Religion   Bishops who don't believe in God

[“If you want to lose your faith, make friends with a priest.”-George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff]

I sometimes question if God exists: Archbishop of Canterbury admits he sometimes has moments of doubt  



PUBLISHED: 23:03, 17 September 2014 | UPDATED: 07:24, 18 September 2014



The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted that he struggles with doubt about the existence of God.


The Most Reverend Justin Welby said he wrestles with disbelief – most recently when out on his morning jog.


He also acknowledged that Christians have trouble explaining why God allows suffering in the world.


The extraordinarily honest admission – during which the Archbishop said he was straying into territory where an Anglican leader should not go – came as he spoke during a visit to Bristol Cathedral earlier this week.


Asked if he ever struggled with doubt, the Archbishop said: ‘Yes I do. I mean there are moments where you think “Is there a God?”, “Where is God?”’


He added that there were moments when he was struck with doubt even while praying, including during his morning jogs near his official London residence Lambeth Palace.


‘I love the Psalms, if you look at Psalm 88, that’s full of doubt,’ he told the congregation. ‘I go, well I call it running, the dog calls it holding her back, in the morning.


‘The other day I was praying over something as I was running and I ended up saying to God “Look this is all very well but isn’t it about time you did something, if you’re there” – which is probably not what the Archbishop of Canterbury should say.’


But he added: ‘It is not about feelings, it is about the fact that God is faithful and the extraordinary thing about being a Christian is that God is faithful when we are not.’


Asked how to persuade people who think religion is outdated, he said Christians did not have the answer to why God allows suffering.


‘We turn the tide in a number of ways,’ he said. ‘We know about Jesus, we can’t explain all the questions in the world, we can’t explain about suffering, we can’t explain loads of things but we know about Jesus. We can talk about Jesus – I always do that because most of the other questions I can’t answer.’



This is not the 58-year-old’s first brush with controversy since his appointment in November 2012.


He criticised payday lender Wonga without realising the CofE’s financial arm, the Church Commissioners, had indirect investments in the firm believed to amount to around Ł75,000.


Archbishop Welby opened his attack on Wonga in an interview in which he declared: ‘I’ve met the head of Wonga and we had a good conversation and I said to him bluntly, “We’re not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we’re trying to compete you out of existence”.’


He suggested that 16,000 churches could form the basis of a network of non-profit lending organisations. However, it later emerged that it would take up to a decade before any sort of church network might emerge.

And in June, the Church Commissioners said they would continue to invest in Wonga.


The chairman of Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group, James Featherby, said that the row had ‘highlighted some misconceptions about ethical investment, and in particular that its objective is to achieve a morally perfect portfolio’.


However in July the Church announced that it had ended its investment in the firm. The Archbishop told the BBC that he was ‘delighted’.