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Archbishop says "sorry" to gay Christians for pain caused

Fri 15 Jan 2016
By Hannah Tooley

Following the 2016 primates meeting of Anglican leaders from across the world, the Church has stressed that, despite the removal of The Episcopal Church for a three year period, the church is stable and stands together.

The Archbishop of Canterbury opened the meeting and made a personal apology to LGBTI Christians.

He said that he finds it a "constant source of deep sadness that people are persecuted for their sexuality."

He said he wanted to express "how sorry I am" for any pain the church has caused and still causes today.

He told the room that he firmly believes that God loves everyone.

However, the primates collectively made it clear that marriage remains a union between a man and a woman, as a faithful and long-lasting relationship.

He told the audience that an "overwhelming majority" voted in favour of this, however, the Archbishop of Canterbury would not release official figures.

Justin Welby added that the church could look out of touch in the USA and UK but stressed it was a global church and had to represent the views of 165 countries.

Most Revd Paul Kwong, the Bishop of Hong Kong, said: "We are moving forward because we want to be responsible and relevant to the whole world, not just one particular region."

Other issues discussed included the global refugee crisis, corruption and the persecution of Christians around the globe.

Justin Welby said the church was asking each primate to decide how to best tackle this issue in their region, stating that the Anglican Church is not a centralised Church that tells people what to do.

He admitted not everyone agreed and said the talks has been "joyful and painful".

He also confirmed the news that the Ugandan archbishop had left early, but insisted this was merely a practical issue and not a walk out.

Most Revd Paul Kwong of Hong Kong, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin welly and Dr Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon representing the Anglican communion shared their experiences of the meeting.

The primates thanked Christians around the world for their prayers throughout the world as this meetings took place.

Most Revd Paul Kwong confessed the atmosphere was "much better" and more "unconventional" than previous primates meetings.

However around 40 Ugandans chanted "we asked for justice you gave us rejection" and held signs that showed their dissatisfaction with the choices made surrounding LGBTI Rights and marriage.

The primates also discussed the idea of fixing a date of Easter with the Orthodox Church and Justin Welby said he hopes to see this in place before his retirement.

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