Popular opinion on gay marriage is “not a case for changing obedience to God”, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said.
But Archbishop Welby said it would be “foolish” to ignore the “revolution” caused by same-sex marriage coming into law.
He made the comments while speaking to more than 6,000 people at a Christian conference.
Justin Welby, who voted against gay marriage in the House of Lords, said he heard the “roar of revolution” when he listened to the debate about the legislation.
He said there was support for the Bill from all parties.
However he added, “popular opinion is not a case for changing obedience to God.”
The Archbishop has recently said the Church must accept an overwhelming change in cultural attitudes.
He insisted the Church is not changing its beliefs about sexual ethics, but more should be done to tackle homophobic behaviour.
The Daily Telegraph reported that he had approached gay rights group Stonewall for help to develop a teaching programme for Church of England schools.
During the House of Lords debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, Archbishop Welby said marriage would be “abolished, redefined and recreated”.
He warned that “confusion” was being created by the Bill, with fundamental aspects of marriage being “lost”, “diminished” or “weakened”.