The Archbishop of Canterbury apologized today to the LGBTI community for the “hurt and pain” caused by the Anglican Church.
Facing protesters, particularly those from Africa, was a reminder of the “pain and suffering of many LGBTI people around the world,” Archbishop Justin Welby said. He did not name any of the branches of the Anglican Church that have caused — and continue to cause — that pain and suffering. Nor did he suggest that the church would stop causing the pain that he was apologizing for.
Anti-gay Anglican churches in the developing world are major supporters of repression and stigmatization of LGBTI people in their countries, most prominently in Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya. In terms of accepting same-sex marriage, the Episcopal Church is the primary exception in the 85-million-member worldwide Anglican Communion.
Welby talked with some of the dozens of protesters, organized by the Out and Proud Diamond Group of LGBTI African refugees, who traveled to Canterbury to demonstrate for fair treatment of LGBTI people. The theme of the protest was “Listen to LGBTI people.” They chanted “Shame on you” in the cathedral precincts, where 38 Anglican Primates met this week at Welby’s invitation to try to avoid a schism over exclusion and inclusion of LGBTI people.
In a press conference, Welby said:
“It’s a constant source of deep sadness that people are persecuted for their sexuality. I want to take this opportunity personally to say how sorry I am for the hurt and pain, in the past and present, that the church has caused and the love that we at times completely failed to show, and still do, in many parts of the world including in this country.”
At the same time, he defended this week’s decision by leaders of the Anglican Communion to suspend its U.S.-based member, the Episcopal Church, for allowing marriages of same-sex couples.
- Archbishop of Canterbury apologises for Anglican ‘hurt’ to LGBTI community (Jan. 15, 2016, ITV)
- Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby apologises to the gay and lesbian community (Jan. 15, 2016, Belfast Telegraph)
- Justin Welby says sorry to LGBTI community for hurt and pain caused by Anglican church (Jan. 15, 2016, The Guardian)
- Canterbury rally to Anglican leaders: Listen to LGBTI people (Jan. 14, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Anglicans discipline Episcopalians over same-sex marriage (Jan. 14, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Stonewall CEO: A split in the Anglican Church could be dangerous for LGBT people – religious or not (Jan. 12, 2016, The Telegraph)
- Barbaric’ Anglican schism would not threaten LGBTI progress (Jan. 10, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Anglicans’ LGBTI schism: Archbishop’s realism or bad idea? (September 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Church of England to blame for anti-gay Nigeria, Uganda? (September 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Petition to archbishops: End anti-gay purge in Kenya (September 2015, 76crimes.com)
- U.S. church plans support for LGBT-friendly Africans (June 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Anti-gay Anglicans blast archbishop for friendly chats in U.S. (January 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Eject anti-gay Anglicans or keep a poisoner at dinner? (March 2014, 76crimes.com)