jQuery Slider

You are here

THE APOPLECTIC, APOLOGETIC ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

THE APOPLECTIC, APOLOGETIC ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

NEWS ANALYSIS

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
February 19, 2020

When the official obituary is written on the life of Justin Welby, it won't be about how many souls were saved or how many people were discipled to follow Christ. It will be about how the West was lost to the gospel through the acceptance of pansexuality and how many times Welby apologized for things he had no business apologizing for as well as for lost opportunities.

It began (as far as we can tell) in 2013, when the Archbishop of Canterbury offered his personal apology to a victim over abuse claims. Welby apologized to a woman whose complaint of abuse was not taken seriously by a senior Church of England Dean. The bishop of Winchester leapt in and commissioned a report by the diocese's Safeguarding Panel to correct the situation.

Ironically, the States of Jersey Police and Hampshire Constabulary did investigate the allegations in 2008 but found that there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

*****

In January of 2016, the Archbishop of Canterbury faced protesters outside of Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, where he apologized to the homosexual and lesbian community for the 'hurt and pain' still being caused by the church. Welby said it was a 'constant source of deep sadness' for people who are persecuted for their sexuality.

Welby spoke after a meeting of Anglican primates in Canterbury reached an agreement on measures against the US Episcopal Church, which a statement said had made a 'fundamental departure from the faith and teaching' by endorsing homosexual marriage.

Mercifully the agreement upheld 'traditional doctrine' of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

*****

In May of 2016, the archbishop continued his apologetic tour by apologizing to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland over an historic agreement, The Columbia Declaration, recognizing the longstanding ecumenical partnership between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England paving the way for future joint working between the two churches backed by the General Synod

*****

In February 2017, Welby issued an apology over the Church of England's links to a 'child abuser'. He said the Church of England 'failed terribly' for not reporting abuse by the head of a Christian charity accused of carrying out sadomasochistic attacks on young boys.

"We recognize that many institutions fail catastrophically, but the Church is meant to hold itself to a far, far higher standard and we have failed terribly," the statement on behalf of the Archbishop said.

*****

In June of 2017, Welby issued an apology after An Abuse of Faith report revealed that Bishop Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester, was found guilty of abusing multiple young men over many years.

"For the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology. There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades," said Welby.

*****

2019 was the Year of Apologies for Justin Welby. He managed to apologize five times

The first case was on mistakes made in the Bishop George Bell case. A girl called "Carol" stepped forward to say she had been abused by Bell. Welby took her accusations at face value and Bell was consigned to the scrap heap of Anglican history.

Barbara Whitley, 93, denied the charges and said she wanted the reputation of her uncle restored and called on Welby to stand down, and a face-to-face apology from the Church of England.

Welby stepped up to the plate and apologized "unreservedly for the mistakes made in the process surrounding the handling of the original allegation against Bishop George Bell. The reputation of Bishop Bell is significant, and I am clear that his memory and the work he did is of as much importance to the Church today as it was in the past. I recognize this has been an extremely difficult period for all concerned and I apologize equally to all those who have come forward and shared stories of abuse where we have not responded well." However, Welby did not reverse any of the decisions made about Bell.

"However, it is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation relating to an historic case of abuse and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet. We need to care for her and listen to her voice," he wrote.

*****

In May of 2019, Welby offered an apology for his Lambeth invites which he thought would smooth the way for the Anglican Consultative Council and Global South primates to walk together.

In Hong Kong, Welby apologized for his 2020 Lambeth Conference decision to not allow bishops in homosexual partnerships to be included and agreed to renew the communion's 21-year old promise to listen to the experience of LGBTQ people. "I ask your forgiveness where I made mistakes," Welby said his "mistake" was refusing to be definitive about whether sodomy was good and right in the eyes of God or not.

Bishop Eraste Bigirimana, from the Burundian Diocese of Bujumbura, said the communion has been divided since Anglicans formally began talking about sexuality at the 1998 Lambeth Conference. The division, he said, comes because not all believe that "the Bible is very clear: fornication is a sin, adultery is a sin, homosexuality is a sin for the Christian. The Bible has to be our reference." Welby's apology went nowhere.

Because the Archbishop of Canterbury is known as the "focus of unity" for the ACC, Lambeth Conference and the Primates' Meeting, Welby said it is his "fault and my responsibility" that certain people are upset because some people were invited to the 2020 Lambeth Conference and others were not.

Although he may not be sure to whom he is apologizing, at least Welby believes in judgement day, which for the Anglican Communion is coming sooner rather than later, one blogger observed.

*****

Welby continued his apology tour. In September 2019, he journeyed to India where he apologized for the massacre at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar, India where British colonial forces killed 300 hundred Indians participating in a peaceful demonstration for independence. This occurred over 100 years ago.

"I am so ashamed and sorry for the impact of this crime committed here. As a religious leader, I mourn the tragedy I see here," the archbishop said.

He said he could not speak on the behalf of the British government, but he was "personally very sorry for this terrible atrocity."

It is ironic that while in India he did not address the terrible corruption in the Church of South India that has seen a primate go to jail and dozens of bishops implicated in financial scams. Welby no doubt wants to see them at the Lambeth conference later this year to help boost his numbers.

In February of 2020, Welby was back on his apology horse when he and the Archbishop of York John Sentamu apologized for official guidance recently issued by the Church of England which posited the historic Christian teaching that sexual intercourse should be reserved solely for married, heterosexual couples.

The archbishops said in a statement:

"We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologize and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardized trust. We are very sorry and recognize the division and hurt this has caused."

