Archbishop of Canterbury Admits Doubts over Existence of God

Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recently admitted to doubting the existence of God, saying he could not stop wondering, during an early morning jog with his dog, why the Almighty refused to intervene in preventing injustice.

During an intimate, light-hearted interview before hundreds of people at the Bristol cathedral earlier this month, Welby, who heads the world’s 80-million member Anglican community, said, “There are moments, sure, where you think 'Is there a God? Where is God?' This is probably not what the archbishop of Canterbury should say.”

When interviewer Lucy Tegg from BBC reminded him of the gravity of his words, saying Welby has a remarkably important role to play within the Anglican community, the archbishop said he has noticed that.

Tegg then went on to ask, “Do you ever doubt?” to which Welby replied, “Yes. I do. In lots of different ways really. It's a very good question. That means I've got to think about what I'm going to say. Yes I do.I love the Psalms, if you look at Psalm 88, that's full of doubt.”

While recounting the early morning jog with his dog, Welby made it evident that his doubts occur regularly.

“The other day I was praying 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. 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.”

However, later in the interview, Welby clarified that he is certain about the existence of Jesus, saying he can feel the Saviour’s presence around him at all times.

“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. … When life gets challenging, I keep going and call to Jesus to help me and he picks me up,” he said.

Welby was appointed as the archbishop in November 2012 and he is renowned for voicing his opinions on a wide array of issues. For instance, he has made a point about the inexplicable rise in energy prices, criticized government policies related to welfare, questioned the role of payday lenders and wholeheartedly supported the consecration of women bishops.

Photo Credit: The Christian Science Monitor

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