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CoE Archbishops: Sorry for saying sex is only for married heterosexuals

CoE Archbishops: Sorry for saying sex is only for married heterosexuals

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 That statement, however, was not withdrawn.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 The statement will not be withdrawn, however, after the College of Bishops voted against a proposal to do so.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on Thursday evening, the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, says that he and a number of colleagues asked that the statement be withdrawn, “but this was decided against by the majority”.


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James A Newman

They are simply sorry Archbishops. The church in the UK has made itself so irrelevant as to be meaningless. Beautiful churches, beautiful stained glass, beautiful music, beautiful vestments…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Sorry sorry Archbishops

Daniel Lamont

A nit-picking point from Edinburgh. You are eliding England with the UK. Scotland is a very different place and the poor and small Scottish Episcopal Church is holding its own and offering a gospel of love and compassion. Thankfully, neither ++Welby nor ++Sentamu have any jurisdiction in Scotland.

Daniel Lamont

Just to add, we don’t have archbishops but a Primus ie ‘first among equals’.

Simon Burris

This comment expresses the frustration felt (I suspect) by many people on _both_ sides of the whole marriage/sexuality issue.

Tom Downs

Am I the only one who thinks this was part of the deal to get some Kenyan bishops to attend Lambeth and thus break GAFCON’s boycott?

Jon White

I’ve thought something similar since, in essence, this statement was wholly unnecessary – it merely reiterates current policy after all. Thus one has to wonder why now?

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