The guidance from the Church of England, for which the archbishops apologized, stated: "With opposite sex civil partnerships, and with those for same sex couples, the Church's teaching on sexual ethics remains unchanged.

For Christians, marriage, that is the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows, remains the proper context for sexual activity.

Welby apologizes for not standing on Scripture's clear denunciation of homosexual behavior and apologizes for a document that was in fact orthodox, but he didn't want to hurt the feelings of sodomites.

*****

Later in February, Welby said he is 'sorry and ashamed' over the Church of England's institutional racism and promised to replace a hostile environment with a hospitable welcome.

At a meeting in London of the church's ruling body, the General Synod, Welby said: "When we look at our own church, we are still deeply institutionally racist. Let's be clear about that."

He said he was "personally sorry and ashamed. I'm ashamed of our history and I'm ashamed of our failure ... I'm ashamed of my lack of urgent voice to the church."

Speaking in a debate on the Windrush scandal and racism in the church, Welby said: "I've often wondered how the German church in the 1930s managed to ignore what happened to the Jews. I think they just didn't really notice ... and perhaps that's what we've done in the way we've behaved since Windrush."

Welby listed his advantages in life: "I have white advantage, educational advantage, straight advantage, male advantage ... I'm not ashamed of those advantages, I'm ashamed of not knowing I had them."

He said the phrase "hostile environment" was extraordinary and terrible. "But we have to transform it into a hospitable, welcoming one," he added.

*****

Wobbly Welby has cornered the market in empty apologies and headlined a story by Kathy Gyngell and Jules Gomes of Conservativewoman blog.

"We live in the age of apology. This is not a reference to the quintessentially British habit of apologizing to the person who bumps into you but to the politically motivated non-apology--the ridiculous virtue-signaling, leftist habit of apologizing for the past and the sins of one's ancestors.

"Now we're blessed with an Archbishop who has taken on this holy mantle of contrition chic. Just before "Wobbly" Welby ascended the throne of Canterbury, his predecessor, Rowan, the Grand Druid of Long-windedness, had offered a hand-wringing apology to Charles Darwin of blessed memory for the Church of England's initial rejection of his theory of evolution. Since his consecration, His Piousness the Grand Panjandrum of Canterbury has managed to apologize to most of the Church's secular critics as well as to its entire vocal victim group discontents therein.

"He has apologized (for the Church's 'persecution on the grounds of sexuality') to 'lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people' and for 'the hurt and pain they have experienced by the Anglican Communion over the years.'

"If that wasn't enough virtue-signaling for his incumbency, he hasn't been able to resist taking on the evils of history. He (just) avoided apologizing for the Dresden bombings. He cried mea maxima culpa before 700 'wimmin' vicars at St Paul's Cathedral and apologized for the 'scars' and 'hurt' to the campaigners of women's ordination and 'for my own part in that hurt.'

"With Christian Unity Week on the radar and his abhorrence of anything divisive (from the free market to Brexit), another apology opportunity has offered itself--the Reformation no less. Yes, our division and despair creating prelate has found another wrong he seeks to put right--that all time biggest division of conscience ever--the schism between then Catholic and Anglican Churches that dates back 500 years to the Reformation and the turning point in British history.

"It must be healed and Welby has hit on the very way to do it. We must repent of it--the Reformation no less! What could be easier? What a clever way to placate the Romans. Without having to worry that by ordaining women priestesses or bishopesses he has forever severed the slender thread of fading hope that linked Canterbury with Rome. Never mind that his progressive 'beliefs' have even driven Anglican clergy out of the C of E into the arms of Rome.

"By this trick of the cards, Welby can happily put to one side the fact that every single modern teaching (or lack of it) and practice of the C of E--on homosexuality, abortion, and contraception and women priests--has been utterly divisive.

"The Reformation had been accompanied by a revolution, one in which a book that had been imprisoned in Latin had become accessible in the everyday language of the English people,' writes Gordon Campbell in his magisterial work on the King James Bible. Is Welby apologizing for being able to read the Bible in his native English? Or is he apologizing for the revolution that ushered in the printing press along with the liberating doctrines of Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide and Sola Gratia?

"Does Welby not understand the gravity of an apology? Or does he think an apology is like the modern prayer of confession in the Church of England's Common Worship where the congregants no longer confess that they are 'miserable offenders' but instead say a mild, 'oops, sorry', every time they sneeze or spill a drink?

"An apology is meaningful only when the victims are identifiable as a distinct group, continue to suffer harm and are causally connected to the past injustice. "Who, on earth, are the current victims of the Reformation? The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster? Or the Polish and Filipino immigrants who now fill the pews of Roman churches in Britain and ensure their survival? Or is Welby in keeping with his left-wing ideology of victimhood canonizing a new caste of Reformation victims?

"Does Welby not know the original meaning of the word apology? In the New Testament "apologia" is a speech in one's defense. St. Peter uses this word when he writes to the suffering Christians to always be 'prepared to make a defense (apologia) to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you' (1Peter 3:15). Christians, even when persecuted, were to offer an apologia and not an apology for their faith. "Wobbly" Welby is doing precisely the opposite.

"If he hasn't learned anything about an apologia from the Apostle Peter, he might learn something about an apology from P G Wodehouse. That wonderful creator of Blandings Castle stuck his pipe in his mouth and pounded these words on his typewriter as he wrote in The Man Upstairs: 'It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people "do" not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.'"

END

Subscribe
Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Prayer Book Alliance

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice

DrinkCoffeeDoGood.com

Go To Top