Pope Francis on Friday praised the head
of the Church of England, Justin Welby, for his opposition to gay
According to the AFP, the pope received
Archbishop Welby at the Vatican, where the two chatted, prayed and
had lunch together.
Francis urged Welby to continue
affirming “the importance of the institution of the family built on
marriage, a value that you yourself have had occasion to recall
In recent remarks before the House of
Lords, Welby said he could not support a proposed bill which seeks to
make Britain the 15th nation to allow gay and lesbian
couples to marry because it would diminish and devalue marriage.
“The concept of marriage as a
normative place for procreation is lost. The idea [of] marriage as
covenant is diminished. The family in its normal sense, predating
the state, and as our base community of society, as we have already
heard, is weakened,” he said.
As archbishop of Buenos Aires, the
former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio strongly opposed its
legalization in Argentina, calling a proposed marriage bill the
“Devi's handiwork” and “a destructive attack on God's plan.”
However, Francis' authorized biographer
Sergio Rubin told The New York Times that Bergoglio wanted the
Catholic church to back civil unions as a “lesser of two evils”