[Stand Firm] 4 Jul 2008--The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev Alan Harper, who is one of 38 primates in the worldwide Anglican Communion, said today that if “reason” were applied to the Bible texts that seem to condemn homosexuality, a different interpretation would be found.
He challenged the intellectual rigour of conservatives who use St Paul's epistles — in particular the first chapter of his Letter to the Romans where the Apostle condemns men who commit “unnatural” acts with other men — to bolster their argument that homosexuality is wrong.
Archbishop Harper, who will be among the most senior of the 700 bishops at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, Kent, this month said that it was “inappropriate” to “anathematise” homosexuals on the basis of what St Paul says in this and other texts.
The Archbishop, a former professional archaeologist who was not ordained until he was 34, said scientists were still undecided on the issue of whether people were born homosexual or not, but indicated that it seemed increasingly likely that they had no choice in the matter.
If this was proven to be the case, the Church would have to accept that homosexuals committed “natural” rather than “unnatural” acts with each other.