Archbishop of Canterbury Apologises for Welsh Bishop’s Remarks
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby apologised to the Welsh Secretary of State for the “Never, never, never trust a Tory” tweets by the Bishop of St Davids of the Church in Wales.
He wrote: “I add my apology to those you have received from the Bishop of Bangor and the Archbishop of York, and am deeply embarrassed by the use of such language by a church leader. It is absolutely unacceptable, and I am truly sorry. I am especially sympathetic because I am very well aware of what it is to be trolled in this way (including by people of all shades of political opinion). It is intolerable, and I am determined to work with my sisters and brothers to find better ways to express disagreement”.
The Church in Wales does not fall under Archbishop Welby’s authority
The BBC reported that Dr Penberthy, Bishop of the Diocese of St Davids, was upfront in her apology for the offensive social media postings. She wrote: “While I hold strong political views, I have expressed them on Twitter in a way which was both irresponsible and disrespectful and I deeply regret this”
In an official statement, the Church in Wales acknowledged that the Bishop of St Davids “strong political views are well-known”. It went on to say: “The Church in Wales expects all its clergy to engage robustly in public life. However, they need to do so in a way which is respectful, responsible, and fair, acknowledging the breadth and diversity of political opinion within the church. We do not support intemperate claims or poorly informed commentary and we urge all clergy to recognise that, as public office holders, there should be no expectation that personal views will be regarded as private”
On 19 June the Church in Wales released a further statement:
“The Bishop of St Davids is unwell and is taking time off work, following the advice of her doctor.