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article imageArchbishop aplogizes for LGBT comments

By Andrew John     Feb 10, 2010 in World
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has apologized for statements he made about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people within the church.
Williams, who is head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has been presiding over a split church since he assumed the post in 2003.
The American Episcopalian Church caused ructions by appointing Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, an openly gay bishop. Conservatives have maintained gay people should not be ordained or their relationships blessed.
Since then, another Episcopalian prelate – Assistant Bishop Mary Glasspool in Los Angeles – has been appointed, further widening divisions.
However, within the past year or so, Williams said the gay lifestyle is at odds with the church's teaching. He also recently said the appointment of Glasspool was "divisive."
Pink News, the online news magazine published for the LGBT community, printed a report saying he wishes to see unity between conservatives and liberals "over issues such as gay clergy and female bishops to avoid a schism."
The Archbishop told the Synod: "The debate over the status and vocational possibilities of LGBT people in the church is not helped by ignoring the existing facts, which include many regular worshipers of gay or lesbian orientation and many sacrificial and exemplary priests who share this orientation.
"There are ways of speaking about the question that seem to ignore these human realities or to undervalue them; I have been criticised for doing just this, and I am profoundly sorry for the carelessness that could give such an impression."
The archbishop spoke of a recent vote in the UK's upper legislative chamber, the House of Lords, that effectively upheld religious employers' rights to discriminate against gay people, even in less sensitive posts such as janitor and office worker.
Williams has now said: "What [oposers of the equality measures] were contesting was a relatively small but extremely significant point of detail . . . whether government had the right to tell religious bodies which of the tasks for which they might employ people required and which did not require some level of compliance with the public teaching of the church about behaviour."
More about Church england, Sexuality, Gay, LGBT, Archbishop canterbury
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