So the Archbishops of Canterbury and York “have issued a rare joint apology” for the Church of England’s misguided declaration that those in civil partnerships should not have sex. (“Archbishops ‘very sorry’ for sex advice”, Jan 31). This, they now acknowledge, “has jeopardised trust” among the general public.
Apologies from clergy, especially senior ones, are rare indeed in my experience.
The Archbishops have one further apology to make while they are in the mood – to admirers and relatives of Bishop George Bell of Chichester (died 1958). The saintly bishop was accused a few years ago of paedophilia on extremely uncertain grounds given his previously entirely blameless reputation. Against all reason Archbishop Welby still considers Bell to be ‘under a cloud’. This unjustified slur has been long overdue for removal, and the present moment would be a good time to achieve that.