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Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘we have failed terribly’ on abuse

February 02, 2017

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury apologized following media reports that a prominent evangelical Anglican, John Smyth, physically abused 22 young men.

An Anglican charity documented the abuse in 1982, but failed to report it to authorities.

Archbishop Welby worked with Smyth at a camp in the late 1970s but said he was unaware of the abuse.

“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 archbishop’s office said in a statement. “For that the Archbishop apologizes unequivocally and unreservedly to all survivors.”


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  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Feb. 02, 2017 6:50 PM ET USA

    The church "failed terribly" in another way too -- when it ordained women to the priesthood. Nothing against women, except that they cannot act in personal christi during Holy Mass. Think of it this way -- men may feel deeply for children but only a woman can give birth to one. In a similar way, only a modern-day man can stand in the footsteps of Jesus offering himself to God as propitiation for our sins. By ordaining women, Anglicans created a huge barrier to full and equal unity.