The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that he often doubts that God exists -- a statement that has raised few eyebrows.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that he often doubts that God exists -- a statement that has raised few eyebrows.Reuters

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that he often doubts the existence of God, a statement that has raised a few eyebrows and sparked concerns if the leader of the Church of England would one day renounce Christianity or spirituality as a whole.

Archbishop Justin Welby made the statement during a recent interview at Bristol Cathedral. He admitted to the fact that he had, on many occasions, questioned why God had failed to intervene to prevent injustice, adding that he doubted God in "lots of different ways".

"There are moments, sure, when you think, 'Is there a God?' 'Where is God?'" he told a media channel in front of thousands of people in Bristol.

When asked whether he had moments of doubt, he said: "It is a really good question...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."

Citing his love for the Psalms, especially Psalm 88, which he says is "full of doubt" Archbishop Welby defended his comments over the faith, saying: "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."

"When we get into the wrong place he comes alongside us and says, 'Right let's go from here.'"

The BBC noted that the archbishop made his comments about doubt in front of a crowd of about 1,000 people, although not all of them were churchgoers. The event took place on 12 September during his tour of the West Country, but was reported only on Friday.

As the remarks continue to spark confusion among church-goers, there were other Christian leaders who have said that the Church leader was quoted out of context.

The BBC on Friday quoted a spokesman for Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as saying: "The remarks were made in the context of an event at Bristol Cathedral during which the archbishop spoke extensively about why he believes in God and how his faith in Jesus Christ has transformed his life.

"The comments in question were made in response to a specific question about whether he had ever struggled with doubts."