of shared conversations, and I just want to let those take their course, and not pre-empt the way we are going to emerge from those decisions.”
The issue has caused a major schism in the church and the Archbishop admitted he was still struggling with the question of what to do.
While the majority of churchgoers are said to be indifferent about the issue, there are strong feelings on both sides and senior clergy fear that it will be almost impossible to reach an agreement that will be acceptable to everyone.
Same sex marriages began in March, but under the legislation passed by Government, it was agreed that religious groups would have the right to opt out of conducting services.