Rowan Williams expresses 'regret' over church remarks Skip to main content

Rowan Williams expresses 'regret' over church remarks

Dr Rowan Williams
The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his "deep sorrow" for any difficulties caused by his comments about the Catholic Church in Ireland.
His claim that the Church had lost all credibility because of its handling of child abuse by priests was criticised by both Catholic and Anglican clergy.
The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said he was "stunned".

Dr Rowan Williams later telephoned Archbishop Martin to insist he meant no offence to the Irish Catholic Church.
BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said Dr Williams' words represented unusually damning criticism from the leader of another Church.
He made his comments about the scandal in an interview to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week programme.
ANALYSIS
Robert Pigott
Robert Pigott, BBC religious affairs correspondent
Rowan Williams' assessment of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland as having lost all credibility is unusually blunt and damning.
It should be remembered that relations between the two Churches have been strained since Pope Benedict offered disgruntled Anglicans easy conversion to Catholicism last October.
But Dr Williams' remarks do reflect a growing sense of alarm at what is perceived to be the Catholic Church's disastrous loss of moral authority. His comments will strike a chord with increasing numbers of people who feel the Vatican has yet to realise, let alone accept, the seriousness of the plight it shares with the Church in Ireland.
While it is very unusual for one Church leader to make such comments about another, Dr Williams will feel the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and the UK's Anglican Churches are fighting the same battle against secularism and the erosion of Christian influence and status.
On the most important weekend in the Christian calendar, when the Church is supposed to be talking about renewal, it faces a real crisis which Dr Williams believes needs to be sorted out.
Dr Williams said: "I was speaking to an Irish friend recently who was saying that it's quite difficult in some parts of Ireland to go down the street wearing a clerical collar now.
"And an institution so deeply bound into the life of a society, suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility - that's not just a problem for the Church, it is a problem for everybody in Ireland."
The Archbishop of Dublin said those working to renew the Church did not need the remarks.
He said: "I still shudder when I think of the harm that was caused to abused children. I recognise that their Church failed them.
"I also journey with those - especially parents and priests - who work day by day to renew the Catholic Church in this diocese and who are committed to staying with their Church and passing on the faith in wearying times.
"Archbishop Williams' comments will be for them immensely disheartening and will challenge their faith even further," he said.
The Church in Ireland said the issue of abuse was being taken "very seriously".
Last month, Pope Benedict XVI apologised to all victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland.
He has also rebuked Irish bishops for "grave errors of judgement" in dealing with the problem.
It should be remembered that the archbishop has neither experience of Irish life nor any direct ecclesiastical authority in this country. I hope that he will reflect on his comments, and I deeply regret the hurt that he has caused
Bishop of Meath and Kildare, Richard Clarke

Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Dr John Neill - a senior figure in Ireland's Anglican communion - said he had listened to the remarks of Dr Williams with "deep regret".
"As one who... acknowledges the pain and deep suffering of the victims of abuse, I also feel for the countless priests and bishops who daily live out their Christian vocation," he added.
Fellow Anglican the Most Revd Richard Clarke, Bishop of Meath and Kildare, said Dr Williams' remarks were "careless and reckless" and "deeply hurtful".
"As those of us who live in this country know very well, most bishops, priests and religious of the Roman Catholic tradition minister faithfully and selflessly under very difficult conditions with the love and support of their people," he added.
But Catherine Pepinster, editor of Catholic weekly newspaper The Tablet said Rowan Williams' comments were "very striking" and that many Catholics would share his opinion.
Vows of silence
Dr Williams' comments came after Pope Benedict's personal preacher, the Rev Raniero Cantalamessa, compared criticism of the pontiff and Church over child abuse to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews.
Speaking at Good Friday prayers in St Peter's Basilica, Father Cantalamessa quoted a Jewish friend as saying the accusations reminded him of the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism".
The Vatican said this was not its official position and the comments were criticised by Jewish groups and those representing abuse victims.
On Sunday, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, is expected to apologise during his Easter address in Edinburgh to the victims of paedophile priests.
The Start the Week programme will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Monday at 0900BST.

BBC NEWS

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chronology of the Press in Burma

1836 – 1846 * During this period the first English-language newspaper was launched under British-ruled Tenasserim, southern  Burma . The first ethnic Karen-language and Burmese-language newspapers also appear in this period.     March 3, 1836 —The first English-language newspaper,  The Maulmain Chronicle , appears in the city of Moulmein in British-ruled Tenasserim. The paper, first published by a British official named E.A. Blundell, continued up until the 1950s. September 1842 —Tavoy’s  Hsa-tu-gaw  (the  Morning Star ), a monthly publication in the Karen-language of  Sgaw ,  is established by the Baptist mission. It is the first ethnic language newspaper. Circulation reached about three hundred until its publication ceased in 1849. January 1843 —The Baptist mission publishes a monthly newspaper, the Christian  Dhamma  Thadinsa  (the  Religious Herald ), in Moulmein. Supposedly the first Burmese-language newspaper, it continued up until the first year of the second Angl

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyright LELUXHOSPITAL Image caption Authorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break do

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks

Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference. Villagers from Kyauktaw township in western Myanmar's Rakhine state discuss the government military's attacks on their communities at press conference in Sittwe, March 30, 2020. They made the comments after traveling from in Kyauktaw township to the state capital Sittwe to give testimony on a series of attacks on civilian dwellings amid a government-imposed internet shutdown in nine townships in Rakhine and neighboring Chin state, cutting off vital information about the fighting. They villagers accused the Myanmar Army of conducting an aerial bombing on civilian communities that destroyed about 150 homes and a monastery in Pyaing Taing village, while government soldiers on the g