The Archbishop of Canterbury, in the latest saga revolving around the Anglican Church, has apologised to the LGBT community for the ‘hurt and pain for the past or the present that the church has caused’.
Justin Welby’s remarks came in his speech at the Primates 2016 conference, after the recent agreement between church leaders on measures to sanction the American branch of the Anglican communion over its views on marriage and homosexuality.
‘It is, for me, a constant source of deep sadness that people are persecuted for their sexuality,’ said Welby.
In his speech, the Archbishop also acknowledged that facing protesters, particularly those from Africa, was a reminder of the ‘pain and suffering of many LGBTI people around the world’.
‘The love that we have at times completely fail to show, and still do, in many parts of the world including this country (UK).’
However, Welby also admitted that he does not ‘have the right to speak for everyone’. Defending the decision to sanction the US Episcopal Church, he said the ‘unity shown by the primates’ was ‘going to be painful as well as joyful and remarkable’.
‘It is not for us to divide the body of Christ, it is not for us to divide the Church,’ he added.