Thursday evening, Archbishops Welby and Sentamu issued an apology of sorts for the timing of the recent statement on sex outside heterosexual marriage. That statement, however, was not withdrawn. The timing has drawn criticism because it came during a review of the C of E’s position on sexuality – a review forced upon Welby by General Synod against a similar statement.
The Church Times reports:
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have apologised for the release of last week’s pastoral statement on civil partnerships, acknowledging that it “jeopardised trust”. The statement will not be withdrawn, however, after the College of Bishops voted against a proposal to do so. Issued on Thursday evening, at the end of a two-day meeting of the College, the Archbishops’ statement recognised “the division and hurt” the statement had caused.
The Archbishops’ statement says that they, “alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologise and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardised trust. We are very sorry and recognise the division and hurt this has caused.”
The statement sets out their commitment to the Living in Love and Faith project, a process “intended to help us all to build bridges that will enable the difficult conversations that are necessary as, together, we discern the way forward for the Church of England.”
In a letter to his diocese, the Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, also released on Thursday evening, the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, says that he and a number of colleagues asked that the statement be withdrawn, “but this was decided against by the majority”.
— Cliff James (@cliffjamester) January 31, 2